Seven Essential Nursing Supplies Every Nurse Needs

  • 03 December, 2021

If you've ever been into a doctor's office, you've surely seen the clear glass containers full of tongue depressors, band-aids, and cotton gauze. These supplies are staples in most medical examination rooms, but medical professionals will typically bring supplementary equipment or supplies with them, as well. Individuals in different fields, such as oncology or pediatrics, may need different respective supplies, but there are many medical instruments that are universally used in the industry. Today, we are going to be diving into the supplies an average nurse will need or use in his or her daily life. Let's get started!

Seven Essential Nursing Supplies Every Nurse Needs

  1. Writing utensils

    If you're a nurse, you're going to be doing a lot of writing during the day-taking notes, writing in patients' charts, and filling out reports, which means that a comfortable-to-hold and smooth-writing utensil will be ideal. A retractable pen that dries quickly will mean you won't get ink on your scrubs or smear ink after you've written something. There are hundreds if not thousands of pen options out there, you can customize the pen color and pattern, ink color, line weights, and more!

  2. Portable light source

    You will want to have a small, lightweight light to help with seeing in low light (like when patients are sleeping), reading and preparing medications, inspecting IV lines, and performing assessments. There are many options for lights as well, but certain lights seem to be better than others. For example, Lumify makes a wearable LED nursing light with separate light settings like red to promote a "sleep-friendly environment for the patient" and blue to boost "alertness, memory, and overall cognitive function" and regulate "circadian rhythm."1

  3. Nursing scissors

    Nursing scissors are not like any other scissors-they typically have an angled tip with a blunt bottom blade, to slice through bandages without gouging the skin. They can be used to cut medical gauze and bandages, open boxes and packages, gown strings, and more! You can also personalize your pair with different colors and patterns, both on the handle area and the blades themselves.

  4. Good scrubs

    Nurses will be moving, bending, stretching, and reaching throughout their shifts. Restrictive clothing is not optimum for this type of movement, which is why you will want to be sure to have breathable, soft, and stretchy scrubs. Stain resistant or antimicrobial fabrics are available, as well as endless options when it comes to fit, style, color, and pattern. Two recommendations are to buy scrubs with big pocket to carry all your nursing gear around and to buy at least two pairs so you can have one to wear while the other is in the wash.

  5. Comfortable shoes

    As a nurse, you will be on your feet a lot, which means your shoes should be supportive, cushioned, and breathable. Wearing the wrong or ill-fitting shoes can result in back or foot problems further down the road-essentially taking a nurse and turning them into a patient! Ideally, your shoes should also be water-resistant, stain-resistant, and easy to clean.

  6. Stethoscope

    Nurses will also need a stethoscope, which is used to monitor and assess patients, to detect normal and abnormal sounds and rhythms, and to help measure blood pressure. Modern stethoscopes such as the 3M Littmann® Classic III Stethoscope have been designed with non-chill materials for greater patient comfort, next-generation tubing to resist skin oils and alcohol, and latex alternatives in respect to those with latex allergies.2 They also come in many fun colors and patterns to best match your tastes.

  7. Personal protective equipment

    As important as it is for nurses to take care of other people, they must also take care of themselves. Utilizing the proper personal protective equipment is one way to ensure that you are maintaining safe and hygienic practices. Personal protective equipment (PPE) creates a physical barrier that decreases the user's exposure to injury, infection, or illness, keeping both parties safer. In fact, PPE has been particularly critical in our fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic. Some examples include face masks, gloves, goggles, face shields, and gowns, and these all come in many colors, patterns, and design options.

    There are other specialized instruments that nurses will use regularly, but this is just a brief overview of some of the common supplies that all nurses will have familiarity with. It appears that nurses like to show some personality, as many of these supplies come in custom or fun color options!

Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Get in touch with EduMind today about how we can help you achieve this goal with our NCLEX-RN® exam prep courses!


1 "Lumify Care." Lumify. Accessed December 1, 2021.

2 "3M&8482; Littmann® Classic III Stethoscope." Littmann. Accessed December 1, 2021.
About the Author: Martha Hunsucker

Martha Hunsucker is a content writer for EduMind. She received her BA in English from Stetson University and has experience marketing, copywriting, editing, and blogging. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books by Jon Krakauer (her current favorite author), hiking with her two dogs, and sleeping in on weekends.

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