What Should a Nurse Have in Their Everyday Work Bag?

By: Maureen Borberg

We were curious… What are our nurse’s everyday essentials?  What do they need in their everyday bag to get through a shift?   

So, we asked!

Our amazing Krucial Krew answered our questions with an overwhelming number of responses. Because of this, we quickly found the need to categorize what our staff brings to the hospital every day. These categories include self-care products, safety products, and an “etc.” category for everything else our nurses need to get through a hectic day at the hospital. Some repetitive answers also inspired new blog ideas, so be on the lookout for those!


For our nurses to successfully save lives, they need to be in prime condition themselves. Their everyday purses, bags, or duffels need to carry all required items keeping them satisfied and comfortable in a very uncomfortable and overwhelming environment.

1. Pain Medication

We found that Tylenol, Advil, or any other pain medication variation is essential. Whether it is for emergency patient discomfort or the nurses themselves, painkillers are a popular bag item.

2. Hand Care Items

Our nurses mentioned keeping baby wipes and lotion on hand to keep their fingers clean and moisturized throughout the day. In a profession where cleanliness and efficiency are required, these essentials are a must to keep hands working comfortably. As lotion is an everyday necessity, we are left wondering whether a spotlight on our nurse’s favorite lotions would be worth reading. Reach out on our socials and let us know!

3. Hygienic Products

Long shifts in the hospital often require late nights and early mornings, making floss and a toothbrush a nurse kit staple. Recently, toothpaste tablets have been a popular bag item, providing easy access and convenience during quick breaks. They are also an excellent option for people looking to be more environmentally conscious. Running around for hours on end in hot, crowded conditions makes deodorant a popular bag item as well. Many nurses insist on carrying Chapstick with them due to the hot climate created by medical masks. Vaseline is a popular option as it keeps lips hydrated despite the medical masks.

4. Scrub Hats

For some of our Krew, wearing a scrub hat is an important part of their uniform during a shift. It not only keeps their hair out of their face, but it also helps ensure areas are free from contamination. Additionally, their scrub cap allows them to show more of their personality and help create connections with their patients. A great place to find a scrub hat is Harmony Scrub Hats. Harmony Scrub Hats offers a variety of styles and patterns. If you love scrubs hats, then be sure to check out their monthly subscription box with exclusive access to their new hats.


1. Masks/Face Coverings

Many nurses state a need for extra masks during their shifts due to the hospital’s germ-ridden conditions. Running around in a dirty mask could be detrimental to our nurse’s health and the patients.

2. Medical Equipment

Our nurses claim to always have some essential medical equipment with them during their shifts for easy accessibility. These items include some trauma scissors, a stethoscope, a flashlight, and some band-aids!

3. Hand Sanitizer

Another common response was a need for hand sanitizer. It is a necessity during the pandemic to protect from germs and disease in the hospitals battling Covid-19.


Finally, we have decided to include some “etc.” necessities that our nurses deemed crucial to their success in the hospital.


Pens were the most common response according to our Krucial Krew. The overwhelming response of nurses and their affinity with pens has inspired another blog, so be on the lookout!

2. Water/A Water Bottle

Possibly the second most common response was water. Being hydrated and in constant proximity to a water bottle is fundamental when working as an emergency deployment nurse.

3. Snacks

Snacks are also imperative to have during a long and chaotic shift. Like peanuts and bananas, some snacks are easy to carry and provide enough energy to fuel you for hours.

4. Gum

Gum is another prominent item in the nurse essentials kit (for when there is no time for a snack break). Some nurses prefer mint gum during their long shifts without access to a toothbrush.

5. Technology Essentials

A phone charger and headphones should be in the bag as well for the rare occasions to reset and recharge.

The items our nurses bring with them to the hospital every day enable them to perform their jobs comfortably and accurately. They make sure to have all the essentials to get them through their shifts stowed safely in their everyday bags. Whether these items are used for self-care, and safety, or are simply beneficial to have on hand, they make an emergency medical professional’s life just a little bit easier.

Krucial Rapid Response is in no way associated with, sponsored, or endorsed by the companies listed in this blog

Interested in contributing to the Krucial Kollective? Send us an e-mail at marketing@krucialrr.org and let us know what you would like to write!

We were curious… What are our nurse’s everyday essentials?  What do they need in their everyday bag to get through a shift?   

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