Ten Things A Nurse Should Always Carry (On The Job)

Updated on March 8, 2022

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A medical student that enjoys working in a diverse community, emphasizes life-long health maintenance and promotion, and focuses on preventing diseases is perfect for making a career as an FNP. An FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who delivers health care services to patients of all ages – whether infants or adults. While some of these nurses work in private practice, most FNPs end up working in community health centers, health care systems, and universities, as their skills are an excellent fit for the work environment of these places.

What Is The Role Of A Family Nurse Practitioner?

Unlike other types of nurses, FNPs care for people throughout their lifespan. There have been many instances where individuals have stuck to the same FNP from their prenatal stage to adulthood; it’s safe to say that FNPs often witness their patients throughout their lives. Therefore, these nurses play a distinct role in all their patient’s stages of development. Once qualified to become an FNP, the nurses can provide direct patient care to individuals, including ordering and conducting diagnostic tests, performing physical exams, treating primary care issues, and prescribing medications. FNPs are also responsible for maintaining patient records and developing treatment plans.

How To Become A Family Nurse Practitioner?

To become an FNP, medical students need to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and a Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN). The majority of the students prefer enrolling in institutes recommended by the IOM (Institute of Medicine). This nonprofit organization provides independent analysis and advice related to technology, medicine, and science. Several universities like the UTA FNP master’s program and offer excellent nurse practitioner training. After completing their master’s degree, medical students must pass a standardized exam from the specialty nursing board overseeing their practice area to get a certification. Finally, all FNPs require a state license to practice medicine in their desired facility.

Starting work at a new facility as a beginning FNP is always surrounded by a million questions and a lot of confusion. One of the most important questions a new FNP keeps wondering is what to take to the workplace and what not to take? There is a long list of nursing supplies that an FNP requires to do their job efficiently. However, carrying everything around can be a big hassle. While a nurse’s work bag contents vary from person to person, here are ten essential things a nurse must always carry on the job:

1. Three Click Pens

An FNP job requires a lot of writing. Most of their time is spent making notes, maintaining patient paperwork, filling out charts, and more. Therefore, having a pen for easy access is extremely important. Three pens is a safe number to play around with as one can stop working, and one might run out of ink, but there will always be a backup.

2. One Reliable Stethoscope

Health facilities mostly prefer that nurses check a patient’s lungs, listen to their heart, or measure their blood pressure. For that reason, a nurse must always carry a dependable stethoscope with them during their shift to assist doctors in checking a patient.

3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

FNPs are often seen running from patient to patient and being on their feet for most of their shift. A nurse’s job certainly comes with long shift hours and demanding duties, causing an immense amount of pain. It deteriorates a nurse’s ability to work well. Over-the-counter pain medications can treat these minor aches, ensuring that a nurse makes it through a long tiring shift.

4. Retractable Badge Reel 

Walking around a medical facility without a badge can cause several security clearance problems for a nurse. To ensure nurses can gain easy entry into rooms and departments, a hospital issues badges to its entire workforce. However, the badge reel can sometimes break or damage, forcing the nurse to be unable to display their identity. A backup retractable badge reel can come in handy then and save the day.

5. At least 60% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

Hospitals and hand sanitizers genuinely go hand in hand. Being in a medical facility surrounded by multiple diseases and viruses can become a person’s worst nightmare. Nurses who often come in close contact with germs and bacteria must carry a hand sanitizer to clean their hands and prevent the spread of infection.

6. Foldable Clipboard 

Nurses are almost always on the go. There are many moments when a nurse fills up or reads a document while walking to another floor. Without a table or a steady flat surface, the task can become challenging. A clipboard can help nurses complete their work with ease. A foldable clipboard is preferred as it is compact and easily fits into a bag.

7. Bandage Scissors

Hospital rooms are constantly losing or misplacing their nursing scissors. Nurses should also always carry backup scissors that are easily accessible to avoid waiting around or going on a wild goose hunt in times of an emergency. 

8. A Pocket-Size Drug Guide

A beginner nurse must carry a drug guide to cross-check what medications they are dispensing to their patients. A drug guide presents a nurse with the essential information on the most commonly prescribed drugs and answers common questions about drug dosage, making a nurse’s job very easy.

9. Change Of Clothes

A great deal of uncertainty surrounds the job of a nurse. Circumstances often present nurses with longer shifts at odd hours of the day, meaning they can’t go back home to freshen up. Therefore, a nurse must carry a change of clothes to keep their appearance checked.

10. Snacks, Water Bottle, And Hand Lotions

While caring for others, nurses must never forget to care for themselves too. Hydration and ample food are necessary for nurses to keep their energy up and motivation high. Hand lotions and other preferred skincare items are lovely to maintain healthy, nourished skin.

Winding Up

Indeed, FNPs have a fantastic career outlook. Students pursuing their medical field careers must try their luck with FNP, as the profession is in high demand considering the recently growing need for healthcare services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, FNP professionals will witness a 52% increase in employment opportunities between 2019 and 2029. Therefore, students looking to advance their career in this profession must take no chances of coming out as unskilled, unprofessional, or untrained. 

While this majorly emphasizes a medical student garnering excellent education, it also points out their level of preparation for practice. Most experts believe that an FNP’s knowledge and skills can be judged exceptionally well with their nurse’s bag’s essentials. Therefore, nurses must pay close attention to what they are carrying with them and how these items are helping them play a significant role in inpatient care. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.