Must-Have Items to Get You Through Your Next Shift

When you’re a nurse, you always have something to do or somewhere to be. With so many patients to care for, you never know when you might need to reach for some medical supplies or a little something to get you through the day. You might not have time to run back to your locker or the break room when the going gets tough, so make sure your bag is stocked with these nursing essentials.

Nylon Gloves

While most exam rooms should have sanitary gloves, emergencies can happen fast. You might need to touch or examine a patient quickly, leaving you little time to track down a box of gloves. That’s why it’s best to keep a small pouch of gloves on you at all times.

Hand Sanitizer

Keeping a pouch of gloves on your person may not be enough to shield you from bacteria and illness-causing germs. Why risk infection when you can carry around a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer. Just a few drops and you can wipe those germs off your hands, holding you over until you have enough time to wash up or visit the restroom.


When we think of nurses, we tend to imagine a stethoscope hanging around their neck. But this isn’t just a stereotype, it’s a life-saving tool that will help you find out what’s going on inside someone’s body. If someone is having trouble breathing or complaining of chest pain, you’ll need a stethoscope to get to the bottom of the situation.


Monitoring the temperature of your patients is one of your many responsibilities as a nurse. A patient’s body temperature can tell us a lot about their current condition. Keep a small thermometer in your bag with a simple plastic top to keep it sanitary.


If you’re dealing with life-threatening situations and stressful emergencies as a nurse, you never know when you might need to stop a patient from bleeding in a pinch to prevent blood loss. You can easily carry a rubber tourniquet in your bag in case of emergencies. If a patient comes in bleeding out on the floor, you might not have time to find the closest tourniquet.

Pain Killers and Other OTC Pharmaceuticals

Nursing is a difficult job that can leave you feeling physically drained. Your feet might ache with sores or your back might feel like it’s about to snap in two. But you still have a job to do. That’s why it’s best to keep a small bottle of over-the-counter painkillers in your bag, so you can find relief from your aches and pain without having to ask your colleagues for some ibuprofen. You might also want some cold and flu medicine in case you start feeling under the weather. This will help you stop an illness in its tracks before it affects your ability to do your job.

Medical Tape

Sealing a wound is so much easier when you have a roll of medical tape. If a patient is bleeding or dealing with a life-threatening emergency, you can dress their wound quickly without having to search for supplies.

Being a great nurse means being prepared for the unexpected. Keep these items in your nursing bag, so you can do your job as quickly as possible.