In addition to their cheery demeanor and tireless work ethic, nurses need one other critical item: a practical nurse shift bag.
The best bags will have enough compartments for all the items you need, placed thoughtfully—no time to dig through bottomless pockets when you’re on the job. Nurse bags should also be affordable, durable, and lightweight. If they happen to look aesthetically pleasing, too, that’s all the better.
That may sound like a laundry list of requirements, but when you’re clocking in for a 12-hour shift, you’ll want a bag you can depend on.
We’ve rounded up five of our favorite nurse shift bags for 2022. Check them out to find your future favorite.
Bags To Get You Through the Night Shift
Not all nurse shift bags are created equal. That sleek leather tote you keep seeing on Instagram may be calling your name, but that doesn’t mean it will hold up under pressure. Here are our top picks for top-of-the-line bags currently available online (in no particular order).
#1 Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag
With an Amazon rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from more than 1,400 global reviewers, this Nurse Mates bag has a reputation that precedes it. The Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag is very easy to carry. It can even be a shoulder bag for hands-free carrying with a detachable shoulder strap. This nursing staple costs just under $50 and is available in nearly two dozen colors and patterns, including cheetah print, butterflies, and standard solids like black and navy.1
Both water- and stain-resistant, this canvas bag features:
- Heavy-duty zippers and seams
- A non-skid padded bottom
- A large, easy-access opening to a spacious central compartment
- Multiple smaller storage and document compartments
#2 BNB Nurse NGIL Medium Canvas Tote Bag
BNB’s Medium Canvas Tote Bag also earned a solid rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon based on more than 550 global reviews.2
For under $35, you can snag this nurse shift bag in fun patterns like sunflowers, unicorns, surfboards, and Jeeps, which means you’ll never confuse your bag for another.
Reviewers love this bag for being both lightweight and sturdy. It easily checks all our boxes, with essential features like:
- An easy-to-access top zipper closure
- A spacious central section, measuring 15.5” by 6” by 10.5”
- Many compartments, including three open pockets on one side, one open and one velcro-sealed compartment on the other, plus two mesh side pockets and a key holder
#3 Simply Custom Life Personalized Nurse, CNA, RN, LPN Tote Bag with Mesh Pockets
This Simply Custom Life Tote Bag receives 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon out of almost 900 global reviews. At under $35, reviewers say the nurse bag is sturdy and durable while still being affordable.3
The customizable bag includes:
- Two mesh side pockets, perfect for water bottles
- A large, zippered compartment
- A small front pocket with a pen loop
- Personalized embroidery on the front pocket
- An optional organizer with 13 additional pockets
You’ll be able to carry (almost) everything under the sun, under your arm. You can fit your stethoscope, pens, pencils, scissors, along with other nurse essentials in these pockets.
#4 VOLGANIK ROCK Canvas Tote Bag
This 100% nylon VOLGANIK ROCK Canvas Tote Bag wasn’t designed specifically for nurses, but it meets more than enough of the crucial requirements for us to include it in our list. With a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars and an affordable price point of only $25, it could easily become your shift bag—and beyond.4
This compact but spacious bag can accommodate the nursing and everyday lifestyle with its:
- Large laptop compartment
- Spacious central pocket
- Multiple smaller compartments for organization
- Adjustable straps for versatile carrying options
- Simple, stylish design
- Water-repellent material and seam construction
#5 Brooke & Jess Designs Zippered Tote Bag
This affordable nursing bag is made of durable heathered canvas and is fully lined inside with nylon. More than 1,300 global Amazon reviewers gave the Brooke & Jess Designs Zippered Tote Bag a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars (the highest on the market!).5
You can choose from several cute slogans screen printed across the front, from “Coffee, Scrubs and Rubber Gloves” to “Sleep All Day, Nurse All Night.” But the unique designs are rivaled by the bag’s sheer functionality, with features like:
- A spacious main zippered compartment, measuring 20” by 5.5” by 13.5”
- A deep front sleeve pocket for an iPad or tablet
- Two side pockets, perfect for water bottles
- Interior zippered pockets and organizational compartments
These interior compartments provide ample space for all the on-shift healthcare worker essentials.
Once you’ve done your research and determined which nurse shift bag is best suited to your lifestyle (and personal style), you can stock it with the many things nurses need during any given shift. You may not always want or need to fill your tote full to the brim, but it’s best to purchase a bag that allows you to be fully prepared.
Host Healthcare: Travel with Your Well-Stocked Shift Bag
With a sturdy, comfortable, and spacious shift bag, you’ll be ready for the inevitable obstacles that come with the profession.
If you’re a wanderer by nature and prefer the idea of traveling light—just you, your skills, and your top-rated nurse shift bag—you may want to consider a career as a traveling nurse.
By applying to be a traveler with Host Healthcare, you’ll be able to work with a travel healthcare company as highly rated as your shift bag of choice. Host Healthcare recruiters work tirelessly to place travelers in the right location, facility, and job role for them. Because just like your meticulously organized nursing bag, there is a place for everything.
Ready to find your place? Check out Host Healthcare today.
- “Nurse Mates Ultimate Bag.” Amazon, www.amazon.com/Nurse-Mates-9133-Ultimate-Bag/dp/B083R24VQR
- “Nurse NGIL Medium Canvas Tote Bag.” Amazon, www.amazon.com/Nurse-NGIL-Medium-Canvas-Tote/dp/B07M7XY7NJ
- “Personalized Nurse, CNA, RN, LPN Embroidered Tote Bag with Mesh Pockets.” Amazon, www.amazon.com/Personalized-Nurse-Embroidered-Tote-Pockets/dp/B01FNEH686
- “Canvas Tote Bag Waterproof Nylon Multi Pocket Shoulder Bags Laptop Work Bag Teacher Purse and Handbags for Women & Men.” Amazon, www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Shoulder-Teacher-Handbags-Purple-new/dp/B07SRS1BVV/
- “Large Nursing Zippered Tote Bags with Pockets for Nurses – Perfect for Work, Gifts for CNA, RN, Nursing Students.” Amazon, www.amazon.com/Large-Nursing-Zippered-Pockets-Nurses/dp/B08DHPG435