The Ultimate Nursing Equipment List | Medical Gear & Tools Guide

This nursing equipment list contains standard gear registered nurses use

Each section also features a buyer’s guide if you want to learn about the items in this nursing equipment list.

Just click the link after the description for their complete reviews.

In addition, many reviews offer extra resources for your convenience.

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1. Work Scrubs

Work Scrubs

Medical scrubs are healthcare professionals’ most recognizable clothing on this nursing equipment list. Primarily, scrubs help medical professionals perform their job by improving comfort, functionality, and sanitization.

With that said, scrubs are also popular among the fashion-inspired nursing community.

Numerous brands offer countless styles for nurses who want functional and fashionable scrubs.

Moreover, most medical centers require scrubs because they provide several significant benefits compared to regular clothes.

Why Medical Scrubs Are Essential

  • Medical scrubs provide a professional uniform appearance (It’s easy to spot a medical professional)
  • They’re hygienic and antimicrobial
  • High-quality scrubs are comfortable to move in
  • Scrubs feature lightweight and breathable materials.
  • They’re also easy to clean and sanitation friendly
  • Well-designed medical scrubs don’t get in the way while working
  • They’re easy to remove at the end of the day

After wearing high-quality scrubs for several days, it’ll become apparent how much of a regular clothing hindrance.

Not only are casual jeans, skirts, and sweaters distracting, but they’re also germ collectors and a work hazard.

Conversely, scrubs are uniform, making healthcare professionals easily distinguishable from non-staff.

They’re also comfortable, sanitary, and work-friendly.

As a result, scrubs are superior to casual clothing.

2. Nursing Shoes

Nurse shoes

High-quality nursing shoes are invaluable for busy nurses that want to remain comfortable. For instance, nursing shoes provide exceptional protection, support, and comfort throughout the day.

Most nurses spend up to 12 hours or more on their feet.

Their work environment and responsibilities require standing, walking, and lifting.

As a result, nurses often end up tired and recovering from foot and back pain.

Therefore, comfortable, breathable, lightweight work shoes with excellent support are vital for optimal foot health.

It is especially true when wearing footwear over several months or years.

The more time nurses spend on their feet, the more impactful high-quality footwear is.

Conversely, poor-quality shoes cause back and foot pain, reduce safety and stability and wear out quickly.

Furthermore, they require frequent replacement due to their lack of high-quality materials.

Therefore, medical work shoes are essential and commonly worn by the nursing community.

Finally, while healthcare providers regularly choose clogs and work shoes, some nurses prefer tennis/athletic sneakers.

These shoes offer excellent support with lightweight construction and a comfortable midsole.

They also come in an assortment of fashionable designs to accommodate various nurses.

3. Protective Gear

Protective gear

Protective gear for nurses working in various settings provides a way to remain separated from exposure to harmful substances. It’s essential for those operating in busy environments and high-risk locations where germs and viruses are commonplace.

In this case, nurses use face masks, shields, disposable gloves, disinfectants, and other items to protect themselves.

As a result, they can provide adequate patient care without risking their patient’s health, coworkers, or themselves.

With that said, protective gear also provides a sense of relief among patients and staff.

It’s because protective gear reduces stress, discomfort, and health concerns.

Therefore, nurses can focus more on their work and less on transmitting viruses and infections.

List of Protective Gear

  • Medical gowns
  • Face masks
  • Protective glasses
  • Hair covers
  • Face shields
  • Disposable gloves
  • Disenfectancents

Lastly, many healthcare settings offer these supplies freely to keep nurses protected.

Combined, they allow head-to-toe coverage so that nurses can care for their patients as best as possible.

It also reduces the risk of nurse staff reductions due to illness or work fears.

4. Compression Socks | Aftermarket Insoles

Compression Socks

Compression socks provide numerous wellness and comfort benefits for nurses who use them daily. It includes reducing swelling, improving blood flow, and increasing support throughout the feet and legs.

As a result, compression socks allow nurses to focus more on work than discomfort.

Furthermore, high-quality compression socks alleviate venous disorders and minimize varicose veins’ painful symptoms.

Unfortunately, these conditions are common among people who walk and stand for significant periods.

Therefore, compression socks provide relief and comfort.

Compression socks are also great for commuters, travel nurses, and those with poor blood circulation.

It’s because they improve blood flow throughout the legs allowing for better oxygenation and comfort.

Besides compression socks, nurses use high-quality aftermarket insoles that offer orthotic support across the foot’s bottom.

Their design, shape, and functionality vary considerably depending on the insoles.

For instance, some orthotic insoles offer specific support for abnormally high arches.

Conversely, other insole designs support flat feet, plantar fasciitis, or other foot conditions.

Finally, aftermarket insoles improve well-being by offering extra cushioning than regular insoles.

When combined, compression socks and insoles are indispensable for nurses’ daily health.

Although they’re not for everyone, many nurses benefit from the comfort and support they offer.

5. Clinical Stethoscope


Professional stethoscopes are the most recognizable medical tool on this nursing equipment list. These devices are essential for observing and assessing patients’ health and monitoring their vitals.

Stethoscopes provide healthcare professionals with the quickest, least expensive, and most effective way to detect problems within a patient’s body.

Fundamentally, stethoscopes amplify and isolate high/low frequencies within the body.

It allows medical specialists to observe various heart, rhythmic, and lung sounds.

A high-quality stethoscope can detect conditions such as aortic stenosis, arrhythmia, bruits/vascular murmurs, valve leakage, and other detectable abnormalities.

As a result, stethoscopes are vital for diagnosing and treating severe conditions before becoming worse.

Like other medical equipment, a stethoscope’s quality varies greatly depending on the brand, build quality, and design.

Moreover, stethoscopes feature designs created for specific purposes and specialties.

It includes stethoscopes created for general care, cardiology, pediatric care, emergency care, and entry-level/student budget models.

For registered nurses, picking the right stethoscope impacts their daily performance.

As a result, a stethoscope’s ability to correctly detect specific sounds and frequencies significantly impacts particular fields.

Therefore, nurses must select a stethoscope based on their profession and specialty to ensure that the acoustic performance and build quality exceed their expectations.

6. Sphygmomanometer


Medical sphygmomanometers allow nurses and healthcare providers to monitor a patient’s blood pressure and heart rate. As a result, they can better observe heart health and identify medical conditions.

Besides, sphygmomanometers provide an inexpensive assessment method compared to other medical equipment.

When combined with a stethoscope, they greatly enhance health monitoring capabilities.

Overall, sphygmomanometers present various functions for pediatric patients to adult care.

They offer various pump types, control configurations, cuff sizes, gauges, and premium materials, depending on the design.

Although most healthcare professionals find standard sphygmomanometer designs perfectly viable, their quality can vary significantly.

Therefore, healthcare professionals must ensure the device is constructed with high-quality components and calibrated correctly.

Furthermore, medical practitioners may opt for specific devices due to their brand, build quality, and additional features.

Besides sphygmomanometers, healthcare providers and consumers use blood pressure monitors.

These devices provide an alternative for measuring blood pressure.

Although blood pressure monitors have advantages, there are trade-offs compared to sphygmomanometers.

With that said, both devices are perfectly viable and have their benefits.

However, users must understand the similarities and differences to determine the best one for their needs.

7. Work Bag | Backpack

Work Bag

Medical bags and backpacks are essential to the nursing community. They allow nurses to quickly and efficiently carry their crucial medical equipment.

A functional work bag offers innovative organization and optimizes items quickly accessed when needed.

Because nurses carry various medical equipment, their work bags must be large enough to accommodate their personal needs.

For students, this means owning a spacious backpack to support their school gear.

It includes books, binders, laptops, stethoscopes, clothing, and writing utensils.

Alternatively, working nurses must select a medical bag or tote for their work equipment and essentials.

It includes a stethoscope, bandage scissors, dressings, a work planner, saline flushes, and lunch, among other gear.

Some professionals prefer a backpack because of its massive compartment space and hands-free design.

The following list includes everyday items inside a nurse’s work bag for daily use.

Indispensable Items Nurses Carry Regularly

  • A medical planner
  • Books
  • Stethoscope
  • BP apparatus
  • Clothing
  • Band aide’s
  • Dressing/bandage scissors
  • Tourniquet
  • Thermometer
  • Tongue depressor
  • Pulse oximeters
  • Writing utensils
  • Medical clipboard
  • EKG ECG telemetry calipers
  • Hand sanitizer/alcohol wipes, lotion, and other sanitary items
  • Saline flushes
  • Smartphones/tablets and other electronics
  • Medical Watch
  • Retractable tape measure
  • Food and snacks (lunch items)
  • Water bottle

Consequently, managing all the gear nurses carry daily would be challenging without a functional bag.

Being able to carry items protectively ensures they are safe, always within reach, and readily useable.

Workbags allow nurses to remain mobile, focus on tasks, and stay prepared!

Finally, some nurses use fanny packs for work due to their small size and capacity to efficiently store medical essentials.

8. Medical Books | Educational Guides

Medical Book

Instructional books and medical guides are vital for nurses who want to perform well in school and work. Some essential books include anatomy and physiology, medical reference guides, drug dosage handbooks, and pocket guides.

Consequently, they provide invaluable information to help nurses make better-educated decisions and avoid medical mistakes.

Depending on the nurse’s experience, education level, and specialty, the books best suited for them will vary.

For example, a helpful reference book will help professional nurses follow the most reliable medical procedures.

It also provides quality healthcare guidelines and improves patient care through research and best healthcare practices.

Alternatively, a medical drug guide will help nurses understand the proper use of drugs/medications and their reactions,

As a result, many nurses carry handbooks and pocket guides to remember important healthcare information.

That way, they always make the best decisions for a given scenario.

Educational books provide vital information, advice, and solutions for students’ future careers as professional nurses.

It includes anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, NCLEX-RN exam review books, nursing memoirs, and numerous others.

List of Essential Books for Nurses

  • Instructional/college course books
  • NCLEX review books
  • Cheatsheets
  • Drug reference handbooks
  • Entrance exam study guides
  • Nurse memoirs

Ultimately, medical books assist nurses with their education/experience at each healthcare level.

They help nurses follow proper healthcare guidelines to ensure patients receive the best care possible.

Therefore, most professional nurses have a book or two nearby for educational and reference material.

Overall, they’re an exceptional reading companion for any professional that wants to perform well and minimize potential medical errors.

9. Smartphone | Tablet


Technology such as smartphones has become indispensable to many professionals’ daily work lives. For example, these tools allow nurses to stay organized, manage their schedules, and track significant assignments.

They also ensure nurses get reminders, receive notifications, and remain connected with other healthcare professionals.

As a result, nurses can better remain productive throughout the day.

For those monitoring patients, smartphones provide valuable reference materials.

They allow nurses to look up diseases and disorders and stay updated with the latest information.

In short, smartphones have become an invaluable tool in a nurse’s arsenal for time management, education, communication, and coordination.

With that said, tablets also serve as educational resources. They allow for better organization, record-keeping, and education development.

Moreover, tablets educate patients on complex procedures and interventions by simplifying complicated topics.

As a result, healthcare provider performs their tasks easier and more effectively while patients feel safer about procedures and evaluations.

New applications allow excellent utility, health tracking, record keeping, and communication.

That said, applications must meet the proper criteria for patient safety standards.

It includes HIPPA compliance for data security, protection, and encryption. After all, maintaining patient privacy and security is a must.

10. Medical Watch


Nurses have to be highly coordinated when it comes to patient health. It’s especially true when performing assessments, monitoring vitals, managing records, administering medications, and multitasking.

As a result, having a real sense of time is necessary for this profession.

Consequently, losing time or recording the incorrect timestamps for patient records/charts can negatively impact patient health and work performance.

It’s why medical watches are an essential tool within the nursing community.

Without medical watches, tracking specific tasks and patient statuses would be difficult.

Ultimately, It’s a tool used to track various responsibilities and tasks so that nurses stay on course and provide excellent patient care.

When buying a watch, the most critical factors are battery life, time accuracy, hypoallergenic properties, and an easy-to-read display.

Furthermore, the watches vary significantly from standard two-hand designs to lanyards, smartwatches, and high-end mechanical watches.

With that said, many nurses are becoming accustomed to using smartwatches for work and college.

It’s because smartwatch technology provides excellent utility for daily use.

Their ability allows quick communication, health tracking, reminders, note-taking, and timers to provide helpful information.

In short, smartwatches present glanceable data that’s beneficial without being distracting.

11. Medical Penlight


Penlights play an integral role in the healthcare field. Primarily they allow healthcare providers to check and gauge pupil dilation/response. They also enable medical professionals to examine the throat and certain wounds.

It allows them to better understand their patient’s physical and cognitive health.

Accordingly, penlights enable healthcare providers to identify whether their patient is conscious or has cognitive issues.

Penlight may be combined with a tongue depressor during oral assessments to observe the throat.

As a result, nurses can perform assessments while remaining hygienic and professional.

By quickly assessing a patient’s health, penlights give nurses a better understanding of their overall condition.

Therefore, they can determine which questions to ask and medical treatments to follow to improve their patient’s health.

12. Writing Utensils


Writing supplies is essential for filling out medical forms, updating records, and completing paperwork. They also help nurses keep track of their patient’s conditions to monitor and manage their progression safely.

Therefore, high-quality writing utensils are vital for performing critical daily routines.

Consequently, the lack of quality writing tools leads to inaccurate, hard-to-read record-keeping and time management.

In short, nurses cannot correctly assess, track, and treat patients’ health without adequately documenting patients’ medical information.

They also wouldn’t easily organize the various tasks they are responsible for daily.

As a result, having a helpful writing tool nearby is essential for performing work duties effectively and efficiently.

13. Medical Nursing Clipboard

Medical clipboard

Clipboards serve several vital functions within the healthcare setting. For instance, clipboards provide privacy for a patient’s health and well-being.

High-quality medical clipboards allow for better concealment by covering sensitive/personal records.

Clipboards also allow healthcare specialists to carry their essentials and paperwork effectively.

As a result, note-taking, paperwork organization, and document signing are much more manageable.

Finally, clipboards implement important medical reference material and house essential medical items.

It includes penlights, bandage scissors, calculators, writing utensils, and other valuable medical equipment.

Over the years, medical clipboards have evolved in design and function.

It includes folding capabilities, an ultra-lightweight design, a protective gloss covering, medical reference material, and individual compartment spaces for specific items.

The best clipboards offer a combination of the features mentioned above. They also meet HIPPA compliance for patient safety and privacy.

As a result, performing standard work routines is more efficient, allowing for a productive daily experience.

In the end, nurses rely on clipboards to get work done in the most effective way possible.

14. Dressing Scissors | Trauma Shears

Bandage scissors

Medical scissors are tools used to cut bandages and medical tape. Fundamentally, they’re essential equipment for nurses that need to replace wound dressings and bandages.

Trauma shears provide patient care during emergencies.

Essentially, they’re used to remove clothing, cut seatbelts, sever wires/ropes, and remove other materials from the body.

Consequently, they restore blood flow when fabrics cut off circulation and remove materials that prevent access to vital body parts.

While these tools vary in size and shape, they’re typically compact and feature steel/titanium construction.

These scissors provide easy carrying and cut-through fabrics and rugged textiles.

Furthermore, high-quality medical scissors utilize rust-resistant, antimicrobial treatment.

They also have a non-stick surface coating to prevent them from getting stuck or sticky from bandage residue.

Some blades feature an angled design and a blunted, rounded tip.

As a result, the blade can slip underneath a bandage or clothing while protecting the patient’s skin.

Lastly, the most reliable scissors feature durable, comfortable handles that allow an easier cut.

Therefore, nurses won’t struggle to cut through rigid materials or remove bandages.

Altogether, these features make bandage scissors and trauma shears essential tools.

Their small size, angular shape, protective blades, and durable construction create a designated medical field tool.

15. Blood Pressure Monitor

Blood pressure monitor

BPMs (Blood pressure monitors) observe blood pressure, heart rate, and vital changes over time. As a result, some nurses carry these devices to check their patient’s vitals quickly.

That way, they always have access to healthcare data necessary to ensure adequate patient health.

These devices are a suitable alternative to sphygmomanometers or other blood pressure apparatuses.

Nurses may utilize blood pressure monitors to perform readings on the go.

For example, when working at a patient’s residence or nursing home.

Beyond being used for professional purposes, consumers commonly use blood pressure monitors at home.

Essentially, they allow consumers and patients to monitor their health regularly.

As a result, they can make healthcare changes and contact a medical professional to assess their condition if their vitals are abnormal.

While blood pressure monitors aren’t sphygmomanometer replacements, they’re a helpful alternative when other devices aren’t available.

Moreover, their easy-to-use design, data collection capabilities, and vital historical recording make them great for tracking changes over time.

With that said, nurses don’t use these devices as frequently as sphygmomanometers.

16. Digital Thermometer

Digital thermometer

Thermometers allow nurses to check a patient’s body temperature quickly. That way, nurses can quickly assess and treat potential health concerns.

Because digital thermometer quality varies, ensuring accuracy and consistency is essential.

For example, a thermometer’s technology, build quality, and measuring method impact its reliability.

Therefore, determining the most reliable thermometers is essential for obtaining precise readings.

Digital thermometers utilize several reading techniques to measure body temperature accurately.

It includes reading temperature via the mouth, forehead, ear, or rectal opening.

However, most clinical specialists agree that oral and rectal readings are accurate.

To provide the best care, nurses must replace the tips after each use with sanitized ones to prevent transferring germs.

Beyond that, oral or rectal thermometers only work for that particular body part.

In short, thermometer placement is not interchangeable.

Consumers, businesses, and patients use digital thermometers to monitor temperature changes.

As a result, they’re top-rated devices for tracking vital health. They’re also inexpensive, with models selling as low as $20.

Nonetheless, some designs sell for several hundred dollars on the high-end.

For instance, Welch Allyn sells a high-end clinical-grade thermometer to hospitals, doctors’ offices, and clinics for a few hundred dollars.

17. Pulse Oximeter

Pulse oximeter

Nurses use pulse oximeters to monitor pulse rates and oxygen saturation levels. Athletes and consumers who want to track their progress also use pulse oximeters.

These devices can be placed on a patient’s finger or arm to acquire vital readings quickly.

As a result, nurses can obtain basic health assessments to determine health concerns or vital abnormalities.

Furthermore, their portability makes them ideal for nurses to obtain relevant vital readings promptly.

Conversely, high-end models provide greater accuracy and feature like continuous monitoring, history recording, handheld operation, and wrist/arm mounting.

Finally, hospital-grade oximetry devices offer the best performance and other equipment to monitor and track patient vitals.


As with blood pressure monitors and sphygmomanometers, these devices allow nurses to understand an individual’s heart health.

However, pulse oximeters only track oxygen saturation and heart rate.

Therefore, other tests may require an accurate heart health assessment/diagnosis.

18. Hand Cream

Hand cream

Without a doubt, hand cream is prevalent in the nursing community. Consequently, hand cream keeps nurses’ hands moisturized, youthful and comfortable.

Nurses wash and sanitize their hands, leaving them dry, cracked, and stressed.

Various brands offer hand creams with nutrient-dense chemicals that speed recovery, minimize dryness, and improve hand health.

Not only does this allow for better moisturization it also reduces the risk of infection.

For instance, nurses with cracked, bleeding hands and skin wounds are more likely to be infected.

Therefore, maintaining proper moisture minimizes opportunities for cracks and broken skin.

As a result, nurses often rely on high-quality moisturizers to remain healthy and protected.

With that said, nurses must use moisturizers with little or no odor.

The chemical smell can negatively impact patients with sensitive noses and conditions.

Furthermore, nurses must choose hand creams with proper moisture levels.

For instance, oily lotions will leave the skin greasy, potentially leading to work hazards.

Conversely, low-quality lotions won’t provide adequate moisturization leaving hands dry and unprotected.

19. Hand Sanitizer | Antiseptics

Hand sanitizer

Finally, this nursing equipment list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning hand sanitizers, antibacterial chemicals, and antiseptics. Hand sanitization is necessary to prevent germs and harmful materials from transferring between individuals.

It’s essential because hospital settings deal with ill patients, staff, and other individuals.

Therefore, utilizing antibacterial chemicals is a vital component of all healthcare settings.

Not only do they improve sanitization, but they also give patients and healthcare professionals peace of mind.

In addition to ensuring proper health, antibacterial chemicals and soaps keep clothing and medical tools clean.

It’s imperative when interacting with patients as clothing commonly transfers germs and viruses.

Lastly, depending on the healthcare center a nurse works for, they may carry their hand sanitizer or be provided by their job.

Besides, most facilities and clinics provide numerous cleaning stations to ensure proper sanitary guidelines.

Where To Buy Nurse Equipment

Although this nursing equipment list provides valuable tools, it’s important to mention where to purchase these products.

As a result, this section helps you determine where to buy nurse equipment.

Fundamentally, each location has its unique benefits and limitations. Therefore, it’s up to you to determine which place is best.

Those interested in nurse gear can shop at numerous online e-commerce websites and retailers.

For example, Amazon, Allheart, Scrubs and Beyond, and Walmart offer various medical-focused essentials.

Consequently, these stores are excellent for those that want variety, online descriptions, and customer reviews.

It allows customers to consider various items and their features carefully.

It also allows customers to shop from home, so they don’t have to travel to buy what they need.

With that said, numerous physical stores and departments also sell nurse equipment.

It includes Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Scrubs and Beyond, Work ‘N Gear, and medical stores.

Consequently, shopping at a local retailer allows you to consult a specialist for guidance and customer support.

It also allows you to use the product immediately instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail.

Places To Buy Nurse Equipment

  • Amazon
  • Allheart
  • CVS
  • Medical equipment stores
  • Scrubs and Beyond
  • Walgreens
  • Walmart
  • Work ‘N Gear


I hope this helpful nursing equipment list provides value for your work/educational profession.

If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you shared this with anyone who would benefit from the information.

Also, the article about nursing school supplies for students provides a survival list for busy learners attending universities.

While nurses use countless items regularly, this list features the most common and well-known gear.

Various professional and student nurses carry many items in this nursing equipment list.

Notably, they contribute to the work efficiency and performance of nurses.

Whether it’s clothing, a stethoscope, a watch, or technology, each piece of gear is a vital component in healthcare.

These tools allow nurses to remain connected, healthy, sanitary, and informed.

They also ensure proper patient care by assessing, monitoring, and record-keeping.

In short, nurses’ jobs would be less connected, more complex, stressful, and complicated without these tools.