Get the Equipment You Need
If your stethoscope from school was cheap and is worn out, treat yourself to a new one. You deserve it. If you're going to be working in a specialty unit, you may need a more expensive and specialized model, but check with the other nurses on the unit for advice first. They may have information about discounts and opinions about one model over another.
A big must is some sort of drug book or software and it needs to be an up-to-date edition. You must always use the most recent edition of a drug book and you should always discard the old ones. Don't pass them off to relatives. Information may have changed significantly in the past twelve months and you don't want to inadvertently give someone wrong data. New drugs won't be in your four-year-old edition.
Read your drug book and become familiar with it so that it is easy for you to use quickly. Understand how drugs are cross-referenced, how to find side effects and what the nursing implications are for each drug. Know how to find the tables that list sound-alike drugs. Keep this book with you at all times and use it. Never give a medication you are unfamiliar with under any circumstances. Never take a verbal order for a medication without repeating it back to the physician and verifying that it is indeed the drug she is prescribing. Then look it up. If you have questions, refer to the pharmacist for assistance.
As always, your total image as a nurse depends on being clean, well groomed, and prepared. Keep your equipment clean and orderly. Remember, put your name and contact information on everything.
Make sure that your other equipment is clean and in good working condition. If your scissors are dull or rusty, be sure to clean and sharpen them or replace them. If your pocket flashlight doesn't have replaceable batteries, check it. If it's no longer bright, toss it out and replace it. Try to find one with replaceable batteries and light bulbs and keep extras in your locker.
Be sure you always have in your pocket a pen that writes. Have a spare ink refill or extra pens in your locker as well. If you need a red or other color pen, consider a multicolor pen and be sure to have replacement ink refills as well.
A pocket holder for your pen, scissors, clamps, and flashlight is always handy. They usually have a place to attach your keys and even carry a little money or your ID. If yours is dirty or worn out, buy a new one.