9 Essential Tools for Nurses

Regardless of where you work and your standing, every HCP wants to enter a shift sufficiently equipped. The tools of a Registered Nurse, Certified Nursing Assistant, and Licensed Vocational Nurse allows them to carry out their care duties, while making certain tasks easier than they would be otherwise. While you are packing for work, it can be easy to forget a couple tools here and there. Before you start your work week, you want to make sure you have these essential tools stashed in your nursing bag.

Certified Nursing Assistant

Good quality shoes

All nurses typically work on their feet, for entire shifts. The damage to your lower body can add up, if you are not careful. A good quality pair of shoes can soften the impact, and can even compliment the rest of your outfit. Go for either a pair of nursing shoes or good quality running shoes. By several pairs at a time, alternate between them, and clean them once a week (or as needed) for maximum longevity.

Surgical Scissors

CNAs will commonly deal with a lot of gauze and bandages. When the time to remove them comes, you want to do so without damaging any skin or tissue. The tip of a pair of surgical scissors is designed to cut through common medical materials, without damaging the patient at all.


The first thing many CNAs must do, when checking on their patients, is monitoring their responsiveness to light and their pupillary response. A penlight allows you to carry out these checkups immediately, without having to browse through countless medical tools stored in youro bag.

Licensed Vocational Nurse


LVNs (along with other HCPs) must document patient information as they administer care. By recording vital patient information, nurses, doctors, and physicians can better design a developed care plan catered to their needs. A clipboard lets you record patient info on the go, without having to reach out for a new form every now and then. This may go without saying, but you also want to bring a pen with you at all times.

Tongue depressor

More likely, you will be asked to check on a patient’s mouth for signs of potential infections. Tongue depressors let you do this, without having to directly touch said mouth. This lets you lower the patient’s tongue and see everything you need to see, without dirtying yourself.


Internal body temperature is a good way to initially evaluate a patient’s condition. Just like all other HCPs, LVNs need to bring a quality thermometer with them at all times. Be sure to sterilize and clean thoroughly after every use.

Registered Nurse

Hand sanitizer 

You are going to get your hands dirty as an RN, no matter what. Washing your hands afterwards is preferable but you cannot afford to do this all the time. Instead, bring some hand sanitizer with you. It will let you clean your hands on the go, while you protect yourself from contamination.


Hemostats are multi-use, scissors-shaped tools with a pair of clamps on the end. It is an extremely diverse tool that makes RN work far less of a hassle. With a hemostat, you can clamp IV lines, hold arteries or tubing, and can even hold needles while you provide care for a wound.


This is not exclusive to RNs, but it is essential all the same. Stethoscopes allow CNAs to read a patient’s vital signs and monitor their condition, throughout their shift. With it, you can check on a patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, and even their lungs. This is an essential tool you need to have with you at all times.

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