So you’re about to start nursing school, and you’re looking for a wristwatch. First off, congratulations—you’re going to help a lot of people! Second, we’re going to break down the five qualities every nursing student needs in a watch, prior to rounding up the 5 best watches for nursing students.
Wristwatches are a necessity for all medical professionals. You constantly need to keep accurate track of treatment plans and shifts.
Our choices will have everything students and practicing nurses need, so their usefulness will carry on as you transition from student life. Let’s get to it!
The Most Important Features for a Nursing Student’s Watch
As a nursing student, you’re going to be doing a lot of documenting and time stamping to ensure you and the rest of your cohort are on the same page. This will carry on into your nursing career.
Keeping track of time is of the utmost importance in nursing school. And when you’re a nurse, you’ll need to be extra-specific regarding when to get labs, changing patients’ medications, and checking heart rates and respiratory rates.
After all, if you’re checking someone’s vitals manually, there isn’t always a convenient clock in the room.
All nursing students and medical professionals should have a watch with the following features:
- Legible display: Whether you’re taking a no-phones-allowed exam or you’re on clinicals, you’ll need a display that you can read quickly and easily. Backlighting is also helpful for practicing nurses in case you need to check in on your patients while they’re sleeping. You don’t want to turn the light on and wake them!
- Second hand: You’ll need to see elapsed seconds when taking vitals manually. For a digital watch, a running seconds display works too.
- Military time: Hospitals tend to use military time. You can also use a 24-hour clock, which is very similar, with a slightly different format. For 8pm, military time is displayed as 2000, while a 24-hour clock is displayed as 20:00.
- Alarms and Timers: Some students think that you only need to set timers and alarms during busy clinicals, but it’s actually quite easy to miss an assigned duty during a lull too.
You don’t want to forget to switch out a patient’s medication because you’re bored and half asleep! Similar to backlighting, quiet alerts are perfect for night shifts so as not to wake your patients.
- Easily disinfected construction: This is more important for students when they start clinicals, but why not be ahead of the curve? This way, you won’t have to switch your watch out when you start practicing professionally.
You’re going to be working in unsanitary situations as a nurse. Plastic or rubber constructions are super easy to quickly disinfect, unlike brass.
Additionally, since you’ll be washing your hands a lot too, you’ll want some water resistance on your watch.
5 Best Watches for Nursing Students and Nurses (All under $500)
- Apple Watch Series 5
- Timex Ironman Classic
- Speidel Medical Scrub Watch
- Casio Unisex MRW200H-2BV
- Timex Expedition Rugged Core
You don’t need to pay an extra $300 for the latest Apple Watch, as the Series 5 has everything you’ll need and more. The customizable OLED display is easy to read, and you can activate a digital clock for quick time checks, or an analog face for pulse readings.
Two other pluses with smartwatches is that you can get your texts without reaching for your phone, and you can use voice control for activating alarms. Apps and fitness trackers aren’t necessary, but nice to have for someone who’s on their feet a lot.
Tuition isn’t cheap, and this resin and plastic Timex Ironman Classic has all of the nursing student basics in a ~$40 package. Timex’s Indiglo light makes the watch’s crystal dial legible in any lighting condition, including during those late-night study sessions and eventually, late-night patient checks. The tactile buttons are straight-forward, allowing you to use military time mode and the 30 lap memory stopwatch, easily and quickly.
An icon in the medical field, the Speidel Medical Scrub watch was designed especially for medical professionals, and it’s now become a bit of a fashion statement. The white display with contrasting 12 and 24-hour markings are playful and exceedingly legible, while the red second hand provides a pop of color, as well as easy-to-see time tracking. You can also find the rubber strap in basically any color, so you can match it to your scrubs.
The Casio Unisex MRW200H-2BV is a favorite among nursing students because its durable, affordable, easy to use, and lightweight. The face features a ticking second hand, and the rotating bezel has 15, 30, and 45-second markers that can be used for tracking pulses or timing yourself during practice exams. It’s also tactile, comfortable, water-resistant, and boasts a cool robust style, with stylish bright blue accents.
Another robust-looking option for those of you who like some heft to their watches, the resin-constructed Timex Expedition Rugged Core has a range of functionalities perfect for nursing students, actual nurses, and athletes. The Indiglo-equipped display has large numbers and a date window, while the red seconds hand makes vital tracking clear and simple. If you’re a nursing student and an athlete, this is the watch for you.
The Best Nursing Student Watch
As long as your timepiece fulfills the basic needs we mentioned, and is reliable and durable, you can opt for a $40 Timex, a fancy smartwatch, and anything in between.
Even in a time when wristwatches are more of a fashion statement, they’re still an essential tool for nursing students and medical professionals in general.
Besides, how often do you pull out your phone to check the time, then fall into a scroll rabbit hole? Can’t do that in class!
We hope this was helpful! Do you have a favorite watch from our list? Let us know by hitting us up on Instagram.