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

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

What’s in a nurse’s bag you ask? Ever wonder why nurses always carry a big bag with them? Whether you are a nurse or a nursing student, having a bag full of essentials is part of your everyday life.  

The Must-Haves

Having these items ready in our bags is more of a need than a want! Of course, we do love accessories but along with it 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. 

Trusty stethoscope and blunt-tip scissors

Nurses cannot go without their stethoscopes [1]. Although sometimes they get mistaken to be “the doctor,” – this tool is just part of our daily routine. Besides, it is always good to have your stethoscope to use on patients, especially when checking vital signs. The blunt-tip scissors come in handy in cases of emergencies when a wound dressing is needed. It helps cut medications or clothes during emergencies. 

Medical kit for personal use

What’s in a nurse’s bag that you should not leave without? A medical kit. When studying as a nurse, a headache, tummy ache, or colds 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 headache, toothache, some balms for aches and pains, meds for allergies, or anything needed for your survival. You may also find some lotion, mouthwash, toothpaste, toothbrush, and other hygienic products that you use. 


As a student nurse, I was an avid collector of 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 that 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 it comes to correcting your patient’s information on whiteboards. 

An extra set of scrubs

Your shifts are unpredictable. One minute it’s boring, and the next thing you know, you’re dealing with an emergency! Things could get messy in a second, and if you are not careful, you might have bodily fluids smeared on your scrubs. That said, it’s always best to keep an extra pair in your bag or car just in case you need to change. Pretty practical, yeah? 

Hand sanitizers or disinfectant alcohol

When I was a student nurse, I developed the habit of carrying a hand sanitizer with me wherever I go. I always prefer cleaning my hands with it even after I have washed them (to be extra clean). So, even until 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 the contact of germs, bacteria, or viruses. 

Water bottle, 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. It is essential to hydrate at all times! The job we have needs our whole force, so we must also take care of ourselves. Having these in your bag will come in handy! 

Miscellaneous items

These could be your wallet, phone, car keys, extra socks (if you need them), 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 patient’s lives and the people around us matter. Having all these essentials with us helps deliver quality care to those in need. Whether we are in a hospital setting or not, our hearts are ready to serve! 


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