These are the 4 Best Laptops for Nursing Students

Written by: Kristine Thorndyke

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 – so we reviewed the top-ranked laptops among nursing students that will fit your needs.

In a hurry? Here are our top 3 picks:

4 Best Laptops for Nursing Students

Acer Aspire

Specs:

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 12 Gen i7 Intel Core processor
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

The Acer Aspire 7 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!

This laptop is more powerful than the previous Acer Aspire 5, with its updated 12th Gen i7 Intel Core processor – which means you can surf the web, run applications, and enjoy video editing at super efficiency and speed – and no crashes.

Keep in mind the size of this laptop, however. At 15.6 inches, it definitely looks and feels larger than a standard MacBook. This can be great for looking at visuals and slides for class, but may feel a bit cumbersome toting to classes.

Acer Aspire 7 15.6" Slim Laptop Acer Aspire 7 15.6" Slim Laptop
4.0

This budget-friendly PC packs a powerful punch with a 2.2x better performance score than its latest 12th Gen i7 intel core processors!

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Dell Inspiron 16

Specs:

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 512-1TB GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB Memory

Another PC option – and at about the same price point as the Acer Aspire, the Dell Inspiron 16 definitely meets the basic requirements for nursing school – and then some. With a 16-inch HD screen and option of a graphics card, you are getting about the same quality as a MacBook Pro, but without the Apple prices.

This is another i7 quad-core processor, so your risk of a crash while running several programs or applications is reduced.

There’s also a 2-in-1 model that serves as both a tablet and a laptop. This can be especially enticing to nursing students who are looking to upgrade both their laptop and tablet before the school year.

Dell Inspiron 16 Dell Inspiron 16
$770.29

A 16-inch performance PC with the option of a dedicated graphics card for beautiful display

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03/30/2024 08:26 am GMT

Apple MacBook Air

Specs:

  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: M2
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB Memory

At only 2.7 pounds, this is easily the most portable laptop on our list.

Now that MacBooks are pretty much acceptable among all nursing schools, you can now benefit from having a computer for school that you also get to use on your own time for your own entertainment.

This laptop is extremely fast with its M2 silicon chip – and with an 18-hour battery life, you won’t need to worry about charging your computer between classes.

We understand that not everyone’s budgets allow for a brand new Apple laptop. If you currently have an older Apple laptop, you can utilize Apple’s trade-in program that can help you to reduce the sticker price by hundreds of dollars.

Apple 2023 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip Apple 2023 MacBook Air Laptop with M2 chip
4.5
$1,199.9920

Enjoy up to 18 hours of battery life with this MacBook Air with M2 chip.

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05/18/2024 01:30 pm GMT

MacBook Pro

Specs:

  • Operating System: Mac OS
  • Processor: M2
  • Integrated Webcam? Yes
  • Hard Drive: 512 GB SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB Memory

Here’s the second, even more pricey version of the Apple MacBook that I recommend for nursing school. Far exceeding the minimum requirements for nursing school, this should definitely be viewed as a splurge on a tech device.

With its M2 chip, this laptop is extremely powerful and you’re more than likely not going to suffer any crashes or loss of data.

There are many choices among displays, 13, 14, or 15-inch, so you can have your own say in how big of a screen you want (and how large of a laptop you’ll need to be lugging around to classes.

Overall, this is an extremely fine laptop – both for school as well as for personal enjoyment.

Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop Apple 2023 MacBook Pro Laptop
5.0
$1,999.9520

Try to hang on while using this super powerful updated MacBook Pro configured with the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip.

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05/18/2024 01:48 pm GMT

Buying Guide 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 simply great to have for those who plan on running multiple programs at once or who enjoy other activities such as video editing or gaming.

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.

Laptop Requirements for Top Nursing Programs:

John Hopkins School of Nursing

Columbia University

New York University

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!

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