Being a nurse is a job that demands a lot from a person. And most nurses wear watches. You have to be constantly focused, keeping your mind on the task at hand, and having an immense workload to get through. It’s a highly active job and comes with a lot of stress. Nurses really are heroes. As this is such a complex job, we’re seeing watch companies releasing specific wearables to suit.
They’re regular watches, but they have a few functions that would benefit these medical professionals. And they deserve a quality watch.
In short, the best ones are water-resistant, comfortable on the wrist or easy to clip onto a scrub pocket, easy to wipe clean (but let’s not go into the gory details as to why) and should offer excellent visibility. Scroll below onto how to choose a watch for nurses.
We’ve made a list of the eight best watches for nurses here: some traditional timepieces, some smartwatches. So, here we go!
Our Top Watches for Nurses Selection
Scrub Watch for Medical Professionals
This watch is particularly great for nurses because the silicone band offers a lot of comfort. Also, this means it’s very easy to keep clean, which is an essential feature. The 38mm case is stainless steel.
It has a water-resistance rating of 3ATM, which means 30m. Inside it has a Quartz movement, which powers the 3 black hands on the face, which sit on an analogue display with a white dial for optimal contrast. It offers time in a 24-hour format. As for the seconds, you get a red hand which can be vital when taking a pulse.
The collection, called Scrub, are designed specifically as watches for nurses and those in the medical profession who require accuracy from their watch. The dial is easily read when in a hurry. The second hand can be relied on for taking an accurate pulse reading. Plus, the band is easily wiped clean with antibac. Worth noting that the band is interchangeable if you want or need another and there are also almost 40 different colours.
Fitbit Watches for Nurses
Versa 3 Health and Fitness Smartwatch
The Fitbit Versa 3 is the latest Versa model and offers both style and smart functionality, making it one of the best watches for nurses. It has an OLED display that is bright in all lighting conditions (plus, you can turn it up or make it dimmer if needed). If it’s handy to you, you can utilise the always-on display. A feature that, until now, was made famous by the more expensive Apple Watch.
The Versa 3 has an abundance of apps that make life a little easier. For one, nurses can use the timer function for a whole range of their day-to-day tasks. There’s also the option to set multiple alarms if you need reminding of certain things.
Medical professionals like nurses are likely interested in their own health and fitness, and Fitbit is still a leading brand for fitness trackers. The Versa 3 will monitor heart rate, calories burned, steps taken and distance.
Advanced features include blood oxygen saturation monitoring, breathing rate and temperature (whilst you sleep) which, altogether, give an excellent overview of your general health. Whilst you sleep, the Versa 3 will monitor your sleep stages and provide you with an easy-to-understand score out of 100 in the morning. If you had a bad night, you’d be able to see where you woke or how long you spent in the sleep stages and how this compares to averages within your age group.
Looking at the design, it’s not too far from the premium look you get from Apple, albeit more rounded. The watches are interchangeable, too.
You can get a Fitbit Versa 3 for around $200.
The Fitbit Sense is another popular fitness tracker from the well-known brand. This popular gadget retails at $199 and can go up to $229.95 for more advanced models. This watch features a lightweight, streamlined design to make moving around with it easy and comfortable too. It also features a clear AMOLED color screen which is perfect for reading from a quick glance.
If you’re after a fitness-specialized watch, this is a good option to check out. This device featured high-tech sensors like EDA scanners, heart rate trackers, ECG monitors, and daily readiness scores too. Wearers can use this gadget to optimize their sleep and health, allowing them to meet fitness goals with small daily habits.
This watch has additional smartwatch features such as built-in GPS, voice assistant, and stress management software to help users navigate day-to-day life easier. This is great for any nurse, as their busy schedules can often leave them with less time for themselves.
Nurses can also link this smartwatch to the Fitbit Premium app to make the most of their data insights. This is an extremely popular feature and Fitbit users receive a 6-month premium membership when they purchase the tracker.
Fitbit Charge 5
If you’re interested in opting for a more advanced device, consider the Fitbit Charge 5. This modern fitness smartwatch was released in August 2021 and offers a range of modern features for under $200.
This is a great option for nurses as it ticks all necessary boxes.
The Charge 5 is:
- Offers multiple fitness and health trackers
- Costs under $200
- Feature premium smartwatch features
- The screen is easy to read at a glance
- Holds battery life for up to 7 days (or 5 hours with continuous GPS systems on)
Key advanced features of the Fitbit Charge include an electrodermal activity sensor (EDA), an optical heart rate monitor, an SpO2 sensor, an ECG sensor, and more. If you’re conscious of your health or want to keep up to date with your body whilst working, the Charge 5 is a great companion.
This is a hit watch for both nurses and workout enthusiasts as it’s easy to use and offers a clear picture of your health. Alongside general health tracking, this watch even offers female health metrics that allow you to keep track of your menstrual cycle, ovulation window, and more.
Explore the Fitbit Charge models in more depth here.
Timex Watches for Nurses
Timex Expedition Field Mini Watch
This watch is predominantly aimed at those who enjoy an outdoor adventure. But, it’s for men and women alike. The Timex Expedition Field Mini is, as the name suggests, small. 26mm, to be precise. Though don’t think this slim timepiece isn’t durable because it is. It has a scratch-resistant face, brass case, and leather strap.
On the face, you’ll find an analog dial that is super-easy to read at a glance. The time is offered in both 12 and 24-hour format. What’s extra helpful is the Indiglo light, which allows you to see the display in low-lighting.
You can read more about the Timex watches with the Indiglo feature, here.
As for the design, it’s a mix of professionalism and practicality, so nurses (and doctors) won’t have to swap this watch out for something else off-shift because it blends in well with all outfits.
The reason this is one of the best for nurses is because of the comfort (especially for daintier wrists), the accuracy and the useful backlight.
Perhaps best of all, you can find this watch for around $60.
Timex Women’s Weekender Watch
Another Timex offering is the Women’s Weekender. This 31mm watch is minimal but beautiful.
The nylon strap is comfortable, easy to clean and interchangeable if needed.
The face offers 12 and 24-hour time formats, an analogue display with a 3 hand Quartz movement, including the Indiglo light underneath a scratch-resistant mineral glass dome. Another plus is that this watch has a 3ATM (30m) water-resistance rating.
The Weekender range from Timex certainly deserves its place on this list. It offers durability, water-resistance, a clean and uncluttered display for checking the time quickly, and the Quartz movement means you can trust the accuracy.
Watches in the Weekender range are around $50 – 100.
Now we head to a larger watch that is 40mm. The dial offers both 12 and 24-hour time formatting and a red second hand, which is useful for things like taking a pulse.
The watch is easy to clean thanks to the stainless steel case being water-resistant. The face is protected by sapphire mineral crystal, and the band is leather, though this is interchangeable. It’s lightweight, durable, reliable, comfortable and easy to clean.
Inside is an accurate Japanese Quartz movement, which is known for its accuracy.
All in all, the VAVC was specifically designed for doctors and nurses and comes with all the basic features needed to make on-shift life a little easier.
The best part is that this watch comes well under $100.
Apple Watch for Nurses
Apple Watch Series SE/6/7
No one said nurses couldn’t have a stylish watch. The Apple Watch Series 6 really is the watch that does it all, and there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most useful watches for nurses you can buy. There should be some good deals for used apple watches right now as the Apple Watch Series 7 is out.
It has an OLED Retina display which offers bold, bright and clear colors for easy reading. There are so many different complications to add that it’ll make your head spin. Customize your display by applying any of the best Apple Watches faces and enjoy the convenience of having the apps you use most at your fingertips.
Specifically, nurses require watch faces that show the second hand. These are the watch faces we recommend – Infograph, Chronograph, GMT, CountUp, Explorer, California, Meridian, Numerals, Activity, Utility, and Typograph. They all show the second had, but you may need to adjust the display to stay on longer when you tap to wake. The way to do this is to go to Settings on your watch, then go to General/Wake Screen and adjust wake time.
You may also want to consider the Apple Watch SE which is cheaper but does not have ECG or SPO2 sensors. Whether as a nurse you require those is up to you. You can compare all the Apple Watch models here.
Compare prices and choose your favorite merchant on this Apple Watch SE Genius Choice Deal Page or see the table below for some alternative options.
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This watch delivers notifications and allows you to answer phone calls without your phone nearby (if you have the cellular version). Things like calendar appointments, reminders and alarms can be utilized to boost productivity. You can even check emails on the go, so you don’t miss important information. If you do have the cellular version, it’s advantageous, as some nurses aren’t allowed, or it’s not convenient to have a phone in hand.
If you’re interested in monitoring your steps over the day, both Series 6 and 7 have GPS built-in so you can keep an eye on your distance (and calories burned).
Water resistance is up to 50m, which protects it against things like shallow water submersion, splashes, and spills – everything you’re likely to come up against during the day.
The case comes in 40mm and 44m sizes and the bands are interchangeable. It’s advised that nurses use the silicone sports strap as this is the easiest to clean, but we’ve also reviewed the best Apple Watch straps, here.
Ultimately, the Apple Watch is the ultimate multifunctional watch for managing your day.
Apple Watch SE
Apple Watches are one of the most popular options on the market and we can see why! Especially in the case of their SE model, as this more affordable alternative retails at $279 or $329 for the cellular version. Though there are cheaper watch models available, the Apple Watch SE offers a large range of features and functions as well too. Plus, cult fans of the brand are willing to spend as they trust the brand too!
The Apple Watch SE is designed more like a smartwatch than a classic health and fitness tracker, however, don’t let this put you off the watch as it still hosts a range of modern features. Nurses should note that this watch doesn’t have SpO2 or ECG sensors, but it does feature activity tracking, calories burned, and a large range of sports modes too.
You can purchase an LTE version of this watch, so if you want to be connected at all times this is a good option. This allows the watch to make phone calls, receive notifications, and send texts too. This is a great choice for any iPhone user as the two pair seamlessly.
The Apple Watch SE is great for nurses who are busy all day, as the watch has a large and clear display to help them tell the time and check notifications quickly and easily too. Not only that, but this option is lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods of time too.
Galaxy Watch Active 2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active 2 is a beast of a smartwatch when it comes to versatility.
Physically speaking, you get an OLED display that clearly shows your widgets (complications) and the information you’ve deemed necessary enough to put on your watch face (which is fully customizable). Also, it offers an always-on display feature.
The 40mm case comes in either stainless steel or aluminum with interchangeable straps. As with the Apple Watch 6, it comes with a silicone band that will be the best for cleaning.
As it’s a fitness tracker and a smartwatch, you get features included like heart rate and sleep monitoring, distance, calories burned, stairs climbed, etc. This can be a useful feature for those working shifts whose sleep patterns are changeable so you can learn how to maximize the quality of sleep you get.
More than that, it comes with Bluetooth and GPS so you can stay connected. Be it notifications, messaging or making a phone call. This is your best option if you’re an Android smartphone user (as the Apple Watch 6 is to iPhone users). It’s also potentially a better fit for fitness tracking at a lower price than the Galaxy 3.
Galaxy Watch 4
While we love the Galaxy Watch Active 2, nurses should also consider the Galaxy Watch 4. This is a more expensive option, but this high-quality smartwatch can be used at work and for daily life too. Perfect as a gift for a loved one, or if you feel like treating yourself to a new gadget.
This watch was released on the 27th of August, so this wearable is still relatively new. The watch has a lightweight and comfortable design – perfect if you want a companion for long shifts and active work.
The Galaxy Watch 4 comes with a range of helpful features, including:
- Activity tracking
- SpO2 sensors
- GPS signaling
- Sleep tracking
- Stress monitoring
- Body composition analysis
- & more
Want to explore this smartwatch in more detail? Find out why we love this watch here.
Wristology offer a simple yet classic and good-looking nurse watch. It’s waterproof to 30m, has large numbers, and is very clear and easy to read.
If you need a watch without all the smart features – a workhorse without all the fuss – then Wristology is the watch for you. Clear, clean lines, large face, and a comfortable silicone band. Bands come in many colors. You can get it in silver, gold or rose gold. Runs on trustworthy Japanese quartz movement.
Women’s Nurse Watch
We finish on a simple high with the Casio Nurse Watch for women. It’s a budget-friendly offering with a modest 33mm resin case and band with a mineral glass face. Plus, it’s waterproof to 10m, which is handy for splashes and the like being so easy to clean.
Inside is a Quartz movement.
The display has an analog dial, 12 and 24-hour time format, a second hand and hour markers in different colors to separate morning, afternoon, and evening. Additionally, there’s a date window and a bidirectional rotating bezel.
This is certainly one of the best watches for nurses as it offers durability, reliability, comfort, ease of cleaning, and doesn’t break the bank. If you only need the basics, this is a great option.
The Garmin Lily is a great example of a stylish smartwatch with a range of sophisticated fitness trackers too. Garmin is known for its high-performance smartwatches, and the Garmin Lily is no exception. This timepiece comes in two modes “Sport” or “Classic” to give users a design choice and they can also decide whether they want a watch specialized for everyday use or sports. The Sport model costs approximately $200 and the classic retails for just under $250.
The design of this watch features an easy-to-read circular screen that mimics a traditional watch design. The one setback about the Garmin Lily display is the fact that it only shows data on a monochrome display that may be harder to read for some. The watch is lightweight and the bands on both models are comfortable, perfect for nurses on long shifts.
When it comes to health and fitness, this watch has a comprehensive range of features that rival the majority of smartwatches on the market right now. From menstrual racking to sports modes, the Garmin Lily offers lots of data metrics that can make daily life easier and promote healthy habits for the wearer too.
This watch also contains more advanced features like SpO2 levels, putting it above other popular smartwatches. Another advanced feature is “Live Monitoring”, which allows women to keep track of their location when out on their own.
The MorePro Fitness Tracker For Women is an excellent budget fitness tracker for all nurses. If you want to spend less and still get high-quality features, check this option out. The MorePro retails for $39.99 and comes in two colors, perfect for any nurse that wants to add some style to their uniform.
Fitness and health trackers featured on this app include SpO2 sensors, heart monitors, pedometers, female menstrual tracking, calories burned, and it also sends out personalized sedentary movement reminders to keep you fit. This is also a great option if you want to be more active or start a weight management journey.
This device can be linked to the companion app – the FitCloudPro. This app allows users to check their metrics on their smartphones, making data easy to access at any time. This is a key feature for anyone who wants to keep an eye on their health whilst at work.
Nurses should also note that this tracker is very charge efficient and only takes two hours to reach maximum charge. It can also hold battery for 7 to 10 days, depending on how often you use it – great for anyone on long shifts and hectic schedules!
Concluding our watch selection
Not just any watch will suffice for someone in the nursing profession. They must fulfill certain requirements in order to be useful. The timepieces we discussed here match these expectations.
In addition, if you haven’t found a nursing watch that suits your requirements and tastes, you may utilize the advice below to narrow down your choices.
How to Choose a Nurse Watch
Ready to get into the nitty-gritty of watch shopping? Here’s all nurses need to know before buying!
Style is key! Keep reading to see which devices will work best for you.
Digital Watch vs. Analog
When it comes to analog vs digital watches, different nurses will advise you on which is the best. Most nurses and medical professionals are likely to suggest wearing an analog watch in the long run. Analog watches are excellent for counting seconds and measuring a pulse or particular counts, even if they seem a bit out of date in today’s technologically advanced world.
Digital watches, on the other hand, function just as well since many of them have second counts in addition to minute displays. With their numerical displays, they may also be simpler to read in a hurry.
Lapel or Pin Watch vs Classic Wrist Watch
Wearing a medical watch on your wrist or on your lapel are the two most common options. For various reasons, many nurses favor both types. It’s impossible to state one kind of watch is better than the other; it’s just a matter of personal preference.
Wristwatches, according to some nurses, are more convenient to wear and use. Your watch is exactly where you need to view it when you’re using your hands all day or night.
Some nurses, on the other hand, prefer lapel watches (also known as pin watches) that connect to their uniforms since they collect fewer germs and come into touch with a variety of fluids and hospital materials. When you have to wash your hands, lapel watches don’t get in the way.
Go fully digital with a smartwatch
You may even invest in a smartwatch if you want to be extra fancy, which many nurses do these days. Smartwatches are getting more popular as a result of the many amazing capabilities they provide that conventional watches just cannot match. Text messaging, setting numerous alarms and timers, and checking your health metrics are just a few examples. They may show digital or analog data, and there are many various types of bands to select from.
They also include all of the characteristics we mentioned above in our list of things to look for in a nurse’s watch.
All watches come in different builds. What should you be looking for? We’ve researched the best builds for nurses so you don’t have to!
What kind of movement is best?
Understanding watch movements is essential for weighing the benefits and drawbacks for a nurse. What makes the watch tick, in other words?
Manual, automatic, and quartz movements are the three major kinds of watch movements. The first two fall under the mechanical movement umbrella. The latter, on the other hand, is entirely powered by electricity.
Mechanical watches are often more costly than quartz watches since the production process requires a lot of labor.
Furthermore, many individuals like this kind of watch since it is historically significant. It’s the culmination of years of watchmaking ingenuity. As a result, it has emotional significance but isn’t necessary for medical professionals.
When it comes to quartz watch mechanisms, they are very precise. As a result, timekeeping is very reliable.
Watches with quartz movements are also more affordable and thus more commonly available.
Is it lightweight?
A normal nurse’s shifts are 12 hours long. If a nurse wears a hefty watch for extended periods of time, it will become inconvenient and even unpleasant. As a result, go for a lightweight watch.
Fortunately, you won’t have to go through a lengthy list of characteristics since a watch with a silicone, resin, or plastic casing and strap is nearly always lightweight. Whereas a stainless steel case and band are durable, it’s quite weighty.
It should be resistant to water and splashes
Nurses and other medical personnel must wash and sanitize their hands more often than the general public. As a result, a good nursing watch must be water-resistant.
You should seek a 3 ATM or 30m rating at a minimum (100ft). It implies that the watch can withstand splashes and mild water immersion.
Clearly, the best ones are those that can withstand bathing and swimming, since the more protected they are, the longer they will survive.
The band should be both durable and easy to clean
Because a nurse’s work entails handling a variety of substances, the watchband must be durable and easy to clean. That’s why the majority of the bands are made of silicone, which repels water better than any other material and is also simple to clean.
Some leather bands will work well, however, they are considerably less water-resistant than silicone bands. Nylon straps are the same way. They, too, are more prone to wear and staining. Really, a silicone strap is best.
Due to its relatively heavyweight, stainless steel, which is the most common material for watch straps, is not advised for the profession. This feature leads us to the last need to consider when looking for a good watch for nurses.
The dial should be clear and easy to read
The clear and easy-to-read face is perhaps the most important indicator of a genuine nursing watch.
Consider checking the time on a dial with a lot of tiny panes, different colors, and design features; it may take a long to focus on the most essential component of the watch, the time.
As a result, look for a watch with a basic analog face that is devoid of superfluous features.
Timers and alarm clocks are invaluable
These tools are critical for keeping track of responsibilities during a shift. Alarms and timers may help a nurse to remember to change a patient’s medicine or follow up with them. Making the job infinitely easier.
Ensure it has a secondhand
It’s simple to select the incorrect wristwatch since many minimalistic timepieces don’t have a second hand. As a result, make sure it’s included in your next nurse watch. But what is the significance of the second hand?
In the medical field, timing is crucial. Counting pulse rate or any other time-critical measurement is best done with accurate gauges, and the seconds counter is the best and most convenient choice. It’s much nicer if it’s brightly colored. For example, a red second hand is ideal. If you opt for Japanese Quartz movement, the seconds hand usually stands out.
There are also sweeping second-hand watches with a gliding motion of the hand. These clocks are far more expensive than ordinary medical wristwatches and are mostly powered by mechanical movements.
The practicality, on the other hand, is less helpful since catching the precise seconds requires too much attention. As a result, conventional one-tick-a-second watches are the way to go.
Luminescence is a game-changer
Despite the fact that this functionality isn’t essential, it does offer more options for verifying the time. Checking out patients late at night is a frequent occurrence, so your luminous watch may come in useful.
It’s a personal choice whether you want lume-contained hands and markers or a fully illuminated backdrop. Both functions will complete the task.
For example, the Timex brand features a well-known greenish-blue electro-luminescent backlight. The G-Shock line-up also includes a watch with a full-lit face. The majority of watchmakers, on the other hand, have restricted the luminescence to watch hands and indexes.
Final word on nurses watches
We hope that this post has assisted you in locating a watch that fits your preferences and needs. Whether you select one of the watches shown here or go out and locate one on your own, make sure it meets the basic requirements, such as enough water resistance, the presence of a second hand, and an easily visible display. Only in this manner can you ensure a long-lasting and functional nurse watch.
Don’t forget to check out our related article covering the best budget smartwatches in 2023, which all cost less than $100.
Or, if you know someone in the emergency services, check out our article on the best watch options for the police.
Last Updated on December 12, 2022
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