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Essentials of a Nursing Kit: What Every Nurse Should Have

Essentials of a Nursing Kit: What Every Nurse Should Have

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, there are roughly 4.7 million registered nurses across the United States. Nursing has become one of the fastest-growing professions in the country because it offers incredible job security, benefits, and a chance to help people.

Nurses have the unique opportunity to work in various fields of medicine because they must assist doctors in treating patients suffering from varying health conditions and injuries. Because of this, every nurse needs to possess a special nursing kit filled with essential tools and supplies for treating all kinds of patients.

Of course, not all nursing kits are going to be the same. It all depends on which type of medical facility the nurses work in and the kind of patients who come to the facility for treatment. Typically, however, the most essential items in a nursing kit will include:

  • Stethoscope
  • Scissors
  • Blood Pressure Cuff
  • Thermometer
  • Penlight
  • Goggles
  • Bandage
  • Compression Socks
  • Badge Holder
  • Comfortable Footwear
  • Face Mask
  • Hand Sanitizer

These medical items are essential for nurses to always have in their nursing kits. Additional items may be suitable for custom nursing kits depending on the medical situation. At Pristine Medical, you can purchase nursing kits suitable for specific treatment types. These nursing kits include the following:

  • IV Maintenance Kit
  • Health Assessment Kit
  • IV Insertion Kit
  • IM & SC Kit
  • Foley Catheter Kit
  • Wound Care Kit
  • Ostomy Kit
  • Nasogastric Kit

You can fully customize your medical kits to include other essential medical items your nursing students may need.

A Review of the Top 12 Essential Items

Let’s review the top 12 essential items every nurse should have in their nursing kit.

1) Stethoscope

Perhaps the most critical piece of equipment is the stethoscope. Doctors and nurses use stethoscopes to listen to patient heartbeats and other internal sounds. Listening to these sounds can help nurses and doctors assess a patient’s current health condition or status. Regardless of the medical setting, having a stethoscope handy for diagnosing patients is necessary before treating them.


2) Scissors

Medical scissors are a pair of small, sharp scissors used for conducting various medical tasks, such as removing the clothing of an injured patient or cutting off bandages and casting material. The scissors should not be lengthy, but make sure they are short and sharp. Keep the scissors in a holster or case designed to fit them. That way, you can keep the scissor blades protected and uncontaminated from other elements in the kit.

3) Blood Pressure Cuff

A blood pressure cuff is a device for measuring and monitoring blood pressure levels. Blood pressure monitoring is as important as heart monitoring in the healthcare industry. Measuring blood pressure levels can tell much about a patient’s health risk and cardiovascular health status. Stainless steel blood pressure cuffs are the most accurate, reliable, and durable.

4) Thermometer

Measuring a patient’s internal temperature is one of the most common things a nurse will do before the patient sees the doctor. A thermometer is the device used to perform this task. The nurse puts it under the patient’s tongue and leaves it there for a few seconds to get an accurate reading of their internal temperature. Every nurse should have a spare thermometer in their kit.

5) Penlight

A penlight is a small cylindrical device used to conduct preliminary examinations. Nurses use penlights to shine a light to inspect wounds, eye pupils, and other body parts. We recommend retractable penlights to make them easier to store in nursing kits. And if you can find one with a pupil gauge feature, that would be even better.

6) Goggles

The importance of protecting and shielding the eyes goes without saying. Nurses should have extra goggles in their nursing kits in case they need to shield their eyes from potentially infectious viral particles or toxic materials or equipment. Some nurses even feel more comfortable wearing face shields.

7) Bandages

You never know when a nurse will need extra bandages to wrap an injured patient to prevent infection and control their bleeding. Medical bandages are typically made of woven fabric, cloth, or plastic to ensure wounds are covered and bleeding remains contained. If the medical bandages have an official medical seal of approval, they should be suitable for use in a medical setting.


8) Compression Socks

Compression socks are different from ordinary socks. They are unique socks designed to increase leg circulation so that nurses don’t experience leg fatigue throughout the day. Their breathable fabric contains a compression element to improve blood flow throughout the leg, which is perfect when working long hours.

9) Badge Holder

Nurses must bring their access cards and personal identification to work every day. A badge holder allows nurses to secure their identification cards in a durable holder with an attachment mechanism. The mechanism makes it easy for nurses to attach the holder to their shirts, which can be visible to everyone as they move around the healthcare facility.

10) Comfortable Footwear

Nurses stand and move on their feet for several hours per day. If nurses don’t have comfortable footwear in their kits, they could develop foot sores, pains, and other issues that will lower their productivity. Good quality footwear will ensure that nurses stay comfortable on their feet, which can reduce fatigue symptoms. Look for footwear with extra cushion material in the insoles.

11) Face Mask

A face mask shields a nurse’s face from transmitting airborne germs and viral particles to patients and blocks them from being transmitted to the nurse from the patient. Your kits should contain a high-quality face mask made with several layers and approved by an official medical association. Since the recent COVID-19 pandemic, you are probably already familiar with choosing a good face mask.

12) Hand Sanitizer

Nurses must grow accustomed to constantly washing and sanitizing their hands to prevent the spread of germs in a healthcare work environment. With all the different patients entering a healthcare facility, it would be easy for nurses to spread germs and cause infections if they don’t sanitize their hands after treating each patient.

Request a Sample Kit

Pristine Medical allows nurses and nursing students to test a nursing kit for free before purchasing a complete custom kit. Sample kits can help you become more familiar with essential medical products and tools used in most nursing kits. Eligible educators can apply for the free sample kit.
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