New nursing student needs help in selecting a stethoscope


I wanted to ask some of you seasoned nursing students what kind of stethoscope is best for clinicals. Should I go and spend alot of money on one right now, or should I wait , or can I settle for one in the school book store?

Let me know what you have used and what you would do in my situation.

Starting out is so expensive with books, uniforms and other supplies I just hate to waste money on an expensive stethoscope.



52 Posts

Specializes in Psych, LTC, Home Health. Has 8 years experience.

In my opinion Litman is the best. They are more expensive than a lot of the others but they seem to work better and have softer earpieces. Could you ask someone for one for birthday or something like that? That is how I got mine. :)


1,907 Posts

Specializes in OB, lactation.

A lot of people seem to get the Littman Classic II SE in school & like it. It is not a cheapo, but not a really expensive cardiac either. I've been happy with mine. I used a cheapo one that my grandma had and I couldn't hear a thing with it (I'm sure a more experienced person could, but when I used that I was really glad I had gotten the Littman). It is on sale right now here for $62.99:

Here's ebays selection:

You can also search here on allnurses, there are lots of threads about stethoscopes where you can see lots of opinions :)


In California (at least at my school), you are required to have your CNA before you can get your RN so I have some experience with using a stethoscope for BP but not much else, so take it for what it's worth.

Don't go bargain on the stethoscope. I also have a Littman but at first I wanted to save a few bucks and bought a really inexpensive model (some unknown brand). It worked good on people with a strong and bounding heatbeat but I had an extremely diffiicult time hearing with other people (such as older patients).

I know that All Hearts ( has a good sale on Littmans and you don't ned to get the top of the line, I think the Classic or Select are popular, as some others have posted.

There is nothing worse than being tested for a skill and your stethoscope isn't picking up a heatbeat. You know the patient has one....right?

My school has a fundraiser where the upperclass nursing students sell Littmans for a good price. Check with your school to see if they do anything like that!


237 Posts

I will need to get a stethoscope too. I have a large chest does anyone know where I can find one that is longer than the normal steths?

Sirius Black

23 Posts

I have Littman Classic II S.E. - mostly used it for taking blood pressure (don't get into all the nitty gritty of auscultation until next semester). I've been very happy with the it + this is the stethoscope that my lecturer recommended.

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