The Pros and Cons of Buying Nursing Supplies Online

Every new nurse or nursing student needs some gear to get started. From scrubs to shoes to stethoscopes, you’re likely buying things you’ve never purchased before.

3 min read

pros and cons of buying nursing supplies online

This exciting time is something most nurses remember fondly, but trying to figure out what to choose can be stressful. So, should you buy your nursing supplies online?

Here are some pros on cons of making these important purchases through an online retailer.


  • You could find deals. One  upside of shopping online is you have more retailers to choose from, often leading you to get better prices on your supplies. Wholesale and discount websites can be extremely helpful when you’re trying to save money. Of course, depending on the stores nearby and what your school bookstore offers, you might be able to find low prices without going online. Plus, cheaper isn’t always better when it comes to these important pieces.
  • There’s more variety. Online shopping gives you access to more than what the school bookstore or local retailer has in stock. With multiple websites specializing in nursing gear, you can choose from a wide selection of scrubs, stethoscopes, scissors and more. The web also gives you the ability to research the products you are considering purchasing.
  • It’s convenient. As with buying anything online, the simplicity of clicking a button to purchase is a major pro. You don’t even have to get out of your pajamas to purchase everything you need for nursing! Plus, you can get it all done a lot faster than if you had to drive to multiple stores, and it will all be delivered right to your door!


  • You can’t try before you buy. If you’re new to buying nursing supplies, you probably want to try things on, feel the material or check the quality. Online reviews and specs can be helpful, but when it comes to things like shoes, you definitely want to know that you’re getting something that is quality and comfortable. Sometimes in-person shopping is the only way to know if you’ll be happy with your purchase.
  • Online shopping is impersonal. At shops and school bookstores, you can talk to the people working about what they recommend and maybe meet fellow nursing students or nurses when you’re shopping. Online shopping doesn’t given you the chance to ask others their opinion on what to purchase so you’re left with ratings and reviews from those you don’t know.
  • Things might not arrive on time. If you’ve waited until the last minute to do your shopping, you could end up paying more for shipping or not being prepared with the supplies you need. If you plan to shop online, allow yourself time to receive the items and also to return them if the product isn’t what you expected.

When it’s all said and done, most find that some supplies are easily purchased online while others require a trip to a store. When purchasing your nursing supplies, remember not to sacrifice quality. These supplies become your toolbox and, in most cases, the more comfortable or well made they are, the better. For more on nursing supplies, read how important one student’s stethoscope became to her, what to consider when buying nursing shoes and how to nurse in style!