If you have ever been stuck on what gift to give a nurse you know, then this guide is just what you need. Browse these gifts for nurses. This guide ranges from the practical to the personalized, and even some fun ideas are thrown in the mix.
The Best Gifts for Nurses
Nurses are pretty easy to shop for. I mean, just give us some coffee, a great stethoscope, and some comfy scrubs and we are thrilled! But sometimes you want to give them something that stands out from all the other gifts.
That’s where this guide shines! In it you will find:
- Cute & Original Gifts for Nurses
- Practical Gifts for Nurses and Nursing Students
- Gifts for Preceptors
- Cheap Gifts You Can Afford To Buy for the Entire Shift
- Nurse Graduation Gifts
- Personalized Gifts for Nurses
- Practical Gifts for Nurses
- Christmas Gifts for Nurses
Whether you are shopping for your best friend, manager, or classmate, finding the best gifts for nurses doesn’t have to be hard. Sure you could go with something generic, but most nurses appreciate gifts that honor their chosen profession. Look for items that are cute, original, and classy that are sure to touch a nurse’s heart.
When I am searching for a truly unique gift for someone, Etsy is always my first stop. I love the fact that most of the items are handmade and one of a kind. I also feel great about encouraging small local businesses. Etsy has plenty of original gift ideas for the nurse in your life, from drinkware to jewelry.
How to Pick the Perfect Gift for a Nurse
Picking the right nursing gift is something you want to consider carefully. You don’t want to phone it in and just send something silly and thoughtless. You really want to ensure that you’ve picked the perfect gift for that particular nurse.
Here are a few things to consider when looking for a great gift for nurses:
- What the nurse already has (no one needs doubles unless the new one is way better)
- What is the nurse’s favorite color
- Do you know the nurse’s clothing size (hard to buy a t-shirt when you don’t)
- The nurse’s work environment (if they are not working in a clinical setting, they likely don’t need a stethoscope)
- The hobbies and likes of the nurse (It’s probably not a good idea to buy them a shot glass if they don’t even drink)
- Whether the nurse can accept the gift you give them. If you’re a patient, read How to Thank a Nurse.
Consider the Reason for the Nurse’s Gift
Why are wanting to get this nurse a gift? They type of gift you purchase for them may be largely impacted by the reason for the gift. If you are buying a retirement gift for a nurse, then you might look for something like a nurse figurine, as a stethoscope would be pretty useless to a retired nurse.
Cute & Original Gifts for Nurses
If you’re not sure exactly what would be an appropriate gift for a nurse, then you can skip to our nurse gift buying guide for some extra tips and insight to buy the perfect nurse gift.
I’ve scoured Etsy to find off-the-beaten-path gifts for nurses that would be perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s a graduation, birthday, Christmas, or “just because” these hand-crafted items are sure to become a favorite of any nurse you give them to. In it you will find:
- Metal Bookmark
- Stylus Pen
- Badge Reel
- Phone Cover
- Wine Glass
- Coffee Mug
- Scrub Hat
- Custom Print
- Vintage Print
- Custom Art
This mental bookmark is a classy gift made especially for those in the healthcare profession. The delicate stethoscope charm and heart transform it into something special.
Practical Gifts for Nurses and Nursing Students
Getting something a nurse needs and will use every day is a great idea. If you buy something like a stethoscope or nursing shoes, you can be sure they will get plenty of use out of it. You can also consider getting an item that will help them with clinical judgment and critical thinking. A great book like Becoming Nursey, The Nerdy Nurse’s Guide to Technology, or The Nurse’s Guide to Blogging would be a good choice. We wrote a whole post on practical gifts for nurses if you want some more ideas.
A great tool for new nurses especially is Scrub Cheats.
Gifts for Preceptors
In gift ideas for preceptors we will talk about:
It’s an honor to be a preceptor. I love taking a new nurse, or a student nurse, under my wing and teaching them the ropes of nursing. And while I find great joy in teaching, I also find it incredibly stressful. Not that the new nurse isn’t smart, they are. It’s just a stressful job, and it’s very fast-paced, which means that it’s easy to fall behind and it’s easy to miss something. I have a routine, one I know that works well for me and my patients and keeps me in check throughout the day. If I have to hand over some of the responsibility to a newbie, or slow my pace down to explain something, it’s much easier to overlook something important, or fall behind and have to stay at work charting until 9pm. Not to mention, it’s my license that is on the line.
All that being said, it’s important to show your preceptor that you’re grateful for all their effort, and finding the right gifts for preceptors will help convey your gratitude.
How to Find the Right Gifts for Preceptors
As with any meaningful gift, knowing the recipient is key.
Usually, in the preceptor/orientee relationship, there isn’t often enough time for much personal talk t, unless you’ve got a slow day. Even then, the relationship is very professional without opportunities to share much about each other. But if you’ve got a month or two with your nurse, you’ll start to pick up on some of their habits that could help clue you to the perfect gift for a preceptor.
Last year I had a preceptor for a new job that I took, and I didn’t know what thank you gift to get her. So I just started observing more intentionally what she liked to chat about, and what activities she enjoyed outside of work. My thank you gift at the end of our time together was a bag of gourmet hot cocoa and a big pack of diet coke along with a thank you note. She was so touched and to this day still raves about how much she loved that hot chocolate. A simple nurse gift basket with some things you know she will use can be the best gift ever.
“Oh, what a Thoughtful Gift!!”
Maybe it’s me, but I find such contentment in hearing those words! And I also really like buying items that I don’t think the person would buy for themselves. Those are the best gifts.
A $5 mocha-chip Frappuccino was all it took for me to be excited to get out of bed and head to work. As I got older and tried to instill the habit of living on a “budget”, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t do this every day…so I started making drip coffee. Oh what a step-down! So needless to say, a coffee gift card would be a perfect gift for preceptors ,who enjoy coffee.
Regardless of what you choose to give to your preceptor as a thank you gift, one of the most meaningful things that you could do for them is write them a handwritten thank you card. If they know that you are grateful for their time and effort and that you learned something in the process, they will be very touched.
Cheap Gifts You Can Afford To Buy The Whole Shift
Finding fun and affordable nurse gifts may seem daunting. Luckily there are a few standbys that almost any nurse would be happy to receive. We’ve taken the time to collect some of our favorites and kept them around $10 so that you could afford to buy them for the whole shift.
We’ll look at some of these gifts for nurses:
Cheap Gift Ideas for Nurses
The amount of money you spend a nurse’s gift has nothing to do with its value or the meaning it will have on the nurse. For example, if you had a family member in the hospital and wanted to do something nice for the nurses on the shift, picking up a box of donuts and bringing them to the nurse’s station to do wonders for the mood of the unit.
Or you can do something a little more expensive and buy a unique pack of pens and give every nurse that provided care one. If you want to spend a little more, you could order some custom badge reels, stethoscope charms, maybe just a few Starbucks gift cards.
Travel Coffee Mugs
In the words of Lorelai Gilmore “Coffee! Coffee! Coffee!”
Whether you go with classic stainless steel or a modern version more akin to the look of a Starbucks cup, nearly every nurse loves coffee (or some other hot beverage) and would appreciate this thoughtful gift. My personal favorite is the Bubba travel mug. I have the 34oz version myself and it also works great at keeping water ice-cold for up to 12 hours at a time.
Tote or Bag
Nurses have a tremendous amount of stuff they are constantly lugging back and forth to work. Having a cute nurse tote or bag to pack it up in (bonus points if it has pockets for organization) can make carrying all the junk needed for work a little less inconvenient. Of course, finding room in their locker for it might present a challenge, but you’re not a miracle worker.
Many nurses work long shifts walking the halls, lifting patients, and putting their bodies in high-stress situations. These working conditions can lead to aching backs, legs, feet, and various other parts of your body. A personal massager is a perfect gift to help a nurse relieve the tension built up during a shift.
Since it’s small and portable, it can even be used at work if there are a few spare moments to take a break. This is one that you might want to make sure you get for the whole shift otherwise you might now have enough massaging power to go around.
Hydration is vital to stay in good health. Unfortunately, it can be difficult for nurses to find time to fill up on the h20 when working a 12 hours shift. Sometimes having a special cup (with a lid) can help make this task a little easier. Consider it a challenge to drink at least 64 ounces of water each shift.
If you have a nice 16 or 20 oz tumbler that can be just 3 or 4 refills. Keeping water at the nurses’ station will help keep you more alert and flush out any of that extra salt you might have consumed when raiding the snack pantry.
Novelty Nurse Pens
Pens are coveted among nurses. Unique pens with a nursing twist are the cream of the crop. I’m not saying they’re going to use it to chart with every day, because let’s face it, a pill-shaped pen is going to be a little awkward to write with. However, it will hold a place of honor and will definitely be a conversation starter when they sign checks and any other task that a super cute nurse pen might show up.
Graduation Gifts for Nurses
Graduating from Nursing School is a major accomplishment. They have studied hard to pass the NCLEX, they have picked the best nursing specialty, and now they are ready to be a fantastic nurse. Show them that you have seen all their hard work and recognize all they have accomplished with one of these Nurse Graduation Gifts, nurse themed cake, a nurse gift basket, or a beautiful nurse figurine. In it you will find:
Bonus Nurse Graduation Gift Idea
- 3M Littmann Classic II SE – 28″ Stethoscope
- Black Nursing.com Reference Clipboard
- Black Penlight 4 tools in 1: Penlight, Stylus, Pupil Gauge, and Black Ink Pen
- Badge Buddy Reference Guide
- Trauma Shears
- 5 1/2 Straight Kelly Hemostat
Personalized Gifts for Nurses
Personalized gifts for nurses are one of the best ways to give your nursing friends, family or colleagues a great gift that they will cherish for years to come. No matter what nursing specialty, or years of experience, they are sure to love any of these amazing and beautiful gifts.
Finding the perfect gift for a nurse doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, there are hundreds of customized gifts for nurses on Etsy. I find that finding a great gift isn’t that hard at all. What becomes a challenge is narrowing it down amongst all the great possibilities. From a personalized nurse jacket to a custom stethoscope tag, the options for custom nurse gifts are nearly endless. So we’ve rounded up some of our favorites to make the task of finding that perfect gift. In it you will find:
- Stethoscope tag
- Stethoscope cover
- Stethoscope keychain
- Stethoscope charm
- Nurse Tote
- Coffee Mug
- Shot Glass
- Funny Mug
- Nurse Hanger
- Custom Ring
- Framed Nurse
- Keepsake Box
- Gift Set
- Custom Bag
- Water Bottle
- Custom Clipboard
This amazing list of personalized gifts for nurses is a perfect way to give that special nurse in your life a great gift! And don’t forget to thank that amazing preceptor with one of these appropriate and thoughtful gifts for preceptors.
Practical Gifts for Nurses
Scratching your head about what to get that nurse on your gift list? If you’re combing through the web, looking for the perfectly practical gifts for nurses, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re shopping for a fashion-conscious nurse, a gadget freak or a nursing shoe connoisseur, there’s something for every type of nurse in the list below. So check out my practical gifts for nurses and check that nurse off your gift list.
If you’re looking for comfort and stability in a pair of shoes, the Dansko Professional Clogs will fit the bill. A solid heel cup and leather construction keep feet stable, while a padded collar and a polyurethane outsole provide great comfort and shock absorption even on hard concrete floors.
For nurses that want support and traction in one shoe, the Skechers for Work is the right pick. A comfortable leather upper combined with a grippy rubber outsole gives adequate support and enough confidence to negotiate slippery surfaces with confidence.
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Listed as a bestseller on Amazon, the Littmann Lightweight II is an ideal choice for entry-level nurses and helps them get the job done with ease thanks to its solid design and lightweight profile. Finished in stainless steel. Available in 7 different colors. Made in USA.
The Classic III is another popular stethoscope worth gifting. Specially designed to deliver best acoustic performance, this Littmann equipment responds well to pressure changes and captures low and high frequency sounds with ease. Features a dual-sided stainless steel chest piece, and comes in half a dozen colors…
The Nurse Mates, true to its name, is clearly the ultimate nursing bag. Available in a wide assortment of colors, this bag has several compartments and storage pockets to help keep stuff organized.
This nursing bag comes with a beautifully embroidered stethoscope motif with initials in the middle. Features two pockets and sturdy web handles. A good choice if you’re looking to add a personal touch. Comes in several accents and multiple color options.
Soft and comfortable, this Koi scrub top is ideal for nurses who don’t like the typical baggy, sloppy looks of scrub sets. Made out of cotton-and-polyster-blend, the scrub top features 2 deep pockets on the bottom in the front and a handy chest pocket. There are lots of colors and sizes to choose from.
All hardworking nurses deserve a high-quality scrub like this scrub pant from Grey’s Anatomy, which has become a perennial favorite. The stretchy yoga scrub bottom made of polyester and rayon features elastic draw-cord for supreme fit and 4 boxy pockets to stow all your important gear and valuables.
Quirky pens with a unique touch is a hit among nurses. Here’s a multipurpose pen that serves as a penlight for assessments and a handy stylus for smartphones and tablets. Oh yeah, the #1 Nurse engravement is a nice touch as well.
Carrying a bunch of warm messages that pay homage to the great work they do, this cute pen gift set is sure to please any hard working nurse. We’d also say this fits in the personalized gifts for nurses and unique gifts for nurses category.
Made of high-quality stainless steel, this pair of bandage scissors features sturdy and sharp blades and a carabiner for extra convenience. Great for cutting through bandages wraps and gauzes without any hassle. Available in four colors.
This pair of scissors from Prestige boasts of high-quality blades with a superior stainless steel construction and a non-sticky finish thanks to its special fluoride coating. More compact than most shears out there.
Made with high-quality plastic and stainless steel springs, this clip from NurseBorn is designed to help nurses get their scopes off their neck and onto their clothing. Ideal for people who simply don’t want to wear a stethoscope around the neck or stuff it in a pocket. Fits most models out there.
Here’s another nice stethoscope holder clip to keep your stethoscope handy but totally out of the way. A simple, well-constructed design means your stethoscope simply slips in and out of the clip when you need it. Durable, sturdy, and made to last long.
Christmas Gifts for Nurses
A nurse’s Christmas is often not like others. Instead of spending the day with their families, many nurses will spend the day caring for the patients that are too sick to go home. On Christmas morning when you’re running downstairs, wearing your Christmas pajamas, excited to spend time with your family, think of the nurses and other healthcare workers who are taking care of the sickest of the sick. While the rest of the world gets a day to relax and spend time with family, nurses remain hard at work. It’s a hard job, but, fortunately, many people are aware of how difficult it can be and are very supportive of nurses.
I was thinking of many the things that many nurses struggle with, especially during the holidays, and decided that I would put together a nurse Christmas wish list. These are things that almost every nurse wants (or has wanted at some point in their careers). Some of these can’t be wrapped up and put under a Christmas tree, but a few of them can.
Nurse Christmas Wish List
1. More Sleep
Getting enough sleep is elusive among nursing. You’re more likely to actually remember to move the Elf on the Shelf than get a full 8 hours. Nurses are busy. When you work 12-hour shifts, that usually end up being closer to 13, commute another hour or so, shower, and eat, you barely have enough time to lay down, much less sleep a full 8.
On the best nights, most nurses are thankful to get 6-7 hours, but that extra hour could really make a difference in energy level and overall health. Although you can’t take the stress of life away, you can do a few things to make sleeping easier. If you have a nurse to buy for this Christmas, consider a few sleep aids to add a few extra winks to a nurse’s night.
2. More Money
Nurses are not paid enough. The workload is demanding, and the salary has not kept up the rate of inflation and the level of stress and responsibility that come with the job. What’s worse is that unless nurses change jobs every few years, they are often not being paid a fair wage for their years of experience. There’s no way to wrap up a pay increase and put it under a tree; however, there are things that nurses can do to increase their salary and brighten their Christmas. Here are a few ideas to increase the cash in a nurse’s bank account.
Asking for a Raise
It seems too simple, but it often works. However, it takes some planning to do it correctly. You can’t just barge into your manager’s office after a particularly difficult shift and demand to be paid more for the work that you do. You won’t be taken seriously, and a few incidents like that could get you fired.
Instead, consider reading up on proven tactics that work when asking for a raise, and then drafting a proposal outlining why you deserve a raise and how much want, and scheduling a meeting with your nursing manager.
Pursuing Higher Education
Most healthcare employers will give a slight pay increase when you obtain a higher degree. They will also usually cover a large portion of the costs associated with school, and many nurses qualify for scholarships and grants that will make higher education virtually pay for themselves.
Growing Personal Wealth
3. More Time
“If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…” is give it to nurses! Seriously, 12-hour shifts seem long, but there is never enough to get everything done. I know there are two shifts for a reason, but more time would help. Since you can’t exactly bottle time, there are going to have to be some creative and thoughtful alternatives to make a great nurse Christmas gift.
Time Management Skills
- 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
4. Something Personalized
One of the most thoughtful gifts for nurses is something personalized and bought just for them. Chances are if you took the time to put their name one it, you put some actual effort in picking it out and gifting it to them. Personalized nursing gifts can practical and functional or purely fun.
Many nurses have stethoscopes that look almost identical. Littmann stethoscopes are awesome, but they do lend themselves the growing legs and walking away, often around the next of physicians. If only Littmann would design different stethoscopes for nurses and doctors. A stethoscope tag is simple, affordable, and very personal. It’s something that a nurse will use every day at work and it will remind them of you. This is not an item you can pick up at a gas station, so plan ahead if you want to add this to a nurse’s Christmas list. These can usually be purchased for less than $10 on Amazon.
5. A More Manageable Patient Load
This is one intangible item that I really do wish I could package and put under every nurse’s Christmas tree. The dangers of unsafe patient loads are many, and healthcare organizations are having a difficult time making ends meet with all the changes in reimbursement.
This means the risk of nurses having more patients than they can handle is on the rise. Many states do have safe staffing laws on the books and nursing unions, but there are even more that do not. It pains me not to have a clear solution for this issue, but I do have a suggestion for a thoughtful, and completely free, gift for nurses everywhere.
Write your congressional representatives and let them know that safe staffing for nurses is a must. Share the safe staffing campaign on your social media channels encourage your friends to support nurses and patients by contacting their government officials and demanding safe staffing laws. You can also take action on specific safe staffing bills.
6. Christmas Off
Many nurses spend Christmas Day or Christmas Eve at work instead of home with their families. It can’t be escaped. People will always be sick, and nurses will need to be there to care for them. Nurses know this when they sign up for the job, but that doesn’t mean we like it. Since there is a chance that a nurse in your life will have to work on Christmas, consider doing something special for them on that day.
Packing Their Lunch
7. An Awesome Stethoscope
Nurses and stethoscopes go together like peas and carrots. They’re a vital part of a nursing workflow and are needed in any form of direct bedside care. Having a great stethoscope is a must. In fact, I wrote a post listing the best stethoscopes for nurses, but I’ll save you some time and offer up my 3 favorites.
- 3M Littmann Classic III Stethoscope
- 3M Littmann Cardiology III Stethoscope
- MDF® MD One Stainless Steel Premium Dual Head Stethoscope
While you’re picking up a stethoscope, consider adding a unique, and possibly personalized stethoscope accessory.
8. Comfortable Shoes
When you’re working long hours on your feet, comfortable shoes are an absolute must! Your feet are valuable and you only get one pair. You’ve got to take care of them. Nurses are on their feet for most of their 12-hour shifts and comfortable shoes aren’t a luxury, they should be considered a requirement. I’ve written about the most comfortable shoes for nurses, top nursing shoes for women, and nursing shoes for men. However, I know that’s about 20 pairs of shoes to look over, so let’s make it a little easier.
- SoftWalk Women’s Meredith Clog
- Dansko Women’s Professional Box Leather Clog
- Skechers for Work Men’s 76778 Balder Clog
Thoughtful Gifts for Nurses
Truly most nurses will be thankful for any gift they receive. It’s not important that you get them something really expensive, or even specific to nursing. It’s more important that you give them something thoughtful, supportive, and from the heart.
What nurse gift have you loved giving the most?
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