womans hand holding a gift-wrapped present against white background with blue text overlay best fits ideas for nurses

Best Gift Ideas for Nurses

Staff Writer
Nov 16, 2021

Old reliables, like gift cards and cash, are always viable gifting options but thinking outside the box can be a more meaningful way to show that you care about the person who is always taking care of others. Whether your nurse needs something practical to add to their toolbox or just a dose of pampering, here are the best gifts for every stage of your nurse’s journey.

1. Gifts for Nursing Students

Flash Cards
One of the most useful skills for any nursing student is memorization. Whether learning the parts of the human body, remembering acronyms, or learning the patient assessment process, flashcards are a reliable way to effectively memorize essential information.

School Supplies
Pens, notebooks, highlighters, and binders are all useful and practical gifts that any nursing student would gladly accept. School is always a bit of a financial burden, so helping alleviate some of the regular costs of being a student can really make their day.

Day Planner
Balancing school, work, and life can be a challenge as a nursing student. A day planner can be an immensely useful item for any student, especially those who are juggling an already full calendar.

It may be practical, but a backpack is a great gift for a nursing student. With so many different styles, colors, and functionalities, backpacks can be customized to fit your student’s personality and it’ll get a lot of use throughout their academic journey.

2. Nursing Graduation Gifts

Single-Serving Coffee Maker
Nursing school graduates know hard work. And after graduation, the work is just beginning as they prepare for first-job interviews, new roles and responsibilities, and the kickoff of their career. Treat them to a much-needed morning jolt with a single-serving coffee maker. It won’t take up too much counter space, and is perfect for a quick cup of joe for new nurses on the go.

Fitness Tracker
Nurses walk — a lot. Help your nurse stay healthy and on time with a wearable fitness tracker. Not only do these fitness trackers function as pedometers, but they can monitor heart rate, track quality of sleep, and record (while encouraging) hydration.

Travel Mug
As a new nurse on the go, and with limited time to enjoy a hot coffee or a cold beverage, an insulated travel thermos allows a nurse to enjoy their hot or cold drink throughout their shift. Look for a thermos or travel mug with a spill-proof lid so it can be tossed in a bag on the way out the door without leaking.

One of the most useful and underrated items every nurse can use—a watch. Whether they are assessing a heart rate, giving time-sensitive meds, or taking a lunch break, accurate timekeeping is an essential part of the job as a nurse.

3. Gifts for New Nurses

For jobs that require extended hours on your feet, replacing shoes often is important for maintaining foot health. Comfortable footwear is vital for nurses who spend long hours standing and walking so new shoes will be much appreciated.

If you aren’t sure of the nurse’s personal style or shoe preference, consider giving a gift card for shoes instead. You’ll provide them with something essential, but they’ll still be able to choose exactly what they need.

Nurses (specifically students or new graduate nurses), desire new scrubs as they begin their career as a professional nurse. Knock it out of the park and buy them a pair or two of durable, antimicrobial, moisture-wicking scrubs with lots of deep pockets to keep them comfortable, dry, and organized all day long.

Clip Board
Nurses deal with an immense amount of information and piles of essential paperwork on a daily basis. A storage clipboard designed specifically for nurses will help them stay on their feet while taking down the information they need, along with storing papers, pens, and other gear they’ll need while doing their rounds.

Most nurses have a stethoscope on them for the entirety of their shift. A stethoscope is one of the most important instruments that a nurse uses to examine patients, and it must be readily available at a moment’s notice. Give a nursing student a dependable stethoscope with quality acoustics and you’ll give them something they’ll use every day on every shift.

4. Practical Gifts for Nurses

Pen Light
Every nurse needs a penlight in their arsenal. This specific tool provides the nurse with a better visual of a patient’s eyes, ears, mouth, wound, etc. during the patient assessment. In a hectic, unpredictable environment like a hospital, it’s easy to misplace a pen light, so stuffing one in a stocking or gift basket will always be a welcome addition.

Compression Socks
It may seem basic, but compression socks are a useful gift that will not only prevent swelling in the legs and increase blood circulation, but they also improve stamina during those long, busy shifts. Additionally, compression stockings come in a variety of fun colors and trendy prints that make them both stylish and functional.

Hydration Bottle
Staying hydrated while on the job is essential to keeping energy up and maintaining health – especially when your job is physically demanding. A quality reusable water bottle that features a built-in straw is a thoughtful and practical way to appreciate the nurse in your life.

Nurse Bag
It’s no surprise that nurses require gear to perform routine and life-saving tasks while on the job. A nurse bag or tote is a great way to carry essential items like a stethoscope, pen lights, nursing shears, gloves, sterile masks, gauze and more. Look for a bag that is made of water-resistant, durable material and features a variety of compartments for convenient storage.

5. Relaxation Gifts for Nurses

Eye Mask
Nurses are notorious for putting the needs of others ahead of themselves. Adequate sleep is essential to staying at the top of their game. Eye masks are an easy, low-cost gift for hard-working nurses in need of some relaxation — especially if they work the nightshift. Look for good quality materials like silk and an adjustable strap. For added pampering, opt for an eye mask with a soothing lavender or gel insert.

Epsom Salts
It might seem like an odd gift, but nurses returning home after a long shift will gladly accept some downtime to soak in a hot bath. Epsom salts work magic on tired muscles, and you can find varieties with added ingredients like lavender, chamomile, and eucalyptus to enhance the relaxing benefits.

Foot Bath
A foot bath or foot spa is a truly exceptional gift for active nurses who spend long hours on their feet. Not only can a footbath ease stress and tension, but it can help improve circulation, reduce swelling, and soothe general discomfort associated with long periods of standing and walking.

Portable Neck Massager
Whether after a shift or on a lunch break, nurses can relieve stress, release tension, and reduce burnout with a self-heating portable neck massager.

6. Nurses Week Gifts Ideas

Sweet Treats
One of the easiest nurse appreciation gifts is a sweet treat like a cookie basket, fruit bouquet, or chocolate-dipped strawberries. Nurses are always on the move, so a little sugar not only shows your appreciation but gives them an energy boost to keep them going through their shift.

Thank You Cards
Say “thanks,” literally. A “Thank You” card allows you to write individualized messages to the nurses in your life. Whether expressing gratitude, providing encouragement, or recognizing their endless service, your words will help a nurse feel noticed, appreciated, and valued. Be sure to include a few examples or anecdotes to add a more personal touch.

Gift Cards
Every nurse is a busy nurse, so save them some time and buy them a gift card to their favorite restaurant. Coming home to a meal that’s already prepared and on the table means one less thing your nurse has to worry about when they get home.

Personalized Keepsake
Imagine surprising your special nurse with a piece of jewelry, or gifting stethoscope tags for your nursing team. Go the extra mile and show your gratitude with a meaningful keepsake made especially for a nurse.

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