5 Things Nurses Can’t Live Without

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


Stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, medication guides. These are all essential items that your patients may not be able to live without. Add a notebook and pen, and you have just put together the standard nursing bag they taught you about back in school.

Nurses also need to be looking out for their own well-being if they want to be able to continue providing quality medical care. With these 5 can’t-live-with-outs added to your arsenal, you are going to find that making your rounds is going to get a lot easier:


Antimicrobial and Fluid Scrubs

Certainty Technologies has developed a feature for your scrubs that repels odor-causing and fabric-degrading bacteria. This lets your scrubs stay fresher during your shift, helping you to maintain a professional look. You can also find them with an added barrier that blocks fluids from entering the fibers. Your favorite brands like Cherokee are authorized dealers of this new technology, making it easy to find the familiar styles you love but with the added protection.


Nursing Apps

Put your smartphone to good use by downloading some apps that will make you look a lot smarter. There are dozens available, but one of the best (and free) is Nursing Central. This app has up to date information on medications, immunizations, and anatomy, and is easy to use. If you like to stay up on the latest breaking medical news, you will benefit by downloading Medpage Today which is also free.


> New Nursing Shoes

When was the last time you treated your feet to a new pair of shoes? A new year should be started off on the right foot, and with shoes for nurses being improved on all of the time, now is the perfect time to slip into something comfortable. Alegria Paloma has a line of nursing shoes that not only use high-quality materials to help keep your feet pain free, they make them stylish with patterns and buckles if you also want your feet to make a fashion statement. If you have trouble with your knees or feet take a look at Brooks Addiction Walker shoes for nurses. While more practical in style options, these come recommended by doctors as a great option for nurses with chronic discomfort.


Compression Socks

Right along the same line as new shoes for a new year, you should be investing in compression socks or stockings. Unlike regular socks, these apply pressure on your calves in all of the right places, helping with blood return to the heart. This not only alleviates fatigue in your legs during a shift, the long-term benefit is the prevention of varicose veins.


A Spa Membership

Until they have walked a 12-hour shift in a nurse’ shoes, no one can truly appreciate how physically laboring our profession can be. Ease that muscle pain and prevent any possible injury by scheduling a massage on your off days. Not only will a deep tissue massage help you to unwind, it will help to keep your body supple and ready to take on your next round of long shifts.

Not all aspects of nursing care should be centered around the patient. You also need to be taking care of you if you want to be able to continually do your best as a nurse. Make obtaining information easier, your uniform sharper, and your body happier with these 5 must haves, and you are going to look and feel fantastic.

What do you think? Share your thoughts on what you can't live without in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I agree with the list of items mentioned in this article, but I have to add one non-physical item, the feeling of “Trust”. A nurse must have a co-worker they can trust, someone who will look out for your best interests, who will be a mentor, a role model, a motivator and/or friend.

  2. Research has found that the absolute most important thing you can do to preserve health for the future is not all of the things mentioned but rather to get enough sleep – adults need 7-9 hours nightly. Good luck with that one!

  3. After 41 years of night shift in the ED, I wish I had figured out that I wasn’t indestructible before retirement. My favorite treat was a regular visit to the acupuncturist to “release my demons”.

  4. I utilize one of Massage Schools to get a message every two weeks
    The cost is about half of a regular massage at a spa and the students strive at doing a good job because they are graded on it. Some also give discounts for those of us over 60.
    Also don’t forget to get out and do some real exercise away from work, I do palates twice a week
    And don’t forget to eat healthy and most of all get enough sleep
    I finally woke up when I turned 50 and I can now say that at 64 I am in better health than when I was 40
    so now I’m about 18 months from retirement and am looking forward to being active!

  5. Please take the advise of a “older” nurse. We are great at taking care of others but most of us are horrible at taking care of ourselves until it is too late and we are in the throws of a long list of health problems, Please take care of yourselves while you are young and yes, no one knows what years of long shifts do to a body, until they have done them. Buy yourselves new supportive shoes, wear support stockings and for sure sign up for the spa treatment at least once a month, treat yourselves so that you can then be your best for others. You deserve it. I look back on my career and now wish I had done things differently as far as taking better care of myself when problems came up. However, I truly enjoy what I do, always wanted to be a nurse and would do it all over again in a heart beat.

    • Anna I would the same again too. I have been in Healthcare for over 52 yrs. and a Registered Nurse for 49 yrs. I just retired last dec. 2017.

  6. Sometimes member spas or massages are associated with a gym or health club. No matter, it looks like the best deals are through a chain or massage business like “Massage Envy.”

  7. Are there any free nursing apps? The Nursing Essentials that you provide as free; is not and has an $8.00 fee?? I’m not certain why your service is not giving the most up to date information that you advertise as providing for “modern nurses”.

  8. I like this article. As a 25 year RN I can arrest to these needs. No one taught me to take care of myself. I learned as I became older I started taking care of myself

  9. FYI – the Nursing Essentials app is NOT free!! It’s $7.99. I’m pretty sure I have informed y’all of this before, but apparently the message did not get through.


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