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 everyday!  That is why it is so important to be prepared with the right nurse supplies to succeed no matter what happens.

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 Litmann 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.


#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.


#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!

#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 is the right compression strength for me as a nurse.

#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!

#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 them in multiple colors and I have several so that I always have a clean one to put on under my scrubs.

#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 and has a lockable lid that is leak proof.  Best of all it keeps my coffee hot for up to 7 hours!

#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.

#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.


#10.  Lunch Bag

Making my own lunch everyday has several benefits.  I eat healthier, I don’t reach for junk that is in the break room because I pack my own 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.


#11.  Raptor Trauma Shears

The Raptor Shears look like a fancy pair of scissors.  But these functional and handy shears are actually 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!

#12.  Retractable Pen

These retractable 4 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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Additional Recommended Reading

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

10 Best Nike Shoes For Nurses In 2019

10 Best Nike Shoes For Nurses In 2019

(This article about the best Nike shoes for nurses contains affiliate links.  You can find our disclosure page here.)

Its no secret that nurses are on their feet for up to 12 hour nursing shifts (or longer!).

Which is why it is so important that nurses wear shoes that are able to support their intensive and often arduous nursing shifts.  (And keep them safe in the process!).

Having a great nursing shoe can make all the difference in how good you feel after a long 12 hour shift.  Foot pain, back pain and achy joints are just a few of the side effects that many nurses deal with on a regular basis.

And having the proper footwear can make all the difference in the world.

What Makes A Great Nursing Shoe?

Here are a few things your nursing shoes need to do for you as a nurse:

  • Give good support
  • Protect your back
  • Reduce stress on joints
  • Be slip resistant
  • Be comfortable
  • Be stylish (OK so this one isn’t going to help you physically, but it is nice to look great in your nursing uniform!)

Not wearing a slip resistant nursing shoe is an occupational hazard.

Nurses are frequently walking around on hard and sometimes wet surfaces.  Especially in the hospital setting.  The floors are constantly being cleaned in between patients, and there are occasional spills that can sometimes result in unintended nurse falls.

In fact, some facilities even pay for nurses to receive a new pair of nursing shoes every 6 months!  In turn, this helps protect nurses from injuries that could have otherwise resulted in and injury or even disability from work.

Nursing shoes must be slip resistant.  This is a non-negotiable when it comes to choosing a great nursing shoe.

I have been wearing NIKE shoes at the hospital for as long as I have been a registered nurse and I recommend them to other nurses looking for great support and durability.   After all, our jobs are highly physical and we need all the help we can get!

The NIKE shoes that made this list are offered in several  different colors so if you love the style but not the shade then find the color that suits you!


Wall of NIKE shoes

The best NIKE shoes for nurses!

Top 10 Best Nike Shoes For Nurses

The following list of Nike shoes are supportive and can help absorb the impact of walking on hard surfaces all day.   They are great shoes for nurses because they have the potential to actually keep nurses safer from untended injury and to top it off they look cool too!

In addition, many of these styles are offered in white for nurses who prefer a more traditional nursing uniform.

1.  Nike Women’s Free RN 2018 Shoe

When it comes to picking a great pair of nursing shoes, impact absorption, secure fit, and flexibility are very important aspects to consider.

The Nike Women’s Free Running 2018 Shoe is great for nurses who spend 12+ hours a days on their feet, as I do as an ER nurse.  And this shoe comes in over 25 different colors to boot!

Features of the Nike Womens’s Free RN 2018 Shoe:

  • Synthetic and mesh
  • Flexible shoes with an expandable outsole to allow your foot to move naturally 
  • Breathable fabric in the forefoot and internal sleeve helps keep your feet cool and comfortable
  • Supportive fit:  strong, lightweight cables provide support and secure fit
  • Soft, responsive Lunarlon cushioning helps absorb impact.  
  • Offered in several colors

2.  Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Running Shoe

This shoe is great for the cross-fit type of workout, which is why they also make a great nursing shoe.  The Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Shoes provide a level of balance and sturdiness that many other shoes do not.   They offer a stable heel and flexible forfoot which make moving in many directions much easier.

Features of the Nike Women’s Metcon 4 Running Shoe:

  • Mesh
  • Shaft measures approximately Low-Top” from arch
  • Optimal durability
  • Flywire cables give a supportive fit
  • Drop-in midsole offers a stable heel with a flexible forefoot.
  • Firm rubber in the heel provides durable stability for high-intensity intervals.
  • Available in several colors

3.  Nike Women’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe


Many nurses say that these are the best shoes for RN’s on the market.  Not only are they a durable and quality made shoe shoe, but when they finally do wear out, many nurses purchase them a second time.

If your feet are consistently tired after being on your feet for 12+ hours a shift these are a great shoe to consider.  As an added bonus, the Nike Women’s Revolution 3 Running Shoes are cute outside of the workplace as well.  You can wear them with almost anything, from athletic wear to skinny jeans!

Features of the Nike Women’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe:

  • Rubber sole
  • Mesh upper for optimal breathability
  • Soft foam midsole delivers lightweight, responsive cushioning
  • Rubber outsole offers excellent traction
  • Underlays in the vamp and toe tip offer support and structure
  • Horizontal bellows are cut into the foam for added response
  • Available in several colors

4.  Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Train Shoe

These shoes are perfect for nurses who are constantly on the move as well as for the gym on your days off.  They offer great support, cushioning and durability.

As a cross training shoe the Nike Women’s Flex Supreme Shoes are designed for moving in multiple different directions, which is something nurses do all day long!

Features of the Nike Women’s Flex Supreme TR 5 Cross Train Shoe:

  • Mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Dynamic and supportive fit
  • Anatomically-placed foam pods on either side of the inner heel provide comfort and prevent heel slippage
  • Flexibility and 360-degree movement for a variety of training activities
  • Dual-density foam is fused together to provide customized cushioning where you need it most
  • The upper layer offers soft, comfortable support while the lower layer, which also doubles as an outsole, provides durable cushioning
  • Available in several colors

The Nike Women’s Free RN Fly Running Shoe is a great choice for active people, especially nurses!  But main reason this shoe made the list is that they have a zip pocket on the back to help your carry keys or money.

Nurses can wear these durable and comfortable shoes at work and for an outdoor run on their days off.  And they come in 18 pretty colors to chose from.

Features of the Nike Women’s Free RN Fly Running Shoes:

  • Synthetic
  • Imported
  • Shaft measures approximately Low-Top” from arch
  • Dri-FIT fabric to wick sweat away and help keep you dry and comfortable
  • Elastic waist with interior draw-cord – to ensure you get the best possible fit and comfor
  • Reflective strips on the side-seams to help you stay visible in poor weather conditions
  • Flat-seam construction to minimise chafing and give you a much comfier run
  • Zip pocket on the back to help you carry keys, money or an MP3 player
  • Available in several colors

6.  Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Running Shoe


The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Running Shoe has great cushioning and are often worn by runners training for and running in marathons.  They have great cushion and arch support without being too heavy.

In addition, the cushion provides additional support for the knees and ankles.  That is why these shoes are also great for nurses who often walk 15,000-20,000 steps or more in a single shift.  If pink is not your color, there are over 25 other great colors to choose from.

Features of the Nike Womens’s Air Zoom Pegasus 34 Running Shoe:

  • Synthetic-And-Mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Flymesh upper construction
  • Reflectivity on the heel-  great for evening or early morning runners
  • Fitsole sockliner conforms to the shape of your foot
  • Premium Cushioning
  • Available in several colors

The waffle outsoles on the Nike Women’s Are Max Running Shoes are great for durability and multi-surface traction.  This feature is especially helpful for nurses who are more frequently exposed to walking over wet floors and need a more slip resistant shoe.

These shoes made the top 10 list because of their durability, supportive fit and floor traction.

Features of the NIKE Women’s Air Max Running Shoe:

  • Synthetic sole
  • Adaptive, supportive fit.
  • Plush foam and mesh tongue for breathable comfort
  • Midsole flex grooves provide greater forefoot flexibility
  • Waffle outsole for durability and great multi-surface traction
  • Reflective details enhance visibility in low light
  • Available in several colors

8.  Nike Women’s Air Max Sequent 3 Running Shoe

The Nike Women’s Air Max Sequent Shoe is an absolute favorite NIKE shoe for nurses.  Not only are they stylish but they have a partial bootie which gives them a more secure feel and fit.  Which is essential for nurses who are on their feet for long 12 hour shifts.

They are also lightweight and offer great cushioning – a helpful solution for achy joints and sore feet!

Features of the Nike Women’s Air Max Sequent 3 Running Shoes:

  • Rubber sole
  • Lightweight stretch-knit upper expands and contracts with your foot for adaptive comfort
  • Partial bootie design for a secure fit and feel
  • Flywire cables deliver a secure locked-in fit
  • Injected Phylon midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • U-shaped Max Air unit provides responsiveness in the heel

Note:  these Nike shoes are my absolute favorite!  Who knew that Nike made such cute slip resistant shoes that are also comfortable enough to move around in all day?  

9.   Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero 13 Running Shoe


The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes are very sturdy, durable shoes, which is exactly what the busy nurse needs.   In addition, the NIKE Women’s Air Zoom Vomero Shoes offer soft, push cushioning – which can help with sore joints and tired feet.

Features of the Nike Wome’s Air Zoom Vomero 13 Running Shoe:

  • Synthetic-And-Mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Flywire cables wrap the midfoot for supportive, custom lockdown
  • Plush collar for a soft, comfortable fit
  • Lunarlon foam midsole for soft, plush cushioning
  • Rubber outsole for durable traction
  • Available in several colors

10.  Nike Women’s Air Max Motion LW Running Shoes


The reviews on the Nike Women’s Air Max LW Running Shoes speak volumes.  Customers use phrases such as “I love these shoes,”  “super comfortable,” and “I just got my second pair!”

Its a great feeling to know you found a great nursing shoe that you can stick with over the years as a nurse.  Because lets be honest, nurses are on there feet more then any other occupation.  And we need to be taking better care of our feet, joints and backs.

These are very modern looking shoes that make a statement for both style and practicality.

Features of the Nike Womens’ Air Max LW Running Shoes:

  • Crafted with a mesh upper for lightweight breathability
  • Forefoot flex grooves for natural range of motion
  • Durable rubber outsole for multi-surface traction
  • No-sew Swoosh design trademark and eyestays for a clean look
  • Visible Max Air unit provides all-day comfort
  • Molded details on the heel counter for a modern look

Additional recommended reading:

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