Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • October 1, 2014

Your Essential Nursing School Checklist: 10 Things You Need to Succeed

Your decision to be a nurse may have been easy, but getting through nursing school can be a different story. Even if you’re committed, passionate and dedicated to the field, you may not feel that way when a 2-hour final exam follows an especially exhausting double shift. Whether you’ve been out of school five years or 20, here are 10 things you’ll need to balance work, personal life and school as a nursing student.

1. Calendar

Nursing school calendar

Whether you love to flip or swipe, keep track of your assignment due dates and project deadlines right alongside your shift schedule to keep yourself on track.

2. Medical References/Guides

Nursing Textbook

Ideal when studying for exams, these helpful tools can pull double duty if you ever need to look up something quickly at work.

3. Highlighters/Pens/Pencils

pens and pencils

Highlight text, write in the margins and detail notes all in your textbook – anything that will help you retain information from your readings.

4. Notecards

index cards

Write these out in your own hand to improve your memory.

5. Binders

nursing school binders

Keep diagrams, notes, rewritten concepts, outlines and even the occasional doodle all in one place for schoolwork on the go.

6. Textbooks

nursing school textbooks

What you learn will build upon earlier lessons, so be sure to get the books required for your courses to not fall behind.

7. Watch With a Second Hand


A cell phone just doesn’t cut it. Arm yourself with a watch that has a second hand to assure you can accurately calculate and track pulses, even in your courses. 

8. Reliable Computer and Internet Connection

reliable laptop

Your courses may require programs, webcams and requirements for you to access them properly. Don’t let an avoidable technical issue be the reason for a poor grade.

9. Flash Drive

flash drive

If you’re program requires you to create an electronic portfolio to showcase your work with your last course, saving it all on a flash drive from the very beginning can save you countless hours and headaches trying to track down 2-year-old assignments, papers and presentations.

10. Sense of Humor

smiling nursing student

While nursing is a serious field, a good sense of humor reduces stress, improves your overall health and makes life more enjoyable – you’ll need it.

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

Subscribe to the Thomas Edison State University Blog and get the latest updates delivered straight to your inbox.

!-- start Main.js DO NOT REMOVE -->