When most people think of the gear nurses use on a daily basis, a good watch usually isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Why do nurses need a good watch when they could just use their phone or look at a clock on the wall?
Best Nurse Watches: Our Favorites
Well, first of all, not every hospital, clinic, or healthcare organization allows cell phone use when on duty, and nurses need a good watch at the ready on their wrist for more than just telling the time.
Nurses actually use wristwatches for a variety of reasons:
- Taking vitals (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.)
- Administering medications
- Timestamping charts and lab reports
- Keeping schedules
- Staying on time
So nurses need a good watch that is reliable and comfortable with quality that’s going to last. If it’s a timepiece that fits on your wrist, we searched every product review, nursing chat room, and product description to bring you the best nursing watches that nurses of all specialties and professions swear by.
Best Digital Watch For Nurses
When it comes to great digital watches for nurses, Timex wins hands down. The Women’s Ironman Transit offers a nurse-friendly white color with a cute faux rose gold bezel and a large, easy-to-read face with Indiglo backlighting.
It has tons of features – plus, it’s probably the best waterproof watch for nurses being water-resistant over 300 feet.
Cons: if you prefer a fob-style watch, try the Nurses Lapel Fob Watch.
If you want a digital watch with features, you can’t beat the Apple Watch Series 5. You can set any type of display, giving you the choice of a variety of digital and analog looks. Did we mention features?
In addition to all of the usual digital watch features, you can download a ton of different apps to add everything from fitness trackers and heart rate monitors to podcast players and GPS maps. These features make it more than just a wristwatch for nurses – it’s a digital assistant. The unisex design makes it suitable for girls, guys, and everything in between, plus the band is very comfortable.
Cons: because it’s basically a wrist computer, water isn’t its friend – if you prefer a watch that’s a bit more waterproof, try the Casio Women’s Baby-G Shock Digital/Analog Watch.
Best Watches For Male Nurses
Guys, the Timex Expedition Rugged Core Analog watch isn’t just one of the best watches for nurses – it’s just a great watch, period. The easy-to-read analog dial has big white numbers and a red seconds hand that’s easy to track with Indiglo backlighting. The 43mm case is big and beefy without feeling chunky or clumsy on your wrist.
Bonus: it has a very easy on the wallet price without sacrificing quality.
Cons: none really, but if you want a digital display, check out the next one down, the Casio G-Shock XL GA-700UC-5ACR.
There’s a reason Casio’s G-Shock watches are so popular – these watches are indestructible tanks. The XL Series are big boys, coming in at 53mm. You get the best of both worlds with an analog and digital display plus just about every digital feature there is with a bright Super Illuminator backlight.
The thick resin band is very comfortable, giving this one the title of “Best Silicone Watch For Nurses”. These are fine-looking timepieces with great performance that you’re going to want to wear in the street too.
Cons: these are big watches, if you prefer something a bit smaller, try the Timex Expedition Rugged Core Analog.
Best Watches For Female Nurses
The Casio Women’s LRW200H Analog Watch might just be the best nurses’ watch ever. It’s not just because of its uniform-friendly white color. It has a large, easy-to-read analog display with big, colorful numbers.
The silicone band is super comfy to wear all day long and it’s water-resistant. There’s a reason it’s on every Top 10 list – it’s probably the perfect nurse’s watch.
Cons: none really, but if you prefer digital watches, try the Timex Women’s Ironman Transit.
When it comes to medical watches for nurses, nobody beats this choice. The Speidel Original Scrub Watch was made specifically for nurses and it gives you a simple, elegant performance.
The big analog face has large easy to read numbers that include a seconds display which is nice when you’re taking vitals. The silicone band is thick, yet comfortable and comes in a wide variety of color combos. Don’t worry about getting it wet either – it’s water-resistant to 100 feet.
Cons: if you prefer a digital watch with loads of options, try the Apple Watch Series 5.
Best Waterproof Watches For Nurse
Did someone say Bling Bling? Why is a super snazzy watch with a crystal-accented bezel under the best waterproof watches for nurses?
Well, in addition to being at home in the hospital or the club, the Fossil Women’s Riley watch is also waterproof up to 330 ft. The analog display is easy to read and looks great too with the stainless steel case and band.
Cons: if you prefer a watch that’s simple, try the Speidel Original Scrub Watch.
Ladies, we didn’t forget to include a G-Shock watch for you. The Rose Gold Baby-G gives you both digital and analog functioning in a uniform-friendly and charming white/rose gold color combo.
It’s waterproof enough to go swimming with, so don’t worry about how many times you’ve washed your hands today. It’s comfortable, has all the functions, and looks great on your wrist.
Cons: if you like a simpler, classy design, try the Timex Women’s Weekender Watch.
Best Silicone Watches For Nurses
Swatch watches are a classic. Classic design, great performance, easy to read – plus a full silicone case and strap making them light and durable. The display is big and easy to read making them perfect for taking readings. Just a great all-around watch.
Cons: it’s a pretty basic design, if you prefer something cuter, try the Timex Women’s Weekender.
The Casio Unisex Digital Watch’s white color and simple, easy-to-read digital display make this a great choice for any nurse. The silicone band is comfortable and durable.
It has all the digital watch features from a timer and calendar to a stopwatch and the battery will last you 7 years. The price is very affordable and it’s water-resistant.
Cons: it can feel a bit large on smaller wrists, so if you want something smaller try the Swatch Women’s Casual Watch.
Best Watches For Nursing Student
What makes this the best watch for nursing students? How bout an unbeatable price, large display, cute colors, and all the digital functions. The Armitron Sport Watch gives you everything you need at a price that is less than your weekly Starbucks budget.
Cons: if you’d prefer an analog watch, try the Speidel Original Scrub Watch.
Another budget-friendly watch from Armitron that’s perfect for nursing students because of its super-affordable price. This one gives you an easy-to-read analog display instead of digital, plus it comes in some really nice color combos.
We liked that it wasn’t too big, so it fits a little better on smaller wrists. The resin strap is comfortable and it’s waterproof.
Cons: if you like a digital display, try the Armitron Sport Women’s Digital Watch.
Cute Watches For Nurses
Don’t let the simple, easy-to-read dial fool you – there are lots of really cute band options that give you a little added flair. No reason you can’t have a watch that’s functional and looks cute.
Cons: the band is nylon, so if you prefer a silicone band, try the Swatch Women’s Casual Watch.
Want a watch that’s super affordable and always at the ready? This Nurses Lapel Fob Watch is always there when you need it with a handy retractable lanyard.
Clip it to your front pocket and forget about it until you need it. It has an easy-to-read analog dial with luminous hands to make it easy to read in low-light conditions. Bonus: you can get one for the price of about two coffees.
Cons: if you prefer a wristwatch, try the Casio Women’s LRW200H Analog Watch.
Key Features To Pindown Before Buying A Nurse Watch
1. Analog or Digital?
One of the first features to consider is whether you want a digital or analog watch.
Digital watches are easy to read, allowing you to see the time instantly without really having to think about it. You can watch the seconds tick by easily and many digital watches will offer you more features like alarms, calendars, a stopwatch feature, lights and more.
While analog watches may not have as many features, lots of nurses prefer them because the hands are very easy to see when taking a reading with the seconds hand very easy to track.
It all really comes down to what kind of features you want, how easy it is for you to read, and your personal preference.
2. Lapel or Wristwatch?
A lapel or lanyard style watch really helps to make your watch handy, always at the ready and out of the way.
Some people just don’t like the feel of a watch on the wrist, and when you have to wear it on a long shift, sometimes a wristwatch can chafe or become a bit uncomfortable.
Affordability is always a factor in choosing your watch – especially if you’re a nursing student looking to save a buck. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on a swanky timepiece to get a reliable, quality watch that’ll serve you well on the job.
What To Look For In A Nurse’s Watch
Clean And High-contrast Dial (Or Face)
Whether it’s a digital or analog watch, you need a clean, high-contrast dial or face that’s going to be easy to read quickly in any light condition. High contrast means that the hands are easily visible whether it’s black hands on a white face or white hands on a black face.
Digital watches also offer either black on white (traditional LCD) or the newer white numbers on a black background style.
Visible Seconds Hand
The seconds hand on an analog watch is how you’re going to be taking most of your readings (blood pressure, etc.) so you need a watch with hands that are easy to see. Often the hands will be painted in phosphorescent paint that glows in the dark and is a high contrast white, green, or orange for regular light conditions.
As we mentioned above, a good nursing watch will have hands that are coated with luminescent paint that glows in the dark for visibility in low light conditions. Digital watches will have a light button you can tap to illuminate the face or a setting that makes the numbers glow.
Nurses put their watches through a lot, and if your watch isn’t waterproof, chances are it’s not going to last long. Besides spilling any kind of liquid on it, wearing a watch for extended periods will make your wrist sweat – another liquid that can work its way into your watch and ruin it.
Easy To Clean
You want – no, you need – your watch to be easy to clean. A nurse’s watch is a work watch and that means it’s going to get dirty. A silicone band and durable heavy plastic casing are what you want to look for.
Your watch is going to be seeing a lot of action, so you need a durable band that is strong and won’t break on you. Silicone bands have everything you want in durability, comfort, and ease of cleaning – that’s why so many modern watches are equipped with them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What Type Of Watch Is Best For Nurses?
Any watch that is reliable has an easy-to-read, high-contrast dial with a seconds hand or counter, and is comfortable for you will do the job.
What Is The Best Watch For A Nurse?
The best watch for a nurse is one that is easy to read, has a second hand or seconds counter, is reliable, well-made, and most of all, comfortable to wear.
Is An Apple Watch Good For Nurses?
Apple watches are awesome for nurses. You can choose either a classic analog-style face or a digital display. Plus you get just about every feature, app, and add-on Apple offers for download from the App Store.
Can Nurses Wear Smartwatches?
It depends on the rules of your healthcare organization, but many allow you to wear smartwatches. Just don’t let the notifications and alerts distract you on the job.
What Is A Medical Watch?
You may have seen watches that are sold as “medical” watches. Often these have high-contrast analog dials and are white to conform to most uniform policies, but on the whole, they’re just like any other watch.
Do Nurses Need Watches?
Yes, they do. In fact, a good watch is just as important as a good stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, penlight, and thermometer. You can’t take vitals without a watch handy.
Can Nurses Wear Apple Watches?
Yes, they can. In fact, Apple watches are great because you can set the face to either an analog-style setting or a digital one. You also have tons of features and apps you can add that give you a wide variety of tools all available on your wrist.
Why Do Nurses Need A Watch With A Second Hand?
Nurses need watches with a second hand to take vitals readings like heart rate and blood pressure.
Nurses need watches for more than just telling time. A good watch is just an essential piece of equipment as their stethoscope. That means you need a watch that’s easy to read, performs when you need it, and is going to take the daily punishment of long shifts.
But if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the choices out there, just review the top choices: the Casio Women’s LRW200H Analog Watch, the Speidel Original Scrub Watch, and the Casio Women’s Baby-G Analog-Digital Watch.
All three of these top choices give you everything you need, whether you want a digital display or you like a classic, elegant analog dial. But whatever you choose, you’ll have a watch that’s going to work as hard as you do, day in and day out.