Anytime Nursing Students Practical Gifts for Nurses

What Every Nurse Should Have in Her Bag: 6 Essentials

It’s no secret that with their 12 hour shifts, nurses need to carry a lot of items with them to have at the ready. But what exactly are nurse bag essentials? If you´re preparing your own work bag as a new nurse, or helping your loved one get some A-list essentials (or an A-list bag!), read on.

This is what every nurse should have in her bag (and male nurses, too).

6 nurse bag essentials

1. Stethoscope

ADC Adscope Lite 619 Ultra Lightweight Clinician Stethoscope with Tunable AFD Technology, Turquoise

A nurse will use this with every single patient during assessment, so of course a stethoscope is a nurse bag essential. Look for ones that fit your specialty.

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2. Scissors & Medical Tape

Medical Scissors, EMT and Trauma Shears, Premium Quality

From cutting bandages and dressings (wound care is a common task), to drawing blood or inserting IVs, nurses will need scissors and medical tape handy.

We recommend:

3. Extra Pens & Markers

SHARPIE Permanent Markers Fine Point Black

Writing utensils always seem to get lost (or accidentally stolen). Extra pens and markers should be kept in a nurse bag for writing notes, labeling patient items, and color coding items that could accidentally get mixed. 

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4. Coffee Mug & Water Bottle

Hydro Flask Travel Coffee Flask with Flex Sip Lid

Self-care is important. Staying hydrated throughout the day or getting in a caffeine boost during a mid-day slump make water bottles and coffee mugs essential nurse bag items, too. 

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5. Reference Cards

Pocket Guru Scrub Nurse Reference Cards

Especially for the new nurse or nursing student, a nurse bag essential is having a set of “cheat-sheets” so they don’t get caught off guard.

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6. Lunch!

Lokass Lunch Bags for Women Wide Open Insulated Lunch Box for Nurses

There’s no guarantee in the medical world that you will get a proper lunch break, so nurses should carry snacks and lunches with them to ensure they get the fuel they need throughout the day.

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Bonus: The best bags for nurses

Now that we’ve covered what goes in the bag, let’s talk about the actual bag itself! How do you find the best bags for nurses? There are some key things to look for that make a great nurse bag. For starters – space. A small work bag just won’t cut it to carry all the essentials. Second – compartments. Inside and outside pockets and zippers make it easier to sort items and find things fast. Third – quality material. A nurse needs a bag that’s durable and easy to clean.

Once you check off those three things, don’t forget to consider the cute-ness factor, too. The best nurse bags should look cool to match its owner. 😉

Highly recommended and loved bags for nurses:

You now know what every nurse should have in her bag

We’ve shared the nurse bag essentials, but don’t stop there! Find out from fellow nurses at the clinic/hospital you’re working at what else they like to keep in their bag for everyday emergencies that only your team would understand. And feel free to share with them our list of best bags for nurses, too. They´ll be ooo-ing and aah-ing at your new bag anyway!

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