The 13 Best Backpacks For Nursing School That Every Student Needs

Written by Priyam Gupta
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Whoever said nursing school was easy, well, they probably never went to nursing school. From endless lectures and OSCE prep to rotating at hospital wards, being at nursing school can feel like a full-time job. While you’re dealing with the stress of honing clinical knowledge and skills to perfection, the last thing you need is extra pressure on your back. After all, getting a headache from falling asleep in the library is one thing, but popping NSAIDs from lugging heavy textbooks and nursing supplies — that can (and should) be prevented.

So, here are the best backpacks for nursing school that will minimize back strain and stress, all while keeping you perfectly organized and trés chic to boot. The #NurseLife may not always be comfortable, but your backpack sure can be!

Top 10 ProductsCheck Price
Matein Travel Backpack With USB Charging PortCheck Price
SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop BackpackCheck Price
AmazonBasics Laptop BackpackCheck Price
Under Armour Hustle 3.0 BackpackCheck Price
LOVEVOOK Laptop Backpack Purse For WomenCheck Price
JanSport Big Student BackpackCheck Price
Adidas Prime V BackpackCheck Price
OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop BackpackCheck Price
High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled BackpackCheck Price
Louise Morrison Laptop Backpack For NursesCheck Price

13 Best Backpacks For Nursing School To Lighten Your Load

1. Matein Travel Backpack With USB Charging Port

Designed to offer oodles of space with tons of nifty organizational pockets, this travel backpack from Matein is your best bet for economical storage. Boasting a handy USB charging cable in the interiors with the built-in charger conveniently placed on the exteriors, this backpack allows you to charge all your devices on the go. You can also expect amazing back support with a ventilated multi-panel padding that’s thick yet soft, combined with low-strain, adjustable shoulder straps. Made with a water-resistant polyester fabric and sturdy black metallic zippers, it’s available in 7 stunning colors that fabulously complement most nursing scrubs.

Pros

  • Can securely accommodate a 15.6 inch laptop
  • Key fob hook & multi-compartment design for organization
  • Luggage strap for convenient travel during flights
  • Anti-theft pocket on the back to protect valuables

Cons

  • Laptop compartment needs more padding

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2. SwissGear 1900 Scansmart Laptop Backpack

One of SwissGear’s bestsellers, the iconic 1900 ScanSmart Laptop Backpack is every daily commuter’s first choice and has been crafted to support your active lifestyle. From the ScanSmart technology and RFID pockets to an in-built USB charger and lush airflow panels for cooling, it’s smart enough to be your college wingman. Meanwhile, the contoured straps, custom lightweight fabric, and lush, padded panels are designed to minimize stress on the back, making this bag wildly comfortable to carry. If you’re an organization queen, you will especially love all the compartments and pockets designed to help you find the right nursing supplies at the right time, so you’re always on your A game!

Pros

  • TSA-approved laptop bag
  • Stylish yet ergonomic design
  • Accommodates laptops up to 17 inches
  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Supremely roomy with a 31L volume capacity

Cons

  • The backpack tends to not sit up straight.

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3. AmazonBasics Laptop Backpack

If you’re on a budget and organization plus ample storage space are your two biggest backpack priorities, this simple yet sturdy laptop bag from AmazonBasics is a great candidate. With its 17-inch computer sleeve, nifty mesh side pockets for water bottles, and multiple compartments to organize all your textbooks and other knick knacks, this black backpack is designed to meet all your essential needs as a nursing student. Made with a 100% durable polyester fabric and weighing a mere 1.98 lbs compared to the 2+ lbs of its competitors, the AmazonBasics laptop backpack is extraordinarily lightweight, making it ideal for long hospital rotations.

Pros

  • Laptop sleeve is padded for security
  • Handy side pocket to carry a water bottle
  • Relatively less expensive than competitors
  • Front pocket organizer for keys, pens, and cell phones

Cons

  • Only available in the color black

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4. Under Armour Hustle 3.0 Backpack

The perfect matrimony of function and fashion, the Hustle 3.0 backpack by Under Armour is for every nursing student who needs some eye candy to brighten their scrubs yet lighten their load. Not only is it extremely roomy, durable, and comfortable, but the bag also benefits from Under Armour’s Storm technology, which gives it a waterproof and element-battling finish to always keep your valuables safe. Additionally, it has a padded 15-inch laptop sleeve with a sturdy, abrasion-resistant heavy-duty bottom panel and 2 side pockets to secure your water bottles. Oh, and the bonus? It also has a huge gusseted shoe pocket/laundry bag at the bottom, which makes it perfect for those surgical rotations where you may need to carry a spare pair of shoes to the hospital.

Pros

  • Adjustable shoulder straps for ergonomic comfort
  • Amazingly waterproof and resistant to storm damage
  • Available in 17 beautiful color combinations
  • Offers secure storage for spare shoes

Cons

  • Bag may get too top heavy and topple at full capacity

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5. LOVEVOOK Laptop Backpack Purse For Women

With a backpack’s functionality but a tote’s elegance, this Laptop Backpack Purse is all things uber chic. Shockingly lightweight and offering a 20L volume capacity in the form of 18 nifty pockets and 2 main compartments, this glamorous backpack purse makes organizing all your nursing school essentials super simple and oh-so-spiffy. The main compartment is designed to remain wide open, allowing you easy access to textbooks, stationery, and all those little trinkets that tend to vanish inside the alleged Bermuda’s Triangle that seems to lie at the bottom of traditional backpacks. Made with premium grade polyester, lush shoulder handles, reinforced seams, and slip-resistant zippers, these gorgeous nursing student backpacks aren’t just pretty — they’re strong!

Pros

  • Padded 15.6-inch laptop sleeve
  • Available in 9 stunning designs
  • Conveniently built-in USB charging port
  • Side pockets to store umbrellas or water bottles
  • Hidden anti-theft pocket at the back for valuables

Cons

  • May not be able to carry multiple textbooks

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6. JanSport Big Student Backpack

JanSport has been crafting durable, reliable, and high-quality backpacks since 1967. So, it shouldn’t exactly come as a surprise to know that their Big Student Backpack line is a bestseller at college campuses. Engineered with premium grade polyester and reinforced with a polyester lining and slip-proof metallic zippers, the Big Student features the iconic backpack silhouette and logo that JanSport bags are renowned for. It’s equipped with S-curved ergonomic shoulder straps, a padded posterior panel for textbooks, a front utility compartment for organizing your stationery and keys, and multiple side pockets for extra storage. Most importantly, it’s available in 16 stunning colors and prints that are bound to make a style statement wherever you go.

Pros

  • Specially padded 15-inch laptop sleeve
  • Made with high-quality, durable fabrics
  • Ergonomic design to reduce back strain
  • Available in unique prints and solid colors
  • Side pockets to store water bottles or an umbrella

Cons

  • No built-in USB charging port

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7. Adidas Prime V Backpack

Say hello to the new and improved avatar of Adidas’ acclaimed Prime Backpack line. Compared to its predecessor, the updated Prime V Backpack has an XXL capacity and is equipped with multiple strategically-located zipper pockets designed for easy access and hassle-free storage. The upgrade also includes a lushly padded compartment to secure all your electronic devices as well as a pair of load spring system shoulder straps that reduce back strain and offer extra comfort during wear. It’s available in 21 gorgeous designs, all of which incorporate reflective detailing in order to enhance your visibility in dimly lit conditions, making it the ideal backpack for nursing school when you’re cycling or walking to rotations during foggy mornings.

Pros

  • Iconic Adidas logo
  • Offers oodles of storage and organization
  • Beautiful exteriors and ergonomic design
  • Padded laptop sleeve for extra security
  • Side pockets to hold water bottles

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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8. OGIO Renegade RSS Laptop Backpack

OGIO’s flagship backpack, the Renegade RSS has been engineered to handle any challenge that comes its way. Equipped with thick foam panels to secure your electronic devices and other valuables, it safely stores all your nursing supplies in its roomy interiors that contain multiple organization compartments. Not only does it contain a laptop sleeve that can accommodate 15-inch laptops (and thinner 17-inch laptops), it also contains 2 specially padded pockets — one for an e-reader or iPad and another for your digital camera or mouse. The ergonomic, adjustable shoulder sternum straps, along with the extra foam padding along the shoulders, provides an incredibly comfortable commuting experience.

Pros

  • Padded pockets for multiple electronic devices
  • Abundant zippered utility pockets for organization
  • Made with premium, tear-resistant 600D polyester pindot
  • Dual side pockets for water bottles or an umbrella
  • Slides on rolling luggage handle for travel convenience

Cons

  • Relatively expensive

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9. High Sierra Powerglide Wheeled Backpack

If you’re attending an elective or are often expected to shadow during on-calls, you may want to pack well for studying and (fingers crossed) napping needs. In that case, the Powerglide nursing bag with wheels from High Sierra is your best friend. With hidden shoulder straps, special inline skating wheels and a telescoping handle, this innovative design can seamlessly transform into a backpack or rolling piece of luggage, depending on your needs. Containing multiple compartments and side pockets to systematically store all your nursing supplies, this nursing school rolling backpack also boasts a thickly padded laptop sleeve that can accommodate up to 17-inch models.

Pros

  • Can be used as a backpack for nurses or rolling luggage
  • Premium front pocket organizer for keys, pens, and phones
  • Specially padded laptop sleeve for extra security
  • Available in 2 bold color options

Cons

  • The wheels sometimes misbehave on sharp turns.

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10. Louise Morrison Laptop Backpack For Nurses

These gorgeous nursing backpacks make for the perfect gift for a loved one who’s about to embark upon the fateful journey from student nurse to nurse. Possessing sleek black exteriors emblazoned with #NurseLife witticisms in metallic gold or hot pink glitter, these snazzy backpacks are bound to get a chuckle wherever they go! Crafted with a lightweight, premium grade polyester fabric and reinforced with a polyester lining, this Louise Morrison bag may look compact but it can offer a surprisingly large storage capacity. The main zippered compartment accommodates a 17-inch laptop and a textbook or two, while the dual side pockets and front utility pocket fabulously secure all your small valuables.

Pros

  • Fashionable design with funny emblazoned text
  • Sufficient storage for nursing school essentials
  • Ideal gift for family members or friends
  • Ergonomic back strap with extra padding for comfort

Cons

  • Laptop sleeve padding is slightly thin

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11. Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Backpack

Loaded with nifty compartments and organizational pockets specifically designed to hold nursing tools, this bold and spacious beauty is “the ultimate backpack” indeed for medical students or professionals. Besides the multiple document compartments to hold all your precious (and oh-so-heavy) textbooks and notebooks, it also possesses an insulated front utility compartment to ensure the items stored within remain cold. The large-hinged mouth of the bag offers easy access to the roomy interiors, while the durable, water-resistant fabric and sturdy metallic zippers help prevent weather damage. Available in 2 spectacular prints (Cheetah and Grey Camo) and 2 bold colors (Charcoal Rose Gold and Grey Linen), this backpack will meet all your nursing school needs in absolute style.

Pros

  • Easy to clean and water-resistant fabric
  • Provides an interior laptop sleeve
  • Offers fashionable prints and bold colors
  • Multiple roomy storage compartments

Cons

  • Slightly expensive

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12. Nother Square Laptop Backpack

We can sum up the Square Laptop Backpack by Nother in just one word: adorable!

Made with a high-quality and sumptuously breathable nylon fabric along with faux leather detailing and sturdy metal zippers, this vintage inspired design is as lush to touch as it is to look at. Its soft, adjustable, and extra-padded shoulder straps are ergonomically designed to reduce strain on your neck and back muscles while providing extra comfort. Additionally, if you would like an even snugger, more comfortable fit, you can always buckle in the extended straps. Offering a 14-inch laptop compartment and multiple smaller organizational pockets to hold water bottles or secure umbrellas, this charming little backpack also has a secret front zipper that can hold an iPad Mini.

Pros

  • Lovely retro-inspired square silhouette
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Ergonomic design to minimize back strain
  • Lightweight with 8 different style options

Cons

  • Cannot hold laptops over 14 inches

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13. Ali Victory Waterproof Laptop Backpack

Shockingly lightweight, this compact and contemporary bag is made with high-quality nylon, faux leather accents, and strong metal zippers, all of which are scratch-resistant and waterproof to boot. With soft, durable shoulder straps that have been reinforced with extra padding and are adjustable for your comfort, this snazzy backpack offers optimum fit and support. Additionally, it provides 15.5 liters of storage capacity, a main compartment, and a luxuriously padded laptop sleeve along with multiple tool pockets for organization. Available in 4 stunning shades to choose from, each comfortable backpack comes with a pretty unicorn ball key charm!

Pros

  • Brilliant design and ergonomic support
  • Anti-theft zipper pocket at the back
  • Made with waterproof fabrics
  • Easy to clean and surprisingly durable

Cons

  • Can’t accommodate 17-inch laptops

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Having trouble deciding on a soon-to-be study companion from our meticulously researched list of the best backpacks for nursing school students? Check out our buying guide for insightful tips and organizational hacks.

What To Look For When Buying The Best Backpack For Nursing Students

  • Stability and comfort

Considering the hours you have to spend lugging around textbooks, most nursing students (and medical students, too) would argue that comfort is always a priority assessment when deciding to buy a backpack. A majority of the derived comfort depends on the design of the shoulder straps as well as the overall structure of the backpack, both of which can alleviate or exacerbate the strain on the muscles in your neck and back. You can avoid undue strain by keeping an eye out for ergonomically engineered, adjustable shoulder straps. Alternatively, if budget isn’t a problem, you could always invest in a backpack with wheels that you can roll instead of carrying.

  • Storage capacity

Recognizing your storage needs and deciding on a minimum requirement is another way to quickly filter through your potential nursing school backpacks. For example, if you possess a 17-inch notebook computer, you can’t settle for a backpack that accommodates 15.6 inches at its max. Secondly, if you also own an e-reader, tablet, or iPad, it may be a better idea to purchase an additional standalone sleeve. Lastly, you might also want to decide the trinkets in your backpack that should be easiest to access, like keys, wallet, highlighters, phone, etc. This way, you can look out for front utility pockets for all your essentials.

  • Some extra oomph

Beyond the features mentioned above, the overwhelming options of backpacks in the market also offer special features to make their product stand out. Assessing which of these are useful to you can help you narrow down your choices. Headphone sockets and built-in charging cables/ USB charging ports allow you to charge your electronic devices on the go, while anti-theft sleeves can protect your valuables in crowded spaces. You can also opt for a bag with quick access sleeves, which are strategically located or wide open-layouts that allow you direct access to frequently used items (e.g., textbooks, stethoscope, notepads) without having to go through the hassle of rummaging through all the contents of your bag.

Your backpack experience is only as good as your organization. If the contents of your bag are in pure chaos, it will inevitably translate into your life as well. It’s just Newton’s fourth Law of Motion (please don’t Google that). To get the most function out of your investment, here are some simple tips to ensure you effortlessly find what you need when you need it:

Tips For Organizing Backpacks For Nursing Students

  • Begin with a clean backpack

If you’ve already started making use of your newly purchased bag, it’s best to just dump out the contents to make sense of what you’re working with. Ensure you organize similar items together and thoroughly clean the interiors of your bag.

  • Organize nursing supplies according to frequency of use

It’s time to assess what nursing school supplies you use daily, every other day, or once in a month. This will largely depend on your year. If you haven’t reached your clinical years yet, you’ll most likely need frequent access to notebooks, textbooks and your laptop. Alternatively, if you’ve started hospital rotations, you’ll need notepads for patient case notes, your stethoscope, pen torch, and other clinical exam tools.

  • Keep all your miscellaneous items separately

Let’s be honest. Regardless of how well we organize all the contents of our backpack, there are always certain odd items like rulers, binder clips, sticky notes, etc. that fall out of their allotted place eventually. Instead of just dumping it all into the main compartment when you’re in a hurry, keep a zippered pouch or case in your bag or front utility pocket instead. Inside, you can store all your miscellaneous items that need to be organized later.

No matter where you go, your backpack is going with you. And just like every iconic sidekick, from Han Solo’s Chewbacca to Rick’s Morty, a student nurse’s backpack is also their faithful sidekick. It supports you through your adventures and promptly hands you the right tool at the right time. Thanks to our list of the 13 best backpacks for nursing school students to try, you are now one step closer to finding your faithful sidekick: a backpack that has your back!

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is the best backpack for nurses?

Nurses usually require excellent backpacks that offer a lot of room and organization pockets for storage. We’ve compiled a list of the 13 best backpacks for nursing school students right above, each of which serves unique functions. The best among these will be based on what you’re looking for.

What supplies should I have in my nursing school backpack?

That depends on your year of study, clinical rotation, and hospital guidelines. Besides the usual textbooks and stationery, you may very likely have to carry scrubs, nursing shoes, a watch, stethoscope, pen torch, study clipboard, and nursing scissors.

Can backpacks be professional?

More and more millennial professionals have transitioned from attachés and briefcases to backpacks for their comfort and convenience. However, with formal wear, we recommend carrying a backpack in neutral colors like black, beige, brown, white, etc. rather than loud or colorful prints.

How often should you get a new backpack?

It depends on the wear and tear of your existing backpack as well as whether you have a warranty. If, with use, your backpack has been damaged to the extent that it’s affecting functionality, it’s probably time to either get it repaired or replaced. Always check if you have a warranty and whether or not it has expired.

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