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Best Stethoscope for Nursing Students – Top 8 Choices, Reviews, and Buyers Guide

Nursing students are required to carry some medical instruments with them while they are on duty in hospitals and other health care facilities. Some of these instruments are stethoscopes, blood pressure monitors, sphygmomanometers, and etc.

The stethoscope is more than just a tool for listening to heart and lung sounds. It is definitely one of the most important devices that a nurse needs to have. While it is true that you need to have good knowledge about human anatomy and physiology, having a stethoscope that is of high quality will be able to help you in your practice.

If you are looking for the best stethoscopes for nurses in the market today, you have come to the right place. I have reviewed the top 8 best nursing stethoscopes for nurses, which are very durable, reliable, and easy to use.

8 Best Nursing Stethoscopes Reviewed

In this article, I've reviewed 8 best stethoscopes for nursing students. Some of them are manufactured by the best stethoscope manufacturer in the world – Littmann. However, I've also included other products manufactured under other reputable brands.

1. 3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

3M Littmann Cardiology IV Diagnostic Stethoscope

Littmann stethoscopes have become a symbol of a physician's medical professionalism across the world. Littmann stethoscopes are used by doctors, nurses, EMTs, paramedics, other medical professionals, and medical students.

This model is the latest stethoscope in the Littmann Cardiology line designed for use with adult and pediatric patients and is definitely the best cardiology stethoscope on the market.

Based on nearly a century of research, this product has been designed to provide the highest quality acoustic performance for medical professionals. It is one of the top-ranked stethoscopes on the market. It has a tunable, dual-sided chest piece for greater acoustic clarity. The bell of the stethoscope is equipped with a non-chill bell sleeve for greater patient comfort.

It is a sturdy and refined instrument for critical care environments. The item is lightweight and has a stable diaphragm system; easy to hold and use. It is made of stainless steel, which is very durable.

2. 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope

Another option by Littmann is the Classic III Monitoring stethoscope. This instrument is a non-critical care version of the Littmann Classic series. It is a very versatile and durable stethoscope.

The Classic III instruments are the choice of many clinicians because of their light weight, comfort, and ease of use. The instrument features the traditional double-lumen tubing design with a tunable diaphragm on both the adult and pediatric sides.

This instrument is very popular among medical professionals and students because of its durability and easy sound identification. It is available in different colors so that you can match your style and your personality. It is definitely the best nursing stethoscope as it has excellent acoustic sensitivity so that you can easily detect normal and abnormal sounds and rhythms.

It is also very comfortable to wear. It is a very comfortable instrument, you can wear it for hours and hours without feeling any discomfort.

3. 3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope

3M Littmann Master Cardiology Stethoscope

This instrument is a premium, high-quality stethoscope, which is the most advanced instrument in the Littmann stethoscope line. It is intended for medical students, physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to use to listen to heart and lung sounds during auscultation and for use in performing cardiology procedures.

In order to make such a high-quality instrument, the body of this top-rated stethoscope is made of stainless steel, and the headset is made of latex-free, soft silicone. The softness of the headset allows it to conform to the ear canal. The headset also comes with a tunable diaphragm to enable clinicians to hear both high and low-frequency sounds.

The heart of the instrument, the chest piece, is made of stainless steel and is designed to deliver Littmann's highest acoustic performance in addition to a handcrafted, astonishing design.

This instrument is also intended to be used by medical students and other healthcare professionals to listen for bowel sounds during auscultation.

4. FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope

Dual Head Stethoscope for Medical and Home by FriCARE

This stethoscope by FriCARE is the best cheap stethoscope – an ideal instrument for medical professionals and students in the medical field. It is a folding and dual-sided chest piece with excellent acoustic performance and reliability, which can be used for both cardiology and general.

The double-sided chest piece is easy to operate, featuring a turntable chest piece design that allows the doctor to confirm the heart sounds by simply rotating the chest piece, and an ear diaphragm, also known as a bell which is used to listen to lung and other sounds.

The materials used are made of non-toxic materials and latex-free. The tubing is also latex-free and can be easily cleaned with alcohol.

5. 3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

3M Littmann Lightweight II S.E. Stethoscope

Lightweight II S.E. stethoscope by Littmann is lightweight and easy to handle. It comes with a teardrop-shaped chest piece that fits easily under the blood pressure cuff and an angled headset that follows the natural contour of the ear canal.

It is the perfect option for those who want a stethoscope that is lightweight, comfortable, and reliable as the item is designed with soft, flexible materials that make it a comfortable instrument for the caregiver. It is lightweight and easy to wear, and it does not cause any discomfort to the user.

It is ideal for a nursing student because of its clinical features. It is also a great stethoscope for any nurse. This instrument has been designed with the needs of a health professional in mind.

If you are looking for an entry-level stethoscope that can provide you with high-quality sound and reliability, this Lightweight II S.E. stethoscope is a good choice.

6. MDF Rosegold MD One Stainless Steel Stethoscope

MDF Rosegold MD One Stainless Steel Stethoscope

This stethoscope is made from stainless steel with a rose gold color. It is a dual-head item, so you can hear both high and low-frequency sounds. It includes a tunable diaphragm and a chest piece. It is a high-quality product, and it gives you a crisp, clear sound.

The stethoscope is also lightweight and comfortable to wear all day. The product comes with a lifetime warranty, which is excellent.

7. MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope

MDF Sprague Rappaport Dual Head Stethoscope

This is a single-head stethoscope with a dual-tube design. This stethoscope is designed with two sound channels, one for each ear, enabling the user to hear the sound in both ears.

The good thing about this stethoscope is that it is inexpensive. If you lose it or if you break it you can easily buy another one. If you are a student, you may want to get a second one just in case you lose it or if it gets broken. It is a good stethoscope for the price.

8. ADC 600 Platinum Series Cardiology Stethoscope

ADC 600 Platinum Series Cardiology Stethoscope

This stethoscope is a high-performance, lightweight, one-sided chest piece. It is made of surgical stainless steel, which is a durable material. It offers a very clear sound and hearing which is very important when you are a doctor or a nurse.

It has a tunable frequency diaphragm that allows a healthcare professional to listen for different types of sounds. This is one of the best stethoscopes for a doctor or nurse because it is so versatile. It comes with a lifetime warranty that covers any defect or damage that might occur.

A great bonus is that this product comes with 2 sets of ear tips, a scope ID tag, and a durable storage case.

Buyer’s Guide

Littmann stethoscope in hands

In this section, I have compiled a list of features that I consider to be essential and which should be present in every stethoscope. After all, it is the stethoscope that is the most important tool that you will have as a nursing student.

What to look for in a stethoscope

It is important when you are searching for the best stethoscope, you are aware of what to look for. When you are a nursing student, you may not have the money to purchase the best stethoscope out there, but you do not want to purchase a stethoscope that you will outgrow either. There are a few things you want to look for in a stethoscope.

  • Quality

The first thing which you should look at is the quality. Since these stethoscopes will be used by nursing students, they will be exposed to rough and tough conditions. So you should look for the instrument that will be able to withstand these conditions. It should be sturdy, and it should be able to provide clear sound.

  • Price range

The cost of the instrument depends on the specific model that you are going to buy. The price range for a stethoscope begins at about $25 and goes up to around $270. The most expensive stethoscopes are those that are used by doctors.

The thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should not spend a huge amount of money on a stethoscope for nursing students if they are not going to be used extensively.

  • Weight

This might not seem like a big deal, but it is. A heavy instrument can make your job more difficult, not to mention the fact that it will tire you out faster. A good stethoscope is one that is lightweight and comfortable to carry around.

  • Tube length

red stethoscope on the neck

The length of the tube should be in between the length of your arm and your shoulder. It should be long enough to ensure that you can use it easily, but short enough so that it doesn't get in the way while you are working.

  • Accessories

You should also look for stethoscopes that have all the bells and whistles attached to them. There are stethoscopes with additional features like a pacer, which can help you monitor the heart rate of the patients.

  • Thickness

Thicker tubes are the best for nursing students as they are easier to use. You can even try to find a tube that is so flexible and soft that it can bend around your neck or wrist without any discomfort, even when the stethoscope is around your neck.

How to maintain a stethoscope

You should clean your stethoscope with 70% alcohol before and after each use and then blow the tubes. If you don't have alcohol, use a little bit of water. The earbuds should be replaced every 3-6 months. You can also clean the bell with a little bit of alcohol. Keep your instrument away from heat and direct sunlight.


yellow stethoscope with heart near it

Here, you can find some answers to questions frequently asked to us. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us, and we will answer your questions as soon as possible.

Does a nurse use a stethoscope?

Yes. A stethoscope is most commonly used by nurses to listen to heart, breath sounds, bowel sounds, and to diagnose lung sounds.

Do I need a stethoscope for nursing school?

It depends on what kind of clinical program your nursing school has, but you should have a stethoscope since it is one of the most frequently used items in the medical field. In fact, most schools require a stethoscope.

Which is the best stethoscope for nursing students?

Well, it's really hard to tell unequivocally because different students have different needs. If you are looking for a high-quality product at a reasonable price, I would recommend 3M Littmann Classic III Monitoring Stethoscope. And if you are looking for the instrument at a very low price, I would recommend FriCARE Dual Head Stethoscope.

Should I get an expensive stethoscope for nursing school?

This is a common worry among nursing students. The best stethoscopes for nursing school are not necessarily the most expensive. Instead, the most important thing to consider is the stethoscope's material and quality of sound.

Is there a difference between a cardiology stethoscope and a regular one?

Yes. A cardiology stethoscope has better acoustics, and it can be used to listen to heart sounds more clearly.

How often should you get a new stethoscope?

I would say once every 1 to 2 years. It depends on how often you use it and how well you take care of it.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, it is not difficult to find a stethoscope that is perfect for nursing students. For example, the 3M Littmann Cardiology III is a top-of-the-line stethoscope and also one of the most expensive ones.

However, it may not be the best choice for a student who is just starting out and has not been exposed to years of medical professionals. My advice is to get a stethoscope that is within your price range and within your scope of practice.

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