A nurse’s job is a hard – long hours of duty being of service to the sick and injured. Nursing is a laborious job that requires diligence and a lot of guts, and a huge heart.
Nurses play a crucial role in helping doctors and providing primary care to patients. From carrying out medical procedures, doing paperwork, giving medical advisory and emotional support to families, down to every need of the patients, a nurse does their job with total commitment to the betterment of patients’ health.
Nurses are proof that not all heroes wear capes. Donning their scrub suits and equipped with their knowledge and tools in healthcare, nurses help treat illnesses and injuries and even save lives. Timing is also an essential aspect of their job, so a reliable timepiece sure does come in handy in their profession.
While researching this list, our main priorities were to find reliable and durable watches with the features that are most useful for nursing. The main priority is a dial that is easy to read – either digital or for analog watches a distinctive second hand, they should have a rugged build and enough water resistance so you can clean them easily.
Best Watches For Nurses (Medical Watches)
The watches we’ve chosen are primarily for female nurses as most have smaller case thickness and diameter, and the bands are thinner.
While some of these are unisex watches, we’ve come up with a separate list of recommended watches for male nurses, most of which are more masculine and sized for men’s wrists.
Speidel Scrub Watch
First is the original Speidel Scrub Watch. It’s the quintessential watch for medical professionals.
The legible markings, along with the high contrast of the colors in its dial’s design, especially the red second hand against the white background, make an efficient design for readability and taking vital signs.
Apart from its timekeeping reliability, other convenient features of this watch include the 30-meter water resistance that’ll protect it from accidental splashes bound to happen on duty, as well as the durable and easy to clean silicone strap. Moreover, this watch can fit wrist sizes from 6.7 inches to 8.3 inches.
Speidel Women’s Scrub Petite Watch
For a more feminine and smaller-sized option for women, especially those with a smaller wrist size, Speidel also sells this smaller version in their Scrub Watch subseries.
The Speidel Women’s Scrub Petite Watch watch provides the same features as the aforementioned standard Scrub Watch, but it’s smaller and has a few other features not present in its larger counterpart. Unlike the standard version, this watch has luminous hands and comes with water resistance to 50 meters. In addition, as compared to the standard Scrub Watch that can fit a wide range of larger wrist sizes, this watch can be worn on wrists with sizes from 5.9 inches to 7.9 inches.
Speidel Scrub Glow Watch
As an upgrade to the original, Speidel brought forth another subseries of the Speidel Scrub Watch that features an added electroluminescent dial and more, called the Scrub Glow Watch.
The Speidel Scrub Glow Watch has all the features present in the Speidel Scrub Watch plus some improvisations.
The main highlight is its electroluminescent dial that can be lit up with a push of the button by the 2 o’clock position, making the dial easy to read even in the dark. Another added feature that enhances readability is the luminous hands. And from the 30-meter water resistance in the original, the water resistance of this watch has been upped to 50 meters.
It’s a bit more expensive than the former, but it’s well worth the price with the new and improved features.
Timex Midsize Ironman Sleek 50 Classic Watch
The Timex Midsize Ironman Sleek 50 Classic Watch is a digital watch with a durable and lightweight design made of resin. So this watch can keep up with a nurse’s demanding job while maintaining comfortability. It’s also easy to clean.
This is a sports watch equipped with features like a stopwatch with 50-lap memory & interval training timer and a countdown timer. Nevertheless, it also has the necessary watch features for a nurse.
Timex’s trademark Indiglo feature has a backlight for readability even in the dark. And it’s water-resistant to 100 meters.
This watch also comes with an alarm.
You’d be hitting two birds with one stone with this watch if you’re a nurse who’s also athletic.
Timex Women’s Easy Reader Watch
The Timex Women’s Easy Reader Date Expansion Band Watch boasts a clean and legible dial with a sleek-looking brass case and stainless steel expansion bracelet.
In addition to the dial’s minimalist design making it easily readable, this watch’s mineral crystal dial window prevents the dial from getting scratched. Having a clean, transparent dial is a key feature when using the second hand for checking a patient’s pulse. And to help you see the time in the dark for nighttime rounds, the Indiglo backlight feature on this watch makes it an excellent choice for low-light conditions.
Apart from the time, this watch also provides the date at the 3 o’clock position. This watch is water-resistant to 30 meters.
Timex Women’s Expedition Metal Field Watch
Field watches have military roots, but they have some characteristics that can be useful to nurses, specifically in the dial—the plain, high-contrast of colors, and legibility for easy readability.
That is why the Timex Women’s Expedition Metal Field Mini Watch got included in this list.
Apart from the earlier mentioned features present in a field watch, other features in this watch make it perfect for a nurse. It has a red second hand that’s highly visible against the white background, good for taking vital signs. And it has an Indiglo Light-Up Watch Dial for seeing the time in the dark.
And as a field watch, it has a pretty tough exterior. The brass case with 50-meter water resistance, scratch-resistant mineral glass crystal, and reinforced nylon and leather strap make it a reliable watch to stand up to the rigors of nursing.
Timex Women’s Weekender Watch
The Timex Women’s Weekender Watch is a stylish casual watch with a practical strap and legible dial.
The readable dial is the key feature of this watch. The contrasting yellow of the second hand offset from the white background and the Indiglo backlight feature make it very easy to read.
Its durability is also worth noting; it has a scratch-resistant mineral crystal and a sturdy nylon strap that won’t easily tear when it gets accidentally snagged, which is also easy to clean. When it comes to cleaning, the 30-meter water resistance is somewhat lackluster but good enough if you don’t plan to submerge the watch.
Casio Women’s Dive Series Sport Watch
Minimalist, durable, and has a bidirectional rotating bezel, the Casio Women’s Dive Series Sports Watch makes a convenient timepiece for nurses.
Its dial has a plain white background with hour markers in different colors that blend nicely together but isn’t too much, which makes it easy on the eyes. It also has a date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Although the second hand doesn’t contrast with the background, it’ll still work fine if you have good eyesight. Nevertheless, it has a bidirectional rotating bezel that may also help when taking vital signs.
This watch is made of durable resin that is easy to clean. Making up its dial window is mineral crystal, so it’s scratch resistant. And it is water-resistant to 100 meters.
Casio Women’s Baby-G Analog-Digital Watch
G-Shock is known for making some of the toughest watches, the Baby G series is equally tough, albeit smaller.
You can bet that the Casio Women’s Baby-G Analog-Digital is a durable and highly functional watch that could also come in handy for nurses.
This stylish watch with a touch of femininity has a rugged construction. It is easy to clean, as it’s made of resin and scratch-resistant mineral crystal and is reinforced with G-Shock’s propriety shock resistance as well as with 100-meter water resistance.
Although it doesn’t have a second hand, it has a high-contrast analog dial. But no worries because it also has a digital display that can help track seconds. Reading the time amidst poor lighting won’t be a problem either, as it comes with an LED backlight.
Like every G-Shock, this watch is packed with features, such as a 1/100-second stopwatch; countdown timer, five daily alarms with one snooze alarm; hourly time signal; full auto-calendar; and more. This would be good for a nurse who wants other convenient features aside from the healthcare-related features.
Swatch Women’s White Bishop Quartz Watch
The Swatch Women’s White Bishop White and Gold Plastic and Silicone Quartz Watch is a simply chic timepiece leaning towards casual style but also makes a perfect watch for nurses.
Its minimalist dial with contrasting white and gold colors adds to its appeal and at the same time is easy to read. Along with the aesthetics in its design is durability. It has a strong silicone strap, and it’s water-resistant to 30 meters.
This cute durable watch is also easy to clean.
VAVC Scrub Watch
Another watch designed with medical professionals in mind is the VAVC Scrub Watch. The design is similar to the Speidel watches we reviewed above and is a direct competitor.
It has a clean, legible, and high-contrast dial that comes with a red second hand that stands out from the dial, perfect for taking vital signs.
This watch is pretty durable too. It’s made with 316L surgical grade stainless steel, sapphire coated mineral crystal glass and genuine calfskin leather. And it’s water-resistant to 50 meters.
Apple Watch Series 6
In a nurse’s job to take care of others’ health, a good watch can come in handy for them. But their health is something they should also take care of.
A smartwatch like the Apple Watch Series 6 can cover a nurse with features for their health and provide many useful features for their job.
The Apple Watch Series 6 is the hottest in the market right now and the latest in the evolution of the Apple watch. It has features a nurse could appreciate the advantages they can provide for work.
Since readability is a top priority, one feature in this smartwatch advantageous for nurses would be larger than ever Apple Watch display. This particular model has the largest display among all Apple Watches. Another one of its readability-related features is its interchangeable watch face, so you can choose the watch face most convenient for your job and according to your liking.
Apart from keeping track of time, this is also useful for nurses in other ways. Here, you can download healthcare-related apps for reference, such as the popular Nursing Central app on iTunes.
Also, you can use the communication-related features here like phone notifications and even the Walkie-Talkie app for work-related matters.
Apple Watches are typically sporty by nature, so they’re pretty durable for sure. They’re also swim-proof, so it’ll be safe from accidental splashes.
In a personal aspect, this gadget has features for keeping healthy like the heart rate monitor and activity tracker for workouts.
SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2
Basically, smartwatches are inclined to health and fitness apart from being another means of communication and providing access to all sorts of apps.
An excellent smartwatch that won’t disappoint with such features and brings to the table some of its own distinct and advantageous features is the SAMSUNG Galaxy Watch Active 2.
Samsung uses a touch-sensitive bezel. This makes it user-friendly for healthcare workers as the features are easily accessed using the bezel rather than having to push buttons, although doing so with gloved hands may take some getting used to.
The watch is fast thanks to the Cortex-A53 processor, has a bright always-on display, and has 4GB of internal storage that can be used for Podcasts or Spotify.
By connecting your Bluetooth headphones directly to the watch, you can use it tether-free.
Nurses will appreciate the heart rate monitor, an accelerometer, and blood pressure monitoring. It also has an IP68 rating which means it’s dustproof and waterproof up to 1.5m making it easy to clean off.
Dakota Watch Company Mini Clip Microlight Watch
The Dakota Watch Company Mini Clip Microlight Watch is a reliable and durable timepiece that can clip onto a nurse’s belt loop.
This 30-meter water-resistant watch made of alloy has a clean dial with luminous hands and hour markers and a red second hand. An added feature to this watch is an LED flashlight with red light for preserving night vision.
Nurse Lapel Pin Watch
Another timepiece perfect for nurses who don’t use wristwatches is the Nurse Lapel Pin Medical Doctor Pocket Watch.
You can pin this waterproof alloy watch onto your nurse’s scrubs. Its easy-to-read dial has luminous hands and a red second hand contrasting against the white background.
Buyers Guide: Nurse Watches
Wristwatches by Brand:
Please scroll down if you are looking for a smartwatch or lapel watch.
Speidel: A series of watches that cater to medical professionals come from Speidel, called Scrub Watch. The watches in the series come in various colors to match your scrub.
Timex: Four watches from Timex have made it on our list. Although these watches are not designed specifically for nurses, the brand best known for it’s slogan “taking a licking and keep on ticking” made our list for good reason. Timex watches are durable, reliable and affordable – all of these features are key to this list.
Casio: These watches are not specially designed with nurses in mind, but their sporty nature makes them suitable.
Characteristics Of An Excellent Medical Watch
So, what is the ideal watch for nurses? It has to be able to keep up with their profession, and it has to have the practical features as listed below:
Clean, legible, and high-contrast dial – The dial must be free of any embellishments with markings big enough to see. And it has to have contrasting colors in its design to make the details clearer. This helps to read and keep track of time easily.
Visible second hand – Since a part of the nurses’ job is to measure heart rates and other vital signs, which also involves tracking the time, the second hand must be in contrast to the dial’s background to be visible enough for medical procedures to be done precisely.
Luminescence – This feature can enhance the watch’s readability, especially in circumstances when there is poor lighting. Luminescent hands and markers can help, or even better is a dial that can light up, and this feature may also serve as illumination in the dark.
Water-resistance – Nurses may also deal with liquids. So to not keep taking your wristwatch off during duty and so that you won’t have to regret the destruction of a watch due to accidental splashes, your watch must be water-resistant to at least 30 meters. However, 50 meters would be better, like the Apple Watch which is good enough for showering – a nice feature to have so you don’t have to worry about your watch getting damaged in the shower after a long shift.
Easy to clean and durable band – As said earlier, nurses tend to deal with liquids at work, not just water or solutions but also bodily fluids. They also deal with all sorts of junk, so their job tends to get messy, and so can their watch.
An easy-to-clean watch would be one made with materials like resin, rubber, silicone, and nylon. Such materials also make durable bands. So in the circumstance that the watch gets snagged, the strap won’t easily break.
Some jobs closely related to the nurse profession are the paramedic and emergency medical technician (EMT). The ideal watch for paramedics and EMTs also have the essential features a nurse needs in a watch.
That just about wraps it up for the features a nurse must look for in a watch to wear on duty. Keeping those features above in mind, a nurse may also choose what type of watch to use as she(/he) wishes, whether a wristwatch, smartwatch, or lapel watch.
If you opt for something that’ll provide you with the necessary features you need for your work and isn’t too costly, then the wristwatch will do. If you want to have the convenience of high-tech features that can also be useful at work, such as phone notifications for updates at work and access to healthcare-related apps as well as other features for personal use, you can get yourself a smartwatch. But if you work in a medical center where there is a “bare below the elbow” policy or if you’d simply instead do without a wristwatch/smartwatch, then the lapel watch could do the trick for you.
We always provide a variety of choices, for everyone has their personal preferences. That’s why here, we presented options for wristwatches, smartwatches, and lapel watches.