Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials:  The Complete List

Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials: The Complete List

As an experienced nurse who has many years of experience taking care of ER, critical care, and telemetry patients, I have learned that I must be prepared for my shifts.  Nurses need to be ready for just about anything, and having the right nurse supplies to succeed has never been more critical.

The nurse essentials on this list are the same things that I use daily and make my life so much easier as a busy nurse.   Keep your professional game on point, and stay prepared for whatever your shift will throw at you!

(This list includes affiliate links.  See our disclosure page for more information here.)

The Ultimate Top 30 Nurse Supplies & Essentials: The Complete List:

#1.  SCRUBS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Scrubs are the universal uniform for nurses for a good reason.  They are very comfortable, designed for long hours of work, allow for easy assess to tools (with pockets), and they are durable to withstand frequent washing,

Also, scrubs make it easier for patients to identify them.  If you can choose the scrubs at your workplace, then you have any color options available.  They offer a way to stand out from your co-workers as well.

#2.  STETHOSCOPE

 

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One of the most important nurse supplies is the stethoscope.  Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a quality stethoscope.  I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since.  They are available in many different colors and have a non-chill rim, so your cold stethoscope doesn’t you don’t shock your patients and make them uncomfortable.

#3.  STETHOSCOPE IDENTIFICATION BADGE

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With so many stethoscopes in the hospital setting, it is very easy to get yours mixed up with another nurse.  Having a stethoscope identification badge is the best way to prevent this.

#4.  STETHOSCOPE CASE

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A stethoscope case helps to keep your scope clean and in excellent condition throughout an entire nursing career.

#5.  FANNY PACK

 

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You can use a fanny pack each shift to carry nurse supplies, including trauma shears, alcohol swabs, pens, a penlight, notes, and extra needles and syringes.   Having a “hip pack” can help prevent nurses from having to make additional trips back to the supply room for things they might have forgotten.   Nurses need to have the tools they need fast.  Go ahead and embrace your inner nurse dork with a fanny pack.

#6.  APPLE WATCH 

 

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The Apple Watch is a stopwatch, a timer, and allows you to set the alarm to remind yourself of tasks you may forget when your shift gets busy.  It also makes it possible to receive and send text messages without having to use your cell phone on the unit

But what many nurses love most about the Apple Watch is that it records how much you stand, exercise, and move throughout your shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings).  You will also know how many total steps you walked in a shift. It’s nice to know how much exercise you get in the workplace!

#7.  WATCH WITH A SECOND HAND

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If the Apple Watch is too expensive, consider getting a less expensive watch with a second hand.  Having a second-hand makes it possible for nurses to track important patient vital signs such as respiratory and heart rate.

#8.  TRAUMA SHEARS

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As an ER nurse, the Raptor Shears are my absolute favorite nurse tool.  They look a lot like a fancy pair of scissors.  But make no mistake, these very functional and handy shears are 6 tools wrapped into one, including:

  • medical shears
  • strap cutter
  • ring cutter
  • ruler
  • oxygen tank wrench
  • carbide glass breaker

Many nurses in the emergency room setting use Raptor Shears because they are so functional. You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.   They also have a 25-year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer.

#9.  NURSE CLIPBOARD

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Keeping a nurse clipboard with you is an easy, secure way to keep confidential documents and medical notes with you.  They give you something to write on while getting a shift report or while in a patient’s room.  They also help you store needed writing tools, such as your retractable pen or highlighter.

#10.  POCKET ORGANIZER (to organize your nurse supplies)

 

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If a fanny pack isn’t something you are into, you may want to consider getting a pocket organizer to store needed nurse supplies and tools.  Knowing you have the supplies you need within your reach at all times will not only keep you calmer in stressful situations, but you will appear more professional as well.

#11. RETRACTABLE PENS

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Retractable 4 color pens are great for color-coding your work notes or written patient information.  Having retractable pens are also lovely to have for when you are studying for certifications!  You can keep a few in your workbag, pocket organizer, or fanny pack.

#12.  PEN LIGHT

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You will need a nurse penlight for assessing extraocular movements.  And these are especially great because they have pupil sizes right on the pen for a more accurate assessment.  You can’t complete a neurological exam correctly without them.

 #13.  VEIN FINDER

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Many hospital units have vein finders for nurses to use, but it is still nice to have your own because they always seem to be lost or already in use.  If you are working on a unit where you will be starting frequent IV’s (such as the ER), this vein finder is a nice-to-have item.

Patients need IVs so we can give them medications and IV fluids.   You could go look for a vein finder on the unit, but why waste that precious time when you can carry one with you?

#14.  NURSING BRAIN SHEETS

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The nurse brain is an extremely important nurse essential for the organization during a busy shift.  Keep your patient’s information organized and in one place.   These brain sheets include areas for: vital signs, medication times, assessment notes, labs, patient history, and space for free text and notes.  This also makes a great gift for new graduate nursing students.  

#15.  HAND SANITIZER

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To prevent the spread of infections, nurses wash their hands dozens of times each shift and often use hand sanitizer in-between.  Travel hand sanitizers are always great to have extra with you in case you need it.

#16.  HAND LOTION

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With nurses washing their hands so frequently every shift, it is no wonder that so many suffer from dry skin.  Whenever possible, use hand lotion to prevent dry, chapped hands and protect the barrier of your skin.  Many nurses keep extra in their nursing bags and car to use whenever they remember.

#17.  HIGHLIGHTER

 

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Highlighters are useful for organizing patient medical information, highlighting discharge education, and studying for your specialty certifications.  You can even hook these on your badge reel to have handy and make sure you don’t lose it.

#18.  DRUG REFERENCE GUIDE

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Keep a portable nursing drug handbook to make it easy to find the most vital information on the drugs that you administer as a nurse most frequently.  This is an excellent tool for helping you learn more about medications while you are on the go and help keep your patients safe.

You can also lookup generic and trade names for drugs, find black box warnings, understand safety information for medications, and help you teach patients about potential side effects of medications.

#19.  NURSING BAG (to keep your nurse supplies organized in one place)

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There are a lot of things nurses need to keep with them:  ID, wallet, nursing supplies, notebooks, planners, other personal items and nurse supplies that you might need.  Your nursing shifts will be stressful enough as it is, so you will want to keep all of your belongings organized.  A great nursing bag will help you keep all of your supplies in one place, so you don’t forget anything at home.

#20.  BADGE HOLDER

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Having a badge holder makes it easy for you to display your ID to patients and other staff members in the hospital.  Badge holders allow you to let others know who you are and they don’t get in the way of your work the way lanyards do.  There are also several personalized options to choose from.

#21.  COMPRESSION SOCKS

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If there is anyone who needs to be wearing compression socks, its nurses. After all, we are on our feet for 12 hours a shift!  Compression socks are so beneficial for nurses because they prevent or reduce varicose veins, they improve blood flow, and they decrease the risk of blood clots.  Many nurses even say that wearing compressions socks make their legs feel energized, even after a shift.

#22.  HYDRO FLASK WATER BOTTLE

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Many nurses don’t drink nearly enough water during their 12-hour shifts and end up going home wholly dehydrated.  Therefore, nurses need a great sealable water bottle with them for each shift.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is a high-quality water bottle that can be used for many years and still look brand new.  It is made out of food-grade stainless steel and is BPA free.  Also, it has excellent insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle.

But the best part about the Hydro Flask Water Bottle is the TempShield Insulation, which keeps beverages at the same temperature for many hours (hot drinks for 6 hours & cold drinks for up to 24 hours!). 

#23.  COFFEE MUG (with sealable lid)

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Regular coffee mugs won’t work for busy nurses working with patients.  Nurses, who are seldom in the same place for more than a few minutes, must have a mug with a sealable lid.

The Hydro Flask coffee mug is a popular choice among many nurses.  It has a leak-proof lid (when closed) for on-the-go activities.  Also, drinks stay hot up to 7 hours and cold up to 18 hours with vacuum insulation.  

#24.  LUNCH BAG

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“I just love eating hospital cafeteria food,” said no nurse ever.  Most nurses learn very quickly that they need to prepare and pack their food for two reasons – hospital food usually isn’t delicious, and packing a healthy lunch in advance ensures that the nurse will eat healthier throughout their shift.  Otherwise, when lunch comes, and they are so exhausted, there is a chance they might reach for some not-so-healthy options.

Use a lunch bag that is waterproof, leak-proof, super easy to clean and lightweight.   

#25.  NURSING SHOES

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Nurses are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces -especially in the hospital setting.  The floors are regularly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.  Nurses must have great shoes because not having them can be an occupational hazard.

Nursing shoes also need to give great support, protect your back, reduce stress on joints, and be comfortable to wear for long periods.

#26.  SPHYGMOMANOMETER

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A sphygmomanometer is a tool that nurses can use to take manual blood pressure measurements and to have an accurate, reliable instrument to diagnose hypertension accurately.  This is a great tool to have in case you need to get a manual blood pressure.

#27.  NURSE CLOGS

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Clogs are a staple of the nurse uniform.  They can provide nurses with better support to help them minimize foot, ankle, knee, and back pain, which is very important as nurses can spend long hours on their feet with little downtime.

#28.  INFRARED THERMOMETER

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Your hospital will have a specific type of thermometer that you must use on patients.  But as nurses, it is great to have a way to monitor a patient’s vital signs if we ever find ourselves in an emergency away from the hospital.  Having an infrared thermometer is a great non-invasive way to monitor a temperature away from the hospital.

#29.  PULSE OXIMETER

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The pulse oximeter is a non-invasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation.  If you work in a hospital or other healthcare facility, you will use your facility’s pulse oximeters.  However, many nurses have a supply kit in case they need to check a patient’s vital signs in an emergency away from the healthcare setting, in which case, a mobile pulse oximeter is a great tool to have.

#30.  LAPTOP COMPUTER

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Nurses are lifelong learners and need personal computers to research and study.  By achieving advanced certifications within your specialty, you can advance your career, earn more money, improve your nursing skills, and become an expert in your field.  In order to do that you need a laptop computer to do your work.  The healthcare environment is continually changing, and there is always something new to learn!

In conclusion

Nursing is a challenging profession, but if you work hard and have the tools you need to succeed, you will excel an continue to move your career in an upwards direction.  Stay organized, keep learning, and take care of yourself in the process (just like how you take good care of your patients).

Most of all, know that you are a valuable contributor to what has been considered the most trusted profession for decades.  Best of luck to you, nurse!

Additional recommended reading:

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10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts (in 2020)

10 Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts (in 2020)

Nurse moms are pretty incredible humans.

Being a nurse or a mom is hard work in and of itself.  Add the two together and you have one incredibly hard-working, compassionate, multitasking superhero with skills that can save lives.

This holiday season why not give gifts that recognize both talents?  The one that is raising children to be strong, capable adults and the one selflessly helping total strangers.  After all, there is a fair chance that many nurse moms are not being appreciated or recognized for the dedication and hard work they put in, day after day.

The motherhood/nurse combination is a challenging balance.    Next time you run into a nurse mom who looks a little tired, know there is a good chance she hasn’t slept in a week.  And give her a high-five.

We hope you enjoy your holiday season and spend lots of quality time with your loved ones!

*This post about gifts for nurse moms contains affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.

10 Fun Holiday Gifts For Nurse Moms

The Ultimate List Of Fun Holiday Nurse Mom Gifts

 

1.  I’m a Mom and a Nurse Nothing Scares Me Pink Mug

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2.  Keep Calm My Mom Is A Nurse Onesie

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3.  Keep Calm I’m A Nurse And A Mom Mug

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4.  Safety First, Drink With A Nurse 15 oz Wine Glass

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Additional recommend reading:

5.  I’m A Mom And Nurse Nothing Scares Me Shirt

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6My Mom Is A Nurse Dog T-Shirt

 

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7.  Boss Lady Mug

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8.  Wife Mom Nurse 16 oz Tumbler

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9.  Wife, Mom, Nurse Retractable Badge Reel

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10.  Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag For Women

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Additional recommended reading:

 

Top 10 Best Nurse Coffee Mugs (in 2020)

Top 10 Best Nurse Coffee Mugs (in 2020)

Coffee, anyone?  Yes, please.

Since becoming a nurse and the mother of two amazing little humans, my caffeine consumption has reached an all-time high.

I’ve been so tired for so long that I don’t even remember what my life was before I became a daily coffee consumer.  (Parenthood will do that to you!).

But being a tired nurse and mom is where life is for me at the moment.  Coffee for me, quite literally, is my lifeblood.  Not to mention, it brings me joy.

After all, they say that it’s the little things in life that make us the happiest, and for most of my mom and nurse friends, drinking a great cup of joe fits that statement perfectly!

Great coffee needs a great coffee mug

I appreciate having a great mug or travel container to drink coffee now that I am always on the go.  Mainly because nurses and moms know there is no time to sit and rest – there are just too many people to take care of!

I’m not even a little ashamed to say I have also become a bit of a coffee snob.  (Although I have recently switched it up a bit by adding matcha green tea into my caffeine regimen for a little extra antioxidant power.)

But developing my coffee habit isn’t the worst thing that could have ever happened.  After all, there is scientific evidence that drinking coffee is may be beneficial to overall health in many ways:

Coffee benefit #1. Drinking coffee may undo liver damage caused by booze.

Even though my college party days are long behind me, this was still great news to hear.  Researchers analyzed data from nine previously published studies with a total of more than 430,000 participants – and found that drinking two additional cups of coffee a day was linked to a 44% lower risk of developing liver cirrhosis!

Coffee benefit #2:  Coffee may help you live longer.

A Stanford University study that tracked 100 people over several years, and found that coffee drinkers tended to live longer than non-coffee drinkers.  The authors theorized that  increased caffeine consumption might counteract the “fundamental inflammatory mechanism associated with human aging.”

Coffee benefit #3:  Regular coffee consumption may be good for your heart and brain.

The American Heart Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that risk of heart failure or stroke went down 8 percent for each additional cup of coffee per day.

*This post about nurse coffee mugs contains affiliate links.  For more information, please see our disclosure page.

The top 25 best nurse coffee mugs:

Now that we know that coffee is not only essential for our daily function as nurses and also may benefit our brains and body, but there is also only one more thing left to do. And that is to find the best nurse coffee mugs to enjoy our delicious brew.

With no further ado and in no particular order, here are the top 25 best nurse coffee mugs!

#1.  I Will Stab You Mug

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#2.  Before Patients, After Patients 11oz Coffee Mug and Wine Glass Set

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#3.  Nurse Helping Hands Coffee Mug

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#4.  We Can’t Fix Stupid But We Can Sedate It Coffee Mug

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#5.  Cute Enough To Stop Your Heart, Skilled Enough To Restart It Nurse Coffee Mug

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#6.  Nurse Cause Badass Life Saver Isn’t An Official Job Title Nurse Coffee Mug


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#7.  I’m A Nurse What’s Your Superpower?

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#8.  Funny Nursing Student Coffee Mug

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#9.  I am A Mom And A Nurse Nothing Scares Me

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#10.  Please Do Not Confuse Your Google Search With My Nursing Degree

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Additional recommended reading:

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6 Best Nurse Pocket Organizers For Nursing Shifts

6 Best Nurse Pocket Organizers For Nursing Shifts

How do you keep your nursing accessories organized during a nursing shift?

If you are like many busy nurses, you may be stuffing your pockets – which isn’t very organized at all. Not to mention, it looks very unprofessional for a nurse to be shuffling through their pockets for one of many nurse tools and accessories they need throughout the shift.  (I’ve been that nurse too, believe me!)

The reality is that nursing shifts are already insanely busy as they are. Do you want to keep making a dozen extra trips around the unit for things you keep forgetting?

How many times have you had to walk back to the nurse’s station, supply room, or med room for things such as:

I can’t tell you how many times I had to leave a patient’s room to go back and find something that I had forgotten.  Especially in my early nursing career days.

Until one day, it finally dawned on me that many of these supplies could be kept organized right within an arms reach at all times.  I can’t even tell you how much time that saved me!

I was never a fan of the “fanny pack” look (although, believe it or not, fanny packs are coming back into style here in Los Angeles!).  But my goal has always been to provide excellent care to may patients, so if a “fanny pack” helps me achieve that, then I was all for it!

Besides, as a new nurse grad, I needed all the help and support I could get.  And now, almost eight years into my nursing career, I still use a nurse pocket organizer just like #3 on this list!

Have you ever thought about using a nurse pocket organizer or a fanny pack?

These are simple solutions to preventing unnecessary trips back to the supply room for random things you forgot to grab.

Being a great nurse involves managing your time well.  Nurses already have enough on their plates when taking care of patients during their shifts. Less unnecessary trips for supplies = more time for patient care.

Nurse pocket organizers also help keep nursing shifts less stressful.  Knowing you have the supplies you need within your reach at all times will not only keep you calmer in stressful situations, but you will appear more professional as well.

(This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

The best nurse pocket organizers for nurses:

1.  New Gear Medical – Hip Pack Organizer

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This product is one of the larger nurse pocket organizers on the market.  The nurses who have used this say they love it because they can keep everything need with them.

For those who want the extra space to carry more nurse accessories on them and even a small notebook, this one may be right for you.

More about this product:

  • Hands-free carrying system- keep key items at your fingertips
  • Dimensions: 14″ L x 7.5″ H, Weight: 1 lbs. – Fits up to a 44-inch waist
  • Antimicrobial technology
  • Water-resistant

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2.  Valencia Med 2 Sided – 9 Pocket Nurse Organizer Utility Belt

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This is product is also highly rated by customers for durability.  It is a more compact nurse pocket organizer – however, it still has nine pockets, including one zippered pocket (great for keeping cash & credit cards). You can see from the photo that it is still large enough to hold a cell phone.

More about this product:
  • Specifically designed for nurses
  • 9 Pockets (one zippered-two netted)
  • Belt length: can extend to 42 inches
  • Organizer size: 6 x 8 inches.
  • Double-Sided/Reversible- so you can wear on either side
  • (Items in the photo do not come with this product).
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3.  Prestige Medical Pink Belt Loop Organizer Kit

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Keep in mind that this product does not come with a belt, but it fits easily in most scrub top pockets or the cargo pocket of most scrub pants.  May work better for nurses who prefer not to have the traditional “fanny pack” appearance.  It does have a belt loop on the back that fits most belts.

This cute pink nurse pocket organizer is very compact- but just might be the right amount of space you need for your supplies.

This particular product also makes an excellent gift for a nursing student or new nurse graduate because it also comes with the products shown in the photo.

Also included in this nurse organizer:

  • 4 Pocket Pal with Belt Loop
  • Includes Scissors
  • Forceps
  • 3 Color Pen and Penlight

More about this product:

  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 4.5 x 0.5 inches

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4.  KangaPak Nursing Organizer Belt – 9 Pocket Utility Pouch

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For the nurse that wants a lot of storage – this is a nurse organizer, you may want to consider.  Many of the reviews mention that it can fit a cell phone as well as keys – along with other important nurse supplies needed during the workday.
Keep in mind that although it is made of durable material, the more you put in, the heavier it will get.   Also, it does not have skinny “pen-style” pockets – if that is important to you.   (Supplies in photo not included)
More about this product:
  • Sits on the waist
  • Has 9 mesh pockets so you can easily see everything inside
  • Elastic belt adjusts to most waistlines and moves with your body throughout the day -made of breathable, machine-washable canvas
  • Fits close to the body 
  • Dimensions: 9 × 8.5 × 2 inches, belt measures 24 inches at its shortest, 37 inches fully extended, weight 6.5 oz
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5.  Pocket Pal II Medical Instrument Organizer/Pocket Protector

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This product is a true pocket protector – it does not come with a belt, but it fits easily in most scrub top pockets or the cargo pocket of most scrub pants.

It also fits very well in lab coats – it is simple, and keeps your pockets clean and organized!  You won’t lose your pens with this nifty organizer.   It fits essential items that you need in your packets and makes them easy to find versus digging around in your pockets.

More about this product:

  • Snap open belt loop reinforced with hook and loop adhesive
  • Velcro restraining strap secures scissors
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6.  Cherokee Women’s Nurse Apron Organizer Belt

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This product had a lot of great reviews- and it comes in several other colors as well.   This apron-style nurse organizer easily helps to organize pens, highlighters, flushes, scissors, and alcohol pads right at your fingertips.  The belt is adjustable and fits unobtrusively on the hip.

More about this product:

  • Neoprene
  • Soft washable neoprene
  • Apron organizer belt
  • Has a 52-inch adjustable belt
  • Quick-release buckle
  • Has eight convenient pockets and one tape loop
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How do you keep your nurse accessories and supplies organized during nursing shifts?  We love hearing from readers – please leave a comment!

 

Additional articles you may be interested in:

9 Thoughtful Yet Practical Gifts For Nurses

9 Thoughtful Yet Practical Gifts For Nurses

(This post about practical gifts for nurses contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.)

Looking for a thoughtful yet practical gift for the nurse in your life?

Nurses do so much for patients without getting much (if any) appreciation for their incredibly hard and selfless work.  Giving a nurse a thoughtful and practical gift that they can use on the job lets them know that you appreciate how hard they work to help others during some of the worst times in their lives.  These gifts are perfect for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, Christmas, nursing school graduation, or any other special occasion.

Practical Gifts For Nurses:

1.  Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle

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Many nurses don’t drink nearly enough water during their 12-hour shifts and then go home wholly dehydrated.  Therefore, nurses need a good water bottle to bring to work with them every single day!   Water is essential for life and good health, which is why a quality Hydro Flask Water Bottle makes such a great gift for nurses of all experiences and specialties.  We must encourage our nurses to take as good care of themselves as they do their patients.  After all, when nurses can tend to their own self-care needs, they can give even better care to their patients.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is a high-quality water bottle that can be used for many years and still look brand new.  It is made out of food-grade stainless steel and is BPA free.  Also, it has excellent insulation, which prevents condensation from forming on the outside of the bottle.

But the best part about the Hydro Flask Water Bottle is the TempShield Insulation, which keeps beverages at the same temperature for many hours (hot drinks for 6 hours & cold drinks for up to 24 hours!). 

If there is one single practical gift that every nurse needs, it is an insulated water bottle!

2.  Contigo Stainless Steel Travel Coffee Mug

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Regular coffee mugs just won’t work for busy nurses working with patients.  For one, nurses are seldom in the same place for more than a few minutes.  And it would be great if their coffee could be the same temperature when they finally got back to take a sip of it!

The Contigo Coffee Mug is a popular choice among many nurses (myself included – I have had one for the last four years).  It has a leak-proof lid (when closed) for on-the-go activities.  In addition, drinks stay hot up to 7 hours and cold up to 18 hours with vacuum insulation.  This brand even comes with a lifetime warranty.

3.  Chicken Soup For The Soul: Inspiration For Nurses

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It is no secret that becoming a nurse is a personal calling and requires a lot of grit and compassion from those who enter the profession.  Nurses deal with patients in some of the worst times of their lives and deal with both life and death situations.  Therefore, it never hurts to share some inspiration with one!

Chicken Soup For The Soul:  Inspiration For Nurses consists of 101 heartwarming stories that encourage, inspire, and reassure nurses that their patients and families appreciate the nurse’s compassionate service.  Nurses can use all the help and encouragement they can get, and this book of personal stories helps remind nurses why they became a nurse in the first place.

4.  Raptor Shears

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Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears, and we use them frequently in emergency situations.  You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.    Also, the Raptor Shears have a 25-year limited warranty, which could last through a nurse’s entire medical career or longer.  This tool is an amazing and practical gift for a nurse.

The Rapture Shears are 6 tools wrapped into one:

  • Medical shears
  • Strap cutter
  • Ring cutter
  • Ruler
  • Oxygen tank wrench
  • Carbide glass breaker

 5.  Safety First, Drink With A Nurse Wine Tumbler


 

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If you have a wine-loving nurse in your life, then the Safety First, Drink With A Nurse Wine Tumbler just might be the perfect gift.  And there are over 14 colors to choose from.

It is vacuum insulated and designed for both cold and hot beverages – so you can drink the perfect temperature liquid all day long.  Also, the cup prevents any sweating on the outside of the cup.

6.  Vein Finder

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Starting IV’s is one of the most challenging and stressful clinical tasks that nurses will learn during the first few years in the profession.  A vein finder is a great gift for nursing students, new nurse graduates, and even seasoned nurses who need a little extra help with starting an IV.

For patients who are a difficult “stick” (as we call it in nursing), it is so helpful to have a vein finder in the back pocket.  This is a very practical gift for nurses because many patients need an IV to receive fluids and other medications.

7.  Cute Compression Socks

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Compression socks must be a part of every nurse’s uniform because they help keep nurse’s legs healthy!  Years of working on one’s feet for 12-hour shifts can be hard on the body and contribute to various venous issues.  Luckily, wearing quality compression socks can help nurses prevent varicose veins, leg swelling, and decrease muscle soreness.

They work by squeezing the blood in the legs like a garden hose back up the leg, thereby increasing blood circulation.  Many nurses even say that compression socks help keep their legs noticeably energized after a long shift.

By giving a nurse a set of compression socks, you are letting them know that you care about their health and well-being.  What a great message to send!

8.  A Funny Nurse Coloring Book (to help nurses manage their work stress!)

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If you are looking for a funny gift to make a nurse laugh, here it is!  Any nurse receiving a Nurse Coloring Book: Sweary Midnight Edition will find a little truth and humor within the pages.  After all, being a nurse can be very stressful, and a laugh-out-loud book that can be shared with others for hours can provide a lot of well-needed stress relief.  It would make a great gift for recent nurse graduates, new nurses in the field, or an experienced nurse as well!

9.  Nurse Lunch Bag

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Most nurses learn very quickly that they need to prepare and pack their own food for two reasons:  1) hospital food gets old quick and usually isn’t very tasty, and 2) packing a healthy lunch in advance ensures that the nurse will eat healthier throughout their shift.  Otherwise, when lunch comes and they are so exhausted, there is a chance they might reach for some not-so-healthy options.

The Baloray Lunch Bag is waterproof & leak proof.  This brand claims to keep food cold or warm for more than 6 hours.  It is also super easy to clean and is very lightweight.   

HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)

Additional Recommended Reading:

We hope you enjoyed this list of practical gifts for nurses and were able to find something for the awesome nurse in your life.   If you have any questions please leave a comment and we will get back to you!

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without!

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without!

I have a few favorite nurse essentials that I keep with me each day I go to work.

I am a registered nurse who has worked in several departments in the hospital setting taking care of ER, Med Surg, and ICU patients.  As a result, I have seen it all and then some.  And I still see new things that shock me every day.

I created this list of my favorite essentials I use as a nurse to help other nurses keep their professional nurse game on point.

Hospital corridor and nurse's station

(This post contains affiliate links.  You can find my disclosure page here.) 

12 Nurse Essentials I Can’t Live Without

 

 

#1.  Littman Stethoscope

I bought a 3M Littmann Classic in nursing school, and I have been using it ever since.  They are available in many different colors and have a “non-chill” rim, so you don’t shock your patients with a cold stethoscope.  Whether you are trying to obtain a manual blood pressure or listening to lung sounds, every nurse needs to have a stethoscope.

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#2.  Koala-Qlip Stethoscope holder

Keeping your stethoscope around your neck can get in the way sometimes.  I love the Koala-Qlip stethoscope holder because it attaches firmly to my scrubs and it takes the weight of the stethoscope off my neck.

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#3.  Nike Running Shoes

 

Nikes are my favorite shoes to wear for 12-hour shifts when I know I’m going to be on my feet all day long.  Wearing sturdy, no-slip shoes that help cushion your feet during 12-hour shifts is an absolute must!

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#4.  Compression Socks

 

Compression stockings are often overlooked as a way to prevent some of the chronic issues that come from working in a profession where you are on your feet for such long hours.  Wearing compression socks helps to prevent varicose veins, improve venous blood flow, decrease the risk of blood clots, and decrease swelling of the ankles and feet.  I have found that compression socks with 20-30mmHg are the right compression strength for me as a nurse.

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#5.  Apple Watch

At work, I use the Apple Watch as a stopwatch, a timer, and as an alarm to remind myself of tasks I might forget when my shift gets crazy busy.  I can also receive and send text messages on it without having to carry my cell phone with me.

But my favorite thing about the Apple Watch is that it records how much I stand, exercise, and move throughout my shift (it breaks them down into colorful rings)  and tells me how many total steps I get in a shift.  My record so far is 22,000 steps during a single shift!

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#6.  Underscrub T-Shirts

 

Comfortable under scrub t-shirts are great because it can get cold in the hospital.  This brand is especially great because they have thumb holes in the sleeves.  I have several so that I always have a clean one to put on under my scrubs.

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#7.  Insulated Coffee Mug

 

As a nurse and mom, I start my days very early, usually by 0530.  And then I’m usually on the road to get to work no later than 0600.  Which doesn’t leave a lot of time to sit for coffee.  I have used the same Contigo coffee mug for over a year, and it is still in great condition.  It is 20 oz, is stainless and has a lockable lid that is leak proof.  Best of all, it keeps my coffee hot for up to 7 hours!

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#8.  Hydro Cell Water Bottle

 

My Hydro Cell Water bottle is another item I have with me at all times.   It is 32 oz and has a leak-proof wide mouth lid.  Nurses often forget to drink enough water during busy 12-hour shifts, but having this water bottle helps me stay hydrated.

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#9.  Nursing Work Bag

 

I have this crossbody bag, which is technically not a bag that is just for nurses.  But I love the design.  I use it to hold my nursing badge, stethoscope, water bottle, coffee mug, breast pump, pens, and all work-related paperwork that I need.

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#10.  Nurse Lunch Bag

 

Making my lunch everyday has several benefits.  I eat healthier, I don’t reach for junk that is in the break room because I pack my healthy snacks, and I save a lot of money.  I’m also a foodie, and hospital food just isn’t my cup of tea.  So I pack my lunch in my favorite lunch bag every evening before my shifts, and I’m good to go.

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#11.  Raptor Trauma Shears

 

The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors.  But these functional and handy shears are 6 tools wrapped into one:

  • medical shears
  • strap cutter
  • ring cutter
  • ruler
  • oxygen tank wrench
  • carbide glass breaker

Many nurses I work with in the emergency room have the Raptor Shears and we use them frequently in emergency situations.  You can hook it to a belt or secure it using the pocket clip.   It also has a 25-year limited warranty and will last you throughout your nursing career or longer.  They also make a great nursing gift for a new graduate!

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#12.  Retractable Pen

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These retractable four-color pens are great in case you need something to stand out in your work notes.  Or use different colors for different patients when taking report.  These pens are also great for color-coding notes and flashcards for when you are studying for certifications!  I always have a few in my work bag and one on me while I am at work

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HEY NURSES!  Remember to sign up for your FREE COPY of “The Nurse’s Guide To Health & Self Care” E-book in the sign-up box below! (scroll down)

Additional Recommended Reading

What nurse essentials do you use at work that you can’t live without?  Leave a comment!