17 Best Work Bags For Nurses In 2024

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Are you ready to start your first job in the hospital and curious about what the best work bags for nurses are? Well, you are not alone! This is a great question actually. Why?

Well, because Twelve to thirteen-hour shifts are no joke, and so it is only natural to feel like you need to pack an overnight bag basically.

You will also likely want a bag that is small enough to fit in your locker, but one that will also hold some basic shift supplies, toiletries, a light jacket, etc.

So we asked real nurses what their favorite work bags were, and why. So we are proud to say that we have compiled a great list of options here for you. In this list you will find picks for both Female & MALE nurses, so don’t worry, keep scrolling guys. We save most of the gender-neutral options for the last half of this article.

We have purses, backpacks, totes, briefcases, small, large, etc. An option for every unique individual’s preferences. So enjoy and we hope you find something you like!

*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Read more on our privacy policy page.

1. BAGSMART Women’s Tote Bag

This bag is made of soft nylon, so it is flexible and waterproof. It should comfortably tuck into most work lockers as well. We especially like that this bag has a lot of side pockets and compartments to organize your things. It’s dimensions are 18.5” x 6.3”x 12.6”, so it can comfortably fit your laptop, iPad, stethoscope, notebooks, etc. As a plus, it also has a side water bottle holder. And as an added bonus, if you are into yoga and want to hit a yoga class after your shift, it even has a yoga mat buckle! We think that is just so cool.

2. LOVEVOOK Laptop Backpack for Women

We had quite a few nurses raving about this one. What they especially like about this bag is that it holds A LOT of stuff. One nurse said she can carry her planner, clipboard, jacket, “LOTs” of snacks, large wallet, tums and pain meds, lint roller, water bottle, and she STILL has plenty of room. What is also super cool about this bag is that you can literally charge your phone with it. What you do is, you charge the bag itself, then it can charge your phone while you are away from home. That is super nice, especially if you are short on outlets on your unit.

3. Original Floral Water Resistant Tote Bag

Here is another bag for nurses that came highly recommended. This bag has been praised by nurses for having a ton of pocket space and wiping down easily. It is completely waterproof and has a thick, high-quality material to last for many years. One nurse said that she originally purchased this bag for clinical, and she is still using it to this day as a nurse on the floor. The dimensions are 14.6 x 15.4 x 4.7 inches, so it is considered to be an “oversized” bag. Additionally, it should also be able to fit into a locker very easily.

4. Women Laptop Tote Bag (By the Bag Wizard Store)

Women's Work Bag with Laptop Compartment Zipper Pockets Teacher Totes Purse*
Women's Work Bag with Laptop Compartment Zipper Pockets Teacher Totes Purse
 Price: USD 23.99
(8775 customer reviews)
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This bag made our best bags for nurses list for multiple reasons. The first being its design works great for nurses. Because it is so compartmentalized inside, nurses can organize their supplies easily for work. It was also made to be comfortable. So if you have a long walk from your car to your unit, this bag is a great option to avoid unnecessary pain. We have enough of that as nurses right? Another cool detail is that the laptop compartment is padded. So if you like to bring a laptop or iPad to work, it will be well protected in this bag. It is made of canvas and faux leather. So it is proudly vegetarian and vegan friendly.

5. Lunch Backpack for Women

This bag for nurses has it all! This one is so awesome because it includes a detachable insulated lunch bag. That way you aren’t having to carry in your work bag, AND your lunch bag. It has many compartments and pockets and is also designed to keep your laptop or iPad safe. As we said, this one has it all. It also has a portable charger so you can charge your phone on the go too. Many nurses say they tried many bags and backpacks until they found this one. So, this one is a safe bet to go with on our best work bags for nurses list.

6. Nurse Mates Ultimate Bag

Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag*
Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Bag
 Price: USD 57.59
(2123 customer reviews)
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What we really like about this one is that it was specifically designed by nurses, for nurses. The durable canvas material, multiple pockets, document compartments, and water and stain resistance make it a safe choice for any nurse’s work bag. We also like that this one is a more gender-neutral option. So many nurses rave that this is their favorite nursing bag they have ever owned. A lot of home health nurses seem to like it as well.

7. Leaper Canvas Messenger Cross Body Bag

Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag Sling Bag Cross Body Bag Shoulder Bag Black, L*
Leaper Canvas Messenger Bag Sling Bag Cross Body Bag Shoulder Bag Black, L
 Price: USD 28.31
(14449 customer reviews)
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If you prefer a cross-body shoulder bag, this one comes highly, highly rated by nurses. It is made of durable canvas and has stylish leather detailing. This bag can fit a slim, 13-inch laptop. It has a lot of pockets, but this bag is better for the nurse who prefers to travel a little on the lighter side to work. So if you have small lockers, this is a great choice. Many people report that it is extremely durable and well made. Very high quality and will last for many years. Also, something to note is that many people have expressed that the color is extremely accurate. So if you are often let down by things arriving and not looking true to the picture, you won’t have a problem here.

8. Carhartt Unisex Adult Force Pro Backpack

If you don’t mess around when it comes to work preparedness, then you’ll like this one. Carhartt has an outstanding reputation for being a leader in high-quality gear. This bag is waterproof with FastDry┬« technology and has a padded compartment to hold up to a 17-inch laptop. There are two large main compartments for easier organizing. We have seen that many travel nurses prefer this bag, and again, it is a great gender-neutral option for all nurses. When it comes to the best bags for nurses, it wouldn’t be a complete one without a Carhartt bag.

9. BAGSMART Expandable Briefcase

This is an excellent bag for nurses who work in administration, like clinical educators for example. This bag can also be turned into a duffel bag, so if you go on a lot of work trips, or travel nurse, this is a great option. The expandable document compartment can literally hold A4 folders! This is so cool if you are a nurse who likes their office supplies and really likes things neat, tidy, and organized. This bag was also designed to pass through TSA very quickly. It is also waterproof and created to keep your technology safe. When it comes to our best bags for nurses list, this is absolutely a front runner on our favorites list.

10. Targus Mobile Tech Traveler EcoSmart Rolling Backpack

Another travel nurse, and nurse administrator/educator favorite. Most of the “best work bags for nurses” lists don’t include a rolling option. But not every nurse works at the bedside. What is especially important to note is that this rolling backpack is lightweight and the main compartment expands from 35L up to 40L. This bag even has a compartment specially designed to hold important documents and folders. It is also quiet which is always important to keep in mind if this is going to be rolling down a hospital hallway. Additionally, it is waterproof and padded inside to protect your technology and important papers. This is an excellent option for the traveling nurse.

11. Berchirly Vintage Military Men Messenger Bag

Berchirly Men Vintage Military Canvas Messenger Crossbody Bag Coffee For 17.3" Laptop*
Berchirly Men Vintage Military Canvas Messenger Crossbody Bag Coffee For 17.3" Laptop
 Price: USD 49.99
(2065 customer reviews)
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This is one of our favorite bags for our male nurses. So many product lists out there don’t include the fast-growing number of male nurses entering this profession. This bag is 90% canvas and 10% leather. It is eco-friendly and has multiple pockets for organization. It also doesn’t go crazy with the compartments, so if you prefer to have fewer places to look for things, this is a great bag option for you. So many happy customers report just how great this bag looks in person. It is extremely affordable for how high quality this is.

12. Kah&Kee Faux-Leather Backpack

This is a very simply designed bag that can serve multiple uses. The reason why we added it to our best bags for nurses list is that this can be a bag you take with you everywhere, not just to work. You can easily take this bag in to run errands after your shift. It is extremely stylish and functional. It has just one main compartment, so if you like to have everything right where you can see it, this is a great option. However, it does have plenty of pockets and zippers for small things as well. This is a beautiful bag and you will look like one stylish nurse walking into work with this bag, with your Starbucks in hand of course.

13. Adidas Striker 2 Backpack

adidas Striker 2 Team Backpack, Black, One Size*
adidas Striker 2 Team Backpack, Black, One Size
 Price: USD 31.55
(8916 customer reviews)
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If you prefer just a plain, standard backpack, this is the one. This bag has a lifetime warranty! I mean, need we say more? Okay, well there are a few more things we want to point out. This backpack has three main compartments, so if you like to separate certain supplies, this is a great choice. It is designed to be comfortable and to hold up to a 16-inch laptop. It also has near-perfect reviews. That is super difficult to get on Amazon. This is an authentic Adidas, supplied by Adidas themselves.

14. Hopkins Home Health Shoulder Bag

This bag is specifically designed with the home health nurse in mind. It is waterproof, easy to clean, and has strategically built compartments that make sense for healthcare workers. There are specific sides for “clean” and “dirty” items which is extremely helpful. Again, here is where that it is easy to clean is important. One nurse said that this was extremely efficient for working through the recent global events. While this may not be a great bag for bedside nurses at the hospital, if you work in a specialty that requires you to travel with medical supplies, this is the perfect bag.

15. Bago Travel Toiletry Bag for Women and Men 

Many nurses prefer to not carry a bag to work as well. Especially if your unit only has small cubby lockers. Therefore, many suggest just a good toiletry bag for carrying their nursing supplies to work. This is especially a great idea for night nurses if you want to bring some basic toiletries with you to work such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, dry shampoo, eye drops, etc. What we especially like about this toiletry bag is that it doesn’t have to fold open into a long strip, it is more inconspicuous if you will. So if you prefer to travel light to work, this is a great route to go to keep you organized.

16. Small Leather Sling Shoulder Bag Messenger Pack

Here is another stylish option for the nurse who likes to travel light. This bag is gender neutral and has a classic look that will last for many years. This bag is specifically just to carry the essentials such as your phone, wallet, keys, penlight, pens, highlighters, and other small miscellaneous things. It has many pockets with good depth for storage. They also make a point that this bag was designed to be comfortable to wear, and customers overwhelmingly report that the quality is in fact excellent.

17. Large Lunch Backpack for Women Men

This option was saved for last, but definitely not least, on our best work bags for nurses list because it truly has it all! This is perfect for the nurse who needs to carry many essentials with them, and for those who don’t have access to a refrigerator at work. This bag can hold and protect your laptop, and has an insulated, leak-proof, compartment for your lunch. It has one main large compartment and many pockets for organization. If you need serious efficiency with your work bag, this is it.

FAQs (Best Work Bags For Nurses)

What bags are good for nurses?

The best bags for nurses are going to generally be unit specific. You want to make sure that you will have a safe place to store your bag first and foremost. If your unit has good-sized lockers, or a spacious storage place, the best bags for nurses will hold all their necessary supplies. Additionally, it should be able to hold “extras” to ensure a smooth and comfortable shift like snacks, personal medications, your phone, etc.

What is a nursing bag?

A nursing bag should be functional for the working nurse. For example, it should hold the necessary medical supplies for their shift. A good example is the home health nurse who needs to go to patients’ homes. It should also be designed to have a “clean” and “dirty” side. Therefore, it needs to be easy to clean and disinfect as well.

What should nurses carry with them?

While this will generally be unit specific, there are certain items that most nurses pack in their work bags.

Some examples are:

  • Your stethoscope
  • Stethoscope case
  • Penlight
  • Medical Tape
  • Scissors (bandage)
  • Clipboard for hand-off report (Amazon Link Here)
  • Hand lotion (Amazon Link to the very best here)
  • Snacks (Healthy like fruit, meat sticks, nuts, and bars)
  • Pens, highlighters
  • Dry erase marker (Super important, Amazon Link Here)
  • Phone
  • Wallet
  • Personal medications
  • Water bottle (Hydroflask is the best to stay cold all shift)

To Conclude our Best Work Bags For Nurses:

Finding the best workbags for nurses can be a little trickier than people may think. In most careers, we can get away with just bringing a purse, or your phone and wallet. Nursing shifts are very long, and sometimes at odd hours.

Not only do you need a bag to keep your medical supplies safe, but many of your personal items as well. You also probably want it to look stylish as well, and there is nothing wrong with that. The nursing profession has a lot of cool gear to show off.

If you work night shifts, your work bag may be even more important. It is a great idea to freshen up in the last quarter of your shift to help you stay awake and be freshened up for report and tying loose ends. If you would like to learn what the best skin care products for nurses are, you can read that article here.

Jackie Jimenez BSN, RN
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