nursing school backpacks

The 8 Best Nursing School Backpacks [BUYING GUIDE]

Written by: Kristine Thorndyke

Nursing school backpacks have to meet a variety of specific needs and comparison shopping might seem overwhelming for nursing students, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for.  That’s where we come in! We’ve compiled a list of the 8 best nursing student backpacks for nursing students. You’ll also find a feature guide to help you shop on your own.

Looking for more chic nursing accessories? Consider these top watches for nurses

In a hurry?  Here are our 3 favorites:

The 8 Best Nursing School Backpacks

The High Sierra Powerglide

Best Rolling Backpack for Nursing School

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The High Sierra Powerglide is the best rolling backpack for nursing school. As a nursing student, you have to be responsible for everything from laptops and heavy textbooks to preparing for countless exams, including the NCLEX. Why not invest in a rolling backpack to make life easier? Wheels aren’t just for suitcases; any kind of wheeled storage compartment will help you move your stuff more efficiently.

This backpack features a number of different pockets along with spacious main compartments, ideal for holding your textbooks, coursework, and folders. You don’t have to worry about your textbooks damaging your electronics anymore, because the backpack also features a padded CushionZone compartment that can fit up to a 17-inch laptop. It’s perfect for your laptop or tablet. Still looking for a nursing school laptop, we got you covered! Meanwhile, there’s even a media pocket and key fob hook to keep all of your smaller items like keys, cards, and USBs secure. 

You’ll find pen pockets, a key fob hook, and a zippered mesh pocket to organize and secure your smaller items. If you need to carry the pack instead of rolling it, the zippered back panel stores backpack straps. As far as mobility goes, the wheels are all-terrain style engineering and corner mounted for extra stability. A built-in kick plate increases your abrasion protection.

Product Highlights:

  • Durable polyester construction
  • Interior pen pockets, zippered mesh pocket, and key fob hook for ideal organization
  • CushionZone padded electronics compartment accommodates 17-inch laptop models
  • All-terrain, stably engineered wheels carry your pack safely across campus
Our Top Pick
High Sierra Powerglide Pro Wheeled Backpack High Sierra Powerglide Pro Wheeled Backpack
$132.99 $94.99
Our top pick for nurses and nursing students
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03/28/2024 12:53 am GMT

Nurse Mates Ultimate Nursing Backpack

Best Backpack/Lunchbag Duo

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nurse mates backpack review

We’re super excited about this backpack by Nurse Mates. Similar to their cult favorite Ultimate Nursing Bag, you get all of the amazing organization and durability with the added benefit of it being a backpack model.

Where this backpack adds an extra punch is with their insulated pocket that can store cold foods. The storage is large enough to fit tupperware of your favorite meal plus a fruit and/or yogurt!

insulation pocket

When I tested out this backpack’s insulated pocket, I was able to fit a typical lunch-sized tupperware, apple, and yogurt. This is not going to be large enough for 2 meals, but fits a solid single meal.

nurse mates backpack

I also want to give a quick mention to the file and organizer compartment. I felt this helped to keep tools and supplies extremely organized so that you aren’t reaching into a big compartment blindly hoping to find the object you need.

Product Highlights:

  • Large storage compartment has padded laptop sleeve
  • Two mesh side pockets
  • Sleeve for files and safekeeping
  • Waterproof and stainproof
Nurse Mates Ultimate Back Pack Bag Nurse Mates Ultimate Back Pack Bag

An essential backpack for nurses looking for exceptional organization and comfort. Use code TPN20 for 20% off your Nurse Mates order.

  • Insulated pocket for keeping foods cold
  • Padded laptop compartment
  • Several pockets with organizational sleeves
  • Two mesh side pockets
  • A bit square
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J World New York Sunrise Rolling Backpack

Best Convertible Rolling Backpack

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This rolling backpack for nurses by J World is a super convenient rolling backpack that can convert into a shoulder backpack in seconds. The shoulder straps on this backpack simply tuck in and out of the back pocket, so you don’t need to deal with any annoying zippers or assembly.

This backpack is large enough to carry your books if you’re in nursing school but also serves as a great backpack for nurses who need to pack their nursing supplies. Aside from one large main compartment, there is a front pocket with a key clip, pen holders, card slots, and an additional internal pocket for small items.

This nursing backpack comes in 42 different colors and designs, so you’re bound to find one that fits your personality and style! This is our favorite convertible backpack for nurses who are in a hurry.

Product Highlights:

  • 42 color and design schemes available
  • Adjustable handle works for teens and adults up to 6’3” tall
  • Durable construction
  • Water resistant
Best Convertible Backpack
J World New York Rolling Backpack J World New York Rolling Backpack
Functional rolling backpack that can convert into a shoulder backpack in seconds!
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AOKING Backpack

Best Nursing School Water Resistant Rolling Backpack

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There are a number of reasons that a nursing student might want a water-resistant backpack. Treks to and from classes can be long, especially if you’re in an open campus with multiple buildings. You don’t want your backpack to soak through in snowy or rainy weather. Water resistance also makes backpacks easier to clean, as they don’t need to be put through the washing machine or dried.

This AOKING backpack is the best water-resistant pack on the market. The tear-resistant polyester fabric is hydrophobic, with aesthetic designs to suit men and women alike. The backpack’s interior has a padded computer sleeve to protect your electronics. An additional book compartment and multiple pen compartments raise the organizational bar. There’s even a cell phone power bank, so your phone won’t die when you need it.

The other great aspect of the backpack is its rolling ease of use. The rubber wheels track smoothly and quietly across pavement and floors. You can pack away the telescoping aluminum handle to carry the bag on your back if need be. The engineering combines a hidden wheel feature with packable straps and a convenient earphone design.

Product Highlights:

  • Choice of 20 inch (22 x 33 x 47 cm) or 22 inch (24 x 35 x 50 cm)
  • 5 color choices: black, green, pink, purple, and yellow
  • Constructed from tear-resistant and water-resistant polyester, with an aluminum alloy handle and rubber wheels
  • Padded computer sleeve protects tablets, laptops, and other electronics up to 17 inches
  • Book compartment stores your textbooks
  • Multiple pen compartments let you organize your writing utensils
  • Cell phone power bank and earphone design keep you constantly connected to technology
Best Water Resistant Rolling Backpack
AOKING 20/22″Water Resistant Rolling Wheeled Backpack with Laptop Compartment AOKING 20/22″Water Resistant Rolling Wheeled Backpack with Laptop Compartment
Durable tear-resistant and water-resistant polyester construction
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03/31/2024 12:29 am GMT

SWISSGEAR Travel Gear 1900

Best Nursing School Backpack for Support

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Backpacks are heavy. And sometimes a rolling backpack won’t suit your environment or personal aesthetic. That’s where support-engineered backpacks come in. An ideal backpack can take pressure off your back and disperse weight evenly. When it comes to back support, the SWISSGEAR Travel Gear 1900 is the best.

The shoulder straps ergonomically contour to suit the curve of your spine. Added padding keeps them from digging painfully into your shoulders or back, while the built-in suspension helps to shift the backpack’s weight. This is a utilitarian backpack that’s perfect for people who need to carry their supplies over long distances. Especially when they need to trudge up hills!

Also included is a laptop compartment with an adjustable divider. It’s made to fit laptops, tablets, and other electronics up to 17 inches. The exterior is made from breathable mesh fabric that won’t overheat or stick to your skin, while a sunglasses holder loop prepares you for summer.

Product Highlights:

  • 9 x 18.5 x 13.5 inches
  • Breathable mesh fabric keeps you from overheating
  • Protective laptop-only interior compartment accommodates electronics up to 17 inches
  • Padded and contoured shoulder straps reduce back pain while increasing shoulder comfort
  • Sunglasses holder loop keeps your shades within reach at all times
Most Comfortable Shoulder Straps
SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA Laptop Backpack
Ergonomic shoulder straps contour to the curve of your spine and padding helps to prevent painful shoulders
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03/15/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Under Armour Hustle 5.0

Best Nursing School Backpack for Durability

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Nursing students need a backpack that can stand up to the pressure. There’s nothing worse than an unexpected tear or broken zipper causing all of your supplies to spill. For those looking for nursing school backpacks that prioritize durability, then the Under Armour Hustle 5.0 is the backpack for you.

The bottom panel is tough and abrasion-resistant, reducing the risk of tears. 100% polyester fabric accommodates large weights while remaining water-resistant and easy to clean. The interior pocket includes a soft-lined laptop sleeve that can accommodate laptops and tablets up to 15 inches. Adjustable shoulder straps help reduce back stress and pain.

Product Highlights:

  • Available in 26 colors and styles to suit any student’s taste
  • 100% polyester fabric resists water while increasing durability
  • Abrasion-resistant bottom panel decreases the potential for tears
  • Heavy-duty zippers stay closed and undamaged even when under strain
  • Softly lined laptop sleeve accommodates electronics up to 15 inches
  • Adjustable shoulder straps add comfort and reduce back pain
Most Durable
Under Armour unisex-adult Hustle 5.0 Backpack , Black (002)/Black , One Size Fits All Under Armour unisex-adult Hustle 5.0 Backpack , Black (002)/Black , One Size Fits All
$55.00 $47.47
Attractive backpack that's suitable for nurses and athletes alike!
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03/31/2024 01:14 am GMT

Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack

Best Nursing School Backpack for Style

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The sleek design of this Herschel backpack will help you feel more organized and productive right away. The backpack features a signature striped fabric liner to protect your things, while the synthetic leather construction comes in a multitude of different colors. Inside the backpack, you’ll find a fleece-lined and padded 15-inch laptop sleeve.

The front pocket contains internal mesh organizers, so you can sort your pens, pencils, erasers, and other office-related materials. You might even store personal care items like your chapstick or hand lotion. The waterproof zipper detail helps lock moisture out. A synthetic fabric backpack like this is great for people living in cold climates, or people who have issues with polyester and nylon textures.

Product Highlights:

  • 17.5 x 11.75 x 6 inches
  • Sleek synthetic leather design is available in 22 colors
  • Fleece-lined and padded laptop sleeve holds electronics up to 15 inches
  • Mesh organizers in the front pocket let you organize your writing utensils and small accessories
  • Waterproof zipper locks out moisture even in cold, rainy climates
Most Stylish
Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack Herschel Pop Quiz Backpack
$79.99 $51.95
Definitely the cutest backpack in the list, we love the simple design and color schemes
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03/16/2024 07:43 am GMT

Jansport Big Student Backpack

Best Nursing School Backpack for Multi-Use

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JanSport has been a leading backpack manufacturer for years. You probably remember buying a JanSport backpack when you were in grade school. These backpacks are popular for a reason: They’re cute, functional, and good for multi-use purposes, including being one of our favorites among nursing school backpacks!

The JanSport Big backpack is perfect for nursing students because of its extra storage space. You’re likely carrying more books and other clutter than you were in high school, and this backpack is designed to accommodate that. Invest in this backpack if you want a dependable brand with a cute aesthetic.

Product Highlights:

  • Large size can accommodate multiple textbooks, electronics, and other supplies
  • Available in 7 cute colors and patterns
  • Multiple zippered pockets for increased organizational storage
  • Waterproof zippers protect against wet weather
  • Soft fabric is pleasant to the touch, perfect for people with sensory processing disorders
Best Multi-Use
JanSport Big Student Backpack JanSport Big Student Backpack
A large and functional backpack that can be used for work, school, travel, and more
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03/27/2024 08:25 pm GMT

Eastsport Tech

Best Nursing School Backpack for Budget

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Let’s face it: Nursing school is expensive. You have student loans to pay, groceries to buy, and rent due next month. It’s a fair bet that many nursing students don’t have a lot of extra money to drop on the perfect bag. That’s why the Eastsport Tech backpack is so great — it has all the features you want in a nursing school backpack, but it’s available at an economical price.

The spacious main compartment has a separate padded laptop compartment, able to fit 15-inch electronics. Two front zipper pockets have interior organization components, so you can put all of your little accessories and office supplies in their own space. The phone stash pocket gives you easy access to your phone at a moment’s notice. It’s also great if you need your ID handy; just store the card with your phone.

Product Highlights:

  • 17.5 x 13.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Available 20 colors and patterns from neutral tones to saturated hues and funky prints
  • Front zipper pockets have internal organization components to keep all your things easily accessible
  • Phone stash pocket gives you easy access to your phone and ID
  • 2 side mesh pockets make hydration easy
  • Padded laptop compartment protects electronics up to 15 inches
  • Economical option for a budget, costing less than $20 and including a limited lifetime guarantee
Best Budget
Eastsport Tech Backpack Eastsport Tech Backpack
$26.99 $25.05
An affordable backpack option that fits up to 15-inch electronics
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03/29/2024 01:04 am GMT

Related: Save Money by Packing Lunch – Shop our Favorite Nurse Lunch Bags!

What To Look For in Nursing School Backpacks


With the number of heavy things you’re carrying, a durable backpack is a must. Too many students have suffered catastrophes stemming from broken zippers and ripped fabric. An ideal backpack will be constructed from durable fabric (check this guide to best backpack fabrics), with high-quality zippers that can withstand pressure. For an added bonus, they might have reinforced stitching and an extra layer of protective lining.

Sleek Design

Even though you’re responsible for a lot of different things, your backpack shouldn’t be bulky. If it’s a chore to move the pack from one place to another, the design isn’t working. Sleek designs help streamline the organizational process. They also add a level of renewed aesthetic appeal.


If you’re going to invest in a high-quality backpack, you’ll want it to last beyond nursing school. What other uses can you get out of the pack? Multi-use packs have compartments to let you lug your office supplies to a cafe, or to pack hiking supplies on your next adventure. No matter the extraneous use, a long-lasting backpack should suit your lifestyle outside of school.


The more room the backpack has, the better. But the trick is to divide that room into an organizational space. Backpacks without organizing pockets tend to become cluttered messes. Somehow, everything you need is always stuck at the bottom. Your ideal backpack will have multiple pockets at both the interior and exterior. If you carry portable electronics, a laptop sleeve is a must. These padded compartments protect your computer or tablet from getting crushed by textbooks. Pen-holding pockets are also great for storing your small objects in places they won’t disappear.


Backpacks are made with one simple purpose: to allow you to carry your things from one location to another. If that task feels like a chore, or worse, causes you actual pain, your backpack’s design isn’t fulfilling its purpose. When you have a heavy load, it’s doubly important to invest in backpacks with comfort properties. Look for backpacks with padded, adjustable shoulder straps. Alternatively, invest in a wheeled backpack and you won’t have to carry anything at all!

Best Nursing School Backpacks FAQ

What do nurses put in their backpacks?

Besides daily personal items, nurses often carry supplies in their backpacks including pens, Sharpies, scissors, stethoscope, penlight, and notepad.

What should be in a nursing clinical bag?

Typical supplies that would go in your nursing clinical bag include stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, penlight, scissors, hemostats, a clipboard, notebook, calculator, ID badge holder, tape, alcohol swabs, and all other personal items you may want throughout the day.

What’s the best material for nursing backpacks?

Most nursing backpacks in our list are made of water-resistant polyester, which is both durable as well as able to resist any splashes or spills.

What’s the best backpack for nursing school?

Our favorite rolling nursing backpack is the High Sierra Powerglide, but for those on a budget, you can opt for the Eastsport Tech.


The best nursing school backpacks are ones that meet your needs and make you happy. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping. Different people will have different priorities. We chose these 7 backpacks based on the great features they have for nursing students. Different patterns, styles, and fabrics are available to suit your personal tastes. Just make sure that your backpack will help you comfortably, easily move your supplies and organize your space.

Did one of your favorite nursing school backpacks not make our list? Let us know your recommendations!