What’s in a Nurse’s Bag? 6 Must-have Items

What’s in a Nurse’s Bag?: 6 Must-have Items

Ever wonder why nurses always carry a big bag with them? Whether a nurse or a nursing student, having a bag full of essentials is part of your everyday life to get through the shift successfully. But what items should be inside a nurse’s bag? 

Having these items ready in our bag is more of a need than a want! Of course, we love accessories, but with them comes practical use.

You’ll never know when an emergency arises, so it’s best to be ready than sorry! Here are the six items we love to keep in our nursing bag. 

1. Trusty stethoscope and blunt-tip scissors

Nurses cannot go without their stethoscopes [1]. Although sometimes they get mistaken for being “the doctor,” – this tool is just part of our daily routine.

Besides, it is always good to have your stethoscope to use on patients during your assessment, checking vital signs, or when your patient’s condition changes.

The blunt-tip scissors come in handy in emergencies when a wound dressing is needed. It helps cut medications or clothes during emergencies.

2. Medical kit for personal use

When studying as a nurse, a headache, tummy ache, or cold can occur anytime. The same goes when you are a nurse on duty. Long shifts can cause fatigue and a few aches and pains in between.

Having a personal pharmacy kit is essential. This kit usually contains vitamins, meds for headaches, some balms for aches and pains, meds for allergies, or anything needed for your shift.

You may also find some lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, and other hygienic products that you use.


As a student nurse, I avidly collected colored pens for my notes [2]. I always had highlighters, pencils, erasers, liquid markers, etc. My pencil case is always full of them, and it looked like I had a stash of school supplies with me!

I’ve always thought it was just a thing I did, but I found out that my nurse friends did too. So, it is a nurse thing. Besides, these pens come in handy when taking notes or rewriting them in a way that you will understand.

Dry-erase markers are essential when correcting your patient’s information on whiteboards. 

4. Hand sanitizers or disinfectant alcohol

As a student nurse, I habitually carried a hand sanitizer wherever I went. I always prefer cleaning my hands with it even after I have washed them (to be extra clean).

So, even now, I still make sure that I have that in my bag. It is always a must to clean your hands before and after dealing with patients to minimize contact with germs, bacteria, or viruses.

5. Water bottles, candies, or snacks 

As a nurse, we are always on the go. Sometimes we forget to eat on time. Having snacks or candies in your bag can help spike your sugar levels when you are feeling low.

Of course, don’t forget your water bottle. HYDRATE. It is essential to hydrate at all times!

Our job needs our whole life force, so we must also care for ourselves. Having these in your bag will come in handy! 

6. Miscellaneous items

These could be your wallet, phone, car keys, extra socks (if needed), cologne, wet wipes, facial tissues, an iPad for your study notes, and many others. 

Now You Know What’s in a Nurse’s Bag! 

You see, we are prepared for anything! Our patients’ lives and the people around us matter. Having all these essentials with us helps deliver quality care to those in need.

Whether in a hospital setting or not, our hearts are ready to serve! 

Looking for more student resources? Check out these helpful links!


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