As a nurse, you are constantly on the go and need to be prepared for any situation that may arise during your shift. Being equipped with the right tools is essential so that you can complete all tasks expected of your role, from dealing with emergencies to providing comfort and care to patients. These items not only help improve patient care but also make your job easier and more efficient.

To ensure you're prepared, review these five must-have items that all nurses should always carry with them. Whether you are a new nurse just starting out or an experienced one looking for some tips, read on as we uncover these invaluable essentials every nurse needs in their arsenal.

Comfortable Shoes

Nurses are on their feet for long hours, so investing in a comfortable, supportive pair of shoes is essential. Try out various styles and brands to find the perfect fit for your feet. Not only will comfortable shoes help prevent foot pain, but they will also reduce the risk of developing long-term health issues linked to poor footwear choices.


A high-quality stethoscope is an indispensable tool for nurses. Used for everything from monitoring vital signs to detecting heart and lung abnormalities, a reliable stethoscope can significantly impact your ability to provide excellent patient care. Invest in a durable tool that will last throughout your nursing career.

Nursing Clipboards

Nursing clipboards are a must-have for any nurse. These handy tools help keep all their essential paperwork and notes organized and easily accessible. Choose a nursing clipboard with storage compartments, ensuring you have extra space for your pens, ID, and other small items. It would be best if you also considered looking for clipboards with quick-reference guides, such as medication conversions or lab values, as this will make them even more useful during your shift.


A penlight is another must-have tool for nurses. Useful for assessing patients' neurological statuses, checking pupils, and illuminating darkened areas, a good penlight is essential in your nursing arsenal. When searching for this tool, make sure to look for a reusable penlight with an LED light or one that is specifically designed for medical professionals.

Hand Sanitizer and Lotion

Proper hand hygiene is crucial for nurses to prevent the spread of infection. Having hand sanitizer within easy reach is a great way to ensure you're keeping your hands clean on the go. Additionally, since constant hand washing can lead to dry, cracked skin, it's essential to keep a bottle of moisturizing lotion nearby to keep your hands healthy and soft.

As nurses, we carry a great responsibility to provide the best care for our patients. And having the right tools and essentials at our fingertips is crucial in ensuring their well-being. Whether you're just starting your nursing journey or have been in the field for years, make sure to equip yourself with these five items that are must-haves for nurses.