Student nurses need certain equipment, including a stethoscope, for clinical practice. They can find these basic tools of the medical trade for as little as $5, or they can pay much more than $1,000. Students with a budget that's already strained may find programs or donors that give away stethoscopes for free.

Free Stethoscope Programs

Some distributors offer free stethoscopes to clients who buy in bulk, and a student nurse might be able to take advantage of this. For instance, Steele Supply Company includes one free classic stethoscope when customers purchase 15, one free cardiology stethoscope with the purchase of 25 and one free cardiology stethoscope and a teaching stethoscope with the purchase of 50 or more cardiology stethoscopes. Nursing programs may receive donations of stethoscopes, as well. For instance, Kishwaukee College nursing students received free stethoscopes from a 3M community group, and Humana in 2013 gave University of Nevada-Las Vegas nursing students free stethoscopes. A student nurse should ask school officials if a similar program exists at her nursing school. Grants may allow her to get equipment for her training, such as the Nurse Corps program through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Eligible students get tuition, fees and funding for other costs, such as equipment, in exchange for working in selected areas after graduation. Suppliers sometimes run contests or giveaways. For instance, by submitting a consumer review at My Stethoscope, a student can be entered to win a Littmann 3200 model.