These are the 5 Best Laptops for Nursing Students



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You just got admitted into your top nursing school choice. Congrats! Now that you’ve done your celebrating, it’s time to consider the details of what you need for school, including doing your research on the best laptops for nursing students. There are some specific requirements in nursing school which need to be considered while seeking the best laptop for nursing school and clinicals.

In this article, we’ve reviewed the top-ranked laptops among nursing students and are only sharing the 5 that outranked the rest!  We are fully confident that you will find the best laptop for nursing school that fits your needs.

Protect your new investment! Here are some of the best backpacks for your new nursing school laptops. 

In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks:

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5 Best Laptops for Nursing Students

Acer Aspire


  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

Acer Aspire’s E 15 series is a budget-friendly laptop that meets all the requirements set out by our best laptops for nursing students guide. Although more expensive than budget HP laptops for $200 – $300, you can rest assured that this laptop with its SSD hard drive, will remain fast and powerful for many years to come!

The battery life on this laptop can last for up to 15 hours due to its 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor. Its screen size of 15.6″ is more than large enough to display all your slides for classes in full HD (FHD is better than regular HD). A great feature for many, especially in comparison to the recent MacBook Pro and Air models, is the DVD drive. This can be helpful for those of you who are planning on purchasing any prep materials in the future with accompanying DVDs.

ASUS ZenBook UX303


  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

The ASUS ZenBook is a great second budget option among these best laptops for nursing students list. It features a 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor (a couple generations senior to our previously mentioned Acer Aspire). With this in mind, it’s not going to have as much speed or power as the Acer Aspire, but is able to make up for this with its FHD display (even higher resolution than a standard HD display) and slim, lightweight characteristics.

Measuring only .7 inches and 3.2 pounds light, the ASUS ZenBook is an extremely mobile laptop. Compare this to Acer Aspire’s 1.2 inches and 5.27 pounds and you’ll discover that this is a much more portable laptop, making it among the best laptops for nursing students who plan on bringing it to their classes or for study sessions.

Dell Inspiron 13 5000


  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 8th Generation Intel Core i5
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

Here is another 8th generation Intel Core i5 SSD hard drive that is going to stay fast and powerful throughout your nursing school career. There is plenty of memory with 256 GB SSD as well as 8 GB of RAM space, which can also be upgraded to 16 GB of RAM space purchased separately.

The screen size is 13.3 inches and displays FHD as well so that you can enjoy viewing photos or videos on your laptop when you’re not studying. This Dell Inspiron laptop sets itself apart from the first two laptops because it’s a 2-in-1 style, allowing you to switch between four different display styles: tent mode (for recipes in real time), stand mode (for movies in planes), laptop mode (default), and tablet mode. This is a wonderful feature for those who are looking for more in a laptop than just for studies. It’s comparable to the ASUS ZenBook in terms of its lightness (3.56 pounds) and thinness (.79 inches).

This is a great, sturdy laptop with the power, display, and ample display styles that will make it a great option for nursing school as well as for life outside of studies.

Samsung Notebook 9 Spin


  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 processor
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

The Samsung Notebook 9 Spin series is another great option among our best laptops for nursing students. It packs a powerful punch with its i7 Intel Core processor as well as a large SSD hard drive of 256 GB. It meets the additional requirements of nursing school with its 8GB of RAM space as well as its operating system supporting Windows 10.

This laptop is super lightweight, weighing in at just 2.87 pounds as well as ultra thin at 0.6 inches. This is a sturdy laptop that will last awhile but also features multiple display modes including tablet and tent style.

Apple 13″ MacBook Air


  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 processor
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

Last, but surely not least in our list of the best laptops for nursing students is my own personal favorite: the MacBook Air. I tend to avoid PCs, as I have found them to get buggy much too quickly. There are a few options when you are looking to purchase the MacBook Air on Amazon, which is great as you are considering what your priorities are for your laptop. The minimum laptop requirements for nursing school can all be found by selecting the features you need when purchasing your new MacBook Air.

To keep prices lower, you may want to stick with the Intel Core i5 processor (which is more than enough power to have multiple applications running at once. With a 512 GB SSD hard drive, there is plenty of space available for photos, storage, videos, and anything else you choose to save on your laptop in your spare time. You will also get the required 8GB of RAM space for running multiple applications at once. The MacBook air weighs only 2.96 pounds and has a thin unibody of only 0.68 inches!

If you are looking to purchase a MacBook for nursing school, the MacBook Air 13″ Intel Core i5 processor is going to be the best value for your dollar!

5 Specs for the Best Laptops for Nursing Students

  1. Windows 10 Pro (or higher) or Mac OSX
  2. Intel Core i5 (or higher)
  3. Integrated Webcam
  4. 250 GB Hard Drive (SSD preferred)
  5. 6GB RAM Memory (or higher)

Notice that all of these specs for the best laptops for nursing students start at the minimum requirements but allow for those who prefer more bells and whistles to pay more for advanced features. For example, an Intel Core i5 is required to run all the programs you need at once, but if you are a gamer, you may want to consider paying extra for an Intel Core i7, which can handle more software and applications at once. Same goes for storage space (perhaps you take lots of HD photos) and would like to have more

Let’s break each of these specs down:

1. Laptop Operating System: Windows or Mac OSX

A requirement for nearly all nursing school laptops is that they can run either a Windows 10 Pro (or higher) or Mac OSX 10.5 (or higher). Do not purchase a laptop that cannot support one of these operating systems! Chromebooks, for example, run on an entirely different operating system called Chrome OS. Some software and applications used in nursing school will not work on Chrome OS, so stick with the Windows or Mac OSX operating systems!

2. Processor: Intel Core i5 (or higher)

A core processor gives your laptop the power to multitask. You may be downloading study materials while simultaneously opening up a spreadsheet, listening to music, and running statistical software. If you have an old computer or a computer with a core processor that is less than i5, it may be slower at running all these programs at once, or may even crash and lead to a loss of files.

Talking about core processors may seem a bit over your head (you’re a nursing student, not majoring in IT), but just keep in mind that the higher the intel core processor number, the more it can support and power through. There are many new laptops on the market with intel core i7 processors and more, but keep in mind that these stronger core processors are not required to do well in nursing school and are more suited towards those who consider themselves gamers.

3. Integrated Webcam

Laptops for nursing school need to have an integrated webcam. All MacBook Pros and Air have a webcam already built-in. All of the Windows laptops we list have an integrated webcam. If you plan on bringing your own computer that does not have a webcam, you can purchase a USB external webcam.

Why do you need a webcam on your laptop for nursing school? Well, if classes are held online due to weather-related closings or if you are required to participate in an online course, then a webcam is necessary. Similarly, some exams are delivered electronically, and utilize a remote proctoring service.

4. Hard Drive: 120-250 GB SSD

When you download software and applications onto your computer, you need somewhere to store it all! In addition to the software and operating systems you will be downloading onto your laptop, there are other personal reasons to have adequate space. Those who store photos on their computer, videos, or enjoy working with music and audio will all benefit from having enough storage on their laptop.

There are two kinds of hard drives that your laptop can utilize: a spinning HDD or SSD. A spinning HDD is kind of falling by the wayside as it’s much less durable as well as less power efficient. The laptops we provide here are all going to feature SSD hard drives and not HDD hard drives, as we prefer your laptop to be a better investment with a hard drive that can withstand the test of time.

5. RAM: 6 GB (or more)

RAM stands for random access memory and is essentially a temporary storage location on your laptop. To better imagine RAM, you can consider it like an office desk. It stores all the things you may need immediately, such as pens, documents, a lamp, etc.. All the things you use on your laptop, such as apps that are in use or documents you saved for the day will all go into your RAM storage space temporarily until you close out of them.

6 GB of RAM is more than enough for nursing school and what you will require in terms of multitasking with running apps and documents on your laptop.

Mac vs. Windows for Nursing School

The age-old debate of whether to get a Mac or PC can now be a personal choice versus one out of necessity. Both Mac’s OS X as well as Windows systems meet the requirements set out by nursing programs and can handle the demand. In nursing school, you will be using office apps, doing research on the internet, and utilizing domain-specific software such as for statistics. A laptop that supports Windows 10 (or higher) or Mac OSX will both be perfectly capable in opening and running these programs, assuming it meets the rest of the requirements that we will outline below.

I, personally, am a Mac fan and prefer one laptop for school as well as personal leisure time, so that would probably be a purchase I’d be willing to make. If you have no preference on computer type, then just have a look at the features of these best laptops for nursing students and decide based off that.

Specifications Your Laptop Needs for Nursing School

The best laptops for nursing students all share a few commonalities that is generally a requirement for most nursing programs around the US. The processor (linked to power), storage (long-term hard drive) and RAM (for short-term memory), portability, and battery life.

We will also share some nice-to-haves for laptops, but keep in mind that these additional specs do not indicate its performance in relation to nursing school but rather for personal pleasure or hobbies.

Laptop Requirements for Some Top Nursing Programs:

John Hopkins School of Nursing

Columbia University

Duke University School of Nursing

New York University

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Not all nursing schools have laptop requirements and some may vary. Please be sure to check with the nursing school that you plan on attending to confirm laptop specifications or software requirements for the program.

Have you recently purchased one of these best laptops for nursing students? Let us know how you came to deciding on this laptop and how you feel about the performance so far! Comment below!