Nurse Must-Haves

If you were stranded on a remote island somewhere halfway across the world, and you were allowed 5 personal items of your choice, what would they be?? Just kidding, I’m not going to play this game with you. I will, however, tell you the five must-haves every nurse needs to get through her shift. And I mean NEED; as in you can’t get through your shift without them. So just keep a mental list in your mind, and run through it before each shift. You’ll be thanking me soon enough!


You can’t do your job if you don’t have scrubs. The end. Having a few sets of durable, stain resistant scrubs that can withstand all that goes on in a hospital setting; i.e. germs, blood, and a slew of other ‘not-too-pretty’ stuff, as well as rigorous washings, is a necessity. In fact, I can recommend the perfect set: the Cherokee Workwear 4801 mock wrap along with the Cherokee Workwear 4101 flare leg pant will serve you well, and both pieces are quite chic, to boot. Here’s a helpful hint: Keep a freshly laundered set of scrubs in your car or locker in the event that you need an emergency spare set!


People talk about ‘tools of the trade,’ and the tool of YOUR trade is none other than the stethoscope. Regardless of the setting you work in, you need a good, solid stethoscope; nothing cheap or disposable.  Listening to your patient’s lungs and heart is the ABC’s of a proper physical assessment, so make sure you’re doing it right!


You will be on your feet for a solid 12 hours, which warrants only the best footwear has to offer. Your shoes must be comfortable, durable, and supportive. What you can’t control is the fact that your feet will hurt when you get home; what you can control is how badly they’ll hurt. You may have to make a bit of an investment for a quality pair of nursing shoes, but it’ll be an expense well worth it.

Pens, Pencils and More:

Writing may be archaic these days, but you still need a functioning pen, pencil, Sharpie, and dry erase marker on hand at all times. The worst feeling ever is having to write something down and not having the proper writing tool. Even worse is having to run from station to station looking for that elusive pen, pencil or whatnot. The scrubs manufacturers make it easy for you these days, as most scrub tops and bottoms come equipped with multiple pen slots. So no more excuses!

Alcohol Swabs:

You work in a hospital setting, which means there are germs literally everywhere. Having a stash of alcohol pads on hand, to wipe down items like your stethoscope or an IV port, will help keep the environment as sterile as possible.

Here you have it: If you were stranded in a hospital and were told you must cover a shift, these are the 5 must-have items you would request!

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