Best Watches for Nurses

If you're a nursing student, one question you may often ask yourself throughout various portions of your learning is "Do I really need to know this?", or "Will I actually use this?". When it comes to watches, the simple answer is "Yes, definitely".

Watches are some of the most underrated items you can use as a nurse, as they are extremely useful, practical, and easy to get. For example, a watch can really come in handy when measuring apical heart rate, respiratory rate, for lab draws, and they can be really handy when charting. For example, specific occurrences where you may need to quickly know the exact time are when reassessing pain, promptly delivering medication at the scheduled time, charting the time of a particular code, time when the patient left the floor, etc. There are many more instances when you will likely need a watch during a nursing shift, but you get the idea.

Fortunately, we're all pretty familiar with watches and they are readily available. While watches are all quite similar, their specific features can make some better watches for nurses than others. These features include things like material, backlighting, analog versus digital, standard and/or military time, worn on the wrist or somewhere else, etc. We will address these features of watches for nurses further down in our article.

However, to get straight to the point, we will begin with our reviews of the best watches for nurses. We will highlight different types at different price ranges, so you can have a good idea of what there is to choose from, as well as what watch is best for your particular nursing shifts. For more information about specific features of watches for nurses, please check out our information found below the reviews.

Reviews - Best Watches for Nurses

This table will highlight our Top 10 favorite watches for nurses; however, these are in no particular order, as we tried to highlight a wide variety of styles and price ranges. For more detailed information on a select few watches that we highlighted, check out our individual reviews below the table. For further information in general about good watches for nurses, please refer to our information found below the reviews. We hope it helps with your decision!



Price Range

Average Customer Rating

One of the most popular watches for nurses, this round Timex watch has easy-to-read dials, a date window at 3 o'clock, and a leather strap. Withstands rain and splashes of water. Good bang-for-your-buck. Many different color schemes available!


This water-resistant watch is a mid-level watch from a reliable nurse equipment company. It comes with a resin case and convenient military time display.


This clip-on style watch is a little more expensive due tot he fact that it has better performance and durability. It comes with luminescent hands, hour markers, and a military time display. Many different color schemes available.


Both of these two fob-style watches come as a package together. They attach to your clothes with a clip on the back. Nothing fancy with these watches, but they are very cheap and conveniently designed for nurses.


This 35mm Casio watch has a sleek appearance with easy-to-read dials and numbers. The band is made of resin and the watch itself is water resistant. It's nothing fancy, but in terms of nursing, it gets the job done and is one of the cheapest watches you can get.


This is another Prestige Medical nurse's watch, but in this case it's a classy, yet functional, lapel-style design. The red seconds hand is easy to spot quickly and it does come with military time display, but some nurses find the numbers a little difficult to see.


This is a classy white watch for nurses that has a silicone band and stainless steel caseback. The three hands are easy to spot, as are the numbers, but the military time display is really tiny. Water resistant, but shouldn't be fully submerged.


This package of watches is a little more expensive because you get 10 of them in total. These are also fob-style watches with a silicone material, but the numbers are a little small and there is no military time display.


This Casio watch offers a sportier design with better durability and more resistance to water than most of the other watches we reviewed. The dials, hands, and numbers are really easy to see, and it comes with military time display as well.


This is the third Prestige Medical watch we reviewed. The clean and elegant design combines with functionality as the watch face is very easy to read, including the military time display in red.


Individual Reviews - Best Watches for Nurses

Timex Women's T2H391 Leather Nurse's Watch

The Timex Leather Nurse's Watch is one of the most popular watches for nurses for a few good reasons. First, it's highly functional, but isn't anything overly fancy that you have to worry about ruining. The appearance is clean and elegant, and there are multiple different color schemes available, so if you're not a fan of white or want something darker to hide subtle stains, that shouldn't be a problem.

The leather band has a standard buckle closure, which again, while it isn't anything advanced, it's simple and durable, allowing you to get the job done. Additionally, the hands, dials, and numbers are super easy to see due to their large size and contrast, making it easier for you perform your tasks. We like how the seconds hand is a different color, which is pretty common among watches, but not always guaranteed.

Overall, this is a great all-around watch for nurses and nursing students alike. It's affordable to the point where it's one of the better deals you will find for something this nice, so you could even get a couple different styles so you have options, or simply spares for after potential mishaps. This is the main reason we voted it best value watch for nurses, but again, that all depends on your style preferences and budget!

Dakota Watch Company Nurse's Clip-On Watch

This watch likely wasn't designed specifically with nurses in mind; however, it's functionality and appearance features make it more than a suitable option for any nurse or nursing student. The mini-clip design is similar to a carabiner, so you can clip it to different pieces of apparel according to your needs.

This watch comes in many different color schemes, but not all provide good enough contrast between the face of the watch and the hands and numbers. However, there is a bonus in that the dials and numbers are luminescent, which makes them easier to see in the dark. If you find color scheme with good contrast, then this combined with the luminescent hands make it a highly functional watch.

This watch also comes with an ultra-bright LED micro-light, which can really come in handy when performing tasks in a patient's room during a night shift when they're sleeping. It comes with military time, and the entire watch is highly durable, as it is water resistant up to 100 feet and the alloy construction is a strong design.

Overall, this is a highly functional watch for nurses that may appeal most to those who prefer something they don't have to wear on their wrists. There are many different color schemes to choose from, all of which have a more sporty appearance than most other watches marketed towards nurses and nursing students.

Casio Men's MQ24-7B2 Analog Watch

This Casio watch, while marketed towards men, is actually suitable for both men and women. Sometimes the classification between men and women is based on size of the wrist strap, but in this case, it actually runs a little small on lots of guys, and both male and female nurses have found it to be an effective watch for the job.

We personally love the sleek black design. Black is slightly less common in the nursing world, but in this case, we find it a little more functional as it can hide some more subtle stains, and the face itself is no different from many other watches for nurses. The numbers on the face are really easy to see, as are the hands, but no military time display means you will have to continue doing the conversion in your own head.

This watch is water resistant, but even still, we wouldn't suggest keeping it submerged in liquid. Splashes and spills should be fine though. The resin band isn't anything to really worry about in that regard, it's mainly that you don't want liquid entering the watch face and damaging the small inner components.

Overall, this is a good all-around watch for nurses, especially if you prefer the black design. The design is sleek and simple, and the hands and numbers are easy to see, but the lack of military time is a bit of a disadvantage.

Prestige Medical 1740 Nurse's Lapel Watch

This is one of three Prestige Medical nurse's watches that we reviewed and we would recommend any of them for nurses. There are other watch brands out there that make similar style watches that function the same way, but getting something made specifically for nurses does instill a little more confidence in the purchase.

This lapel watch is great for nurses who are required to perform more intense hand washing protocols, for example, those in oncology who need to wash very thoroughly further up the arms. This lapel watch is meant to hang of your clothes so you can simply look down (or flipping it up with your hand if necessary), and doesn't require removal for hand washing.

The design is classy, but still more than suitable for a clinical setting, and the numbers for both standard time and military time are quite large. However, we find them a little difficult to focus on instantly, and we think this is due to the outline style with no fill, so there are a lot more lines to focus on. This is a minor complaint though, as they aren't impossible to see, it may just take an extra second to focus on an exact number.

Overall, this is a great watch for nurses who are constantly washing their hands, especially when hand washing is of the up-most importance, e.g. in oncology. It comes with all the desired features and the appearance is classy, but we would take one mark off for the outlined design of the numbers (maybe others like this, though).

Lancardo Unisex Nurse's Lapel Watches (10-Pack)

The absolute cost of these lapel watches is a bit higher than most of the other watches we reviewed, but this is because you receive 10 lapel watches in the same package, each of which has its own unique design.

The watches are made of silicone, which is pretty standard, but the actual watch component isn't anything special. The black hands and numbers provide good contrast on the white background, but the watch face is fairly small, so the numbers can still be a little more difficult to read. There also isn't any military time display or any backlighting or glow in the dark features, but it has all the basics you need to check the time or count by the second.

These watches do have batteries that you can swap in and out​, but for all intents and purposes, we would recommend considering these watches as "disposable", with an undefined time span. The reason we say this is because the quality is a little lower, and therefore the durability is somewhat compromised (zero water resistance), so we wouldn't expect each of these individual watches to last overly long, especially if they receive some harsh punishment day after day.

Overall, these watches are good for any nurse who is looking for high quantity at a low price (hard to beat 10 watches for $30-40!). If you need something that isn't worn on your wrist, but you're a little too worried about spending on something that might get ruined, this could be a great option, at least to start with until you figure out exactly what you need. While some may find it a hassle to always change watches, it can also be considered convenient to be able to throw away a watch with multiple more ready to go, especially for nurses!

Why do nurses need watches?

Nurses need watches for a variety of reasons, and given they are so widely available and simple to use, there is no reason to avoid having one handy. When people ask why watches are important for nurses, the reasons are often technical in nature, often revolving around specific tasks and measurements that may be required for a patient. However, we would like to start by outlining some more practical reasons for why a watch can come in handy for any nurse.

While clocks are highly visible in most areas of a hospital or clinic, and can be even more handy to have one on you. This will allow for speedy charting. It may not seem that much more difficult to look at a clock (and it isn't), but over multiple instances of charting it can simply become a little more annoying to be relying on clocks on the wall. Over time, you may find yourself becoming more and more grateful to have a watch!

If you have a watch that has a timer or alarm function, this can be really handy when ensuring that you deliver the proper medications at the proper times, or simply to be checking in on patients that may be experiencing changes in their condition.

Lastly, the most overlooked practical reason to wear a watch is ergonomics. This may seem weird, but think about the amount of times you may have had to lean over a patient, or perform a task in a slightly awkward position. These frequency of these instances will vary from nurse to nurse, but nevertheless, adding in a twisting or turning motion to look at a clock can make things even more uncomfortable. For example, if you are working pediatrics, sometimes you may have to do something with a patient during the night, and you really don't want the child to wake up from their sleep. This may lead to more "tip-toeing" around the patient, and if you're doing something in an awkward position that requires timing something, then a watch can be extra handy.

Using a Watch for Apical Heart Rate

Sometimes nurses will be required to measure the apical heart rate of a patient. For example, if a patient is known to have an irregular heart beat, measuring the apical heart rate can provide a much more accurate value. Furthermore, many procedures and medications require the measurement of the apical pulse prior to the procedure or delivery of medication, regardless of who the patient is. A clock will do just fine for this, as you simply need to count to a minute, but having a watch may be more comfortable, or reassuring if you're not sure where clocks will be present. Therefore, you don't need anything fancy in a watch in order to measure apical heart rate, just something that can count!

For more information on locating and measuring the apical heart rate, please check out the video demonstration below:

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