35+ Best Gifts for Nurses: Ideas and Tips

  • October 13, 2020/

Do you need help finding the best gifts for nurses? Be it Nurses Week, graduation, Christmas holidays, birthdays, or whatever the occasion, let our gift hunting guide give you ideas and help you find the perfect gifts for nurses!

Factors to consider when choosing a gift:

  1. Budget. Consider your budget when buying gifts. If your budget is limited, only buy gifts that you can afford and pimp them up with personalized decor or message. Most of the time, inexpensive gifts are the ideal gifts. Included in this gift hunting guide are DIY gifts for nurses that are inexpensive, useful, and easy to do!
  2. Usefulness. Some people like receiving gifts that they can actually use. Consider their circumstance, their current status, and what they actually like or need.
  3. Appropriateness. Unless it’s a close family or friend, do not buy a gift that the recipient has no position to afford. Your gift shouldn’t leave anyone in desperation on how to reciprocate.

Here are 35+ of the best gifts for nurses and ideas and tips you can use:

Stethoscope

New Nurse Survival Kit

Recognizing the new nurse in your life? A unique way to show that you support them is by giving them a gift basket! First, grab a basket and fill it with simple items that they can use during nursing school and especially during clinicals.
Detox bath salts are great and inexpensive gifts for nurses that they will surely appreciate and find good use for especially after a stressful day at work. These bath salts give a wonderful silky feel to water and works to soften and exfoliate the skin. Additionally, soaking in magnesium in the Epsom salts is believed to be absorbed through the skin which can aid in relaxation and helps to reduce muscle aches and pain.
Rice Bag Warmers
Bag warmers are a handy gift because you just pop them in the microwave for a minute or two and they’re ready to ease muscle pain or warm your hands and feed. Nurses can find them useful at work to warm their hands on a cold day.
Shoe Bag for Nurses
Packing shoes in fabric bags protects clothing from dirt and they’re so much prettier than the usual alternative of plastic shopping bags. This is an ideal gift for the travel nurse working on your unit or even a nurse friend that likes to visit out of town on their off days.
Indulgence in a Jar
This next gift for nurses has a theme of self-indulgence. Simply fill a jar with small treats, decorate it with some ribbon, and attach a catchy label that you write or print out yourself. For a busy day at work you can make a “pick-me-up jar” filled with snacks like beef jerky, nuts and dried fruit, a sachet of delicious coffee, and a few sweets. Maybe even add a pen – because nurses are always losing theirs

You could also make a jar for a relaxing bath at the end of a hectic day. This could contain a sachet of foam bath or a bath bomb, a scented candle, an herbal tea bag, some luxury chocolates, and a small bottle of luxury body lotion. These are just a few suggestions, but you’ll probably be able to come up with lots more ideas of your own.  If kitchen crafts are your bent you can also just fill a prettily decorated jar with homemade cookies or sweets.

Nurse Coffee Mugs

Coffee mug that every nurse can proudly use! Hand painted ceramic decal message mug and encased in a gift box. A perfect gift for nurses during the Nurses Week!

Nurse Coloring Books

Help your giftee melt their stress away and relax with these set of coloring books for nurses. Some are snarky but most are relatable which makes them hilarious and a perfect way to help relieve work stress!
Human Organ Lunch Tote Bag
 One thing that nurses don’t have are lunch breaks but if they do, this insulated tote bag will keep their precious lunch prepped and ready for transplant right in their waiting stomach!
“101 Blessings for Nurses” Cards – A Box of Blessings
 Show your appreciation for nurses with these 101 inspirational messages in a box. Give all at once to draw for a lift or to keep a box to hand out and pass around. An inexpensive but thoughtful gift to bring smiles and gratitude to nurses.
Playing Cards
 

Give these set of playing cards as a gag gift and enclosed with this news article because apparently, all nurses do now is “play cards” during their shift! Throw in one to the mix!

Nurse Compression Socks
 So why socks you asked? Nurses spend most of their shift standing up and compression socks help boost circulation and support the veins by preventing blood from pooling. These compression socks come with different designs and are perfect gifts for nurses!
Nursing Shoes
 

Not just ordinary shoes, but shoes specifically designed for nurses!

Self Inking Rubber Stamps
 Nurses know that documentation is important and signing their name for each document can be tiring. Save them the time with these self inking rubber stamps just be sure to get their name and credentials right. Customization options available.
Nurse Calendars

Humor your giftee with these hilarious nurse calendars. Packed with amusing anecdotes, quotes, and funny jokes to give them the well-deserved mental-health break every day even for just a while!

Spa Gift Basket

You know what nurses love other than caring for others –– caring for themselves! Give your nurse the gift of relaxation with these spa gift baskets. Pair them with a gift card to their favorite massage parlor.

Personalized Nurse Tumblers
 

Something nurses can use! These tumblers are yet another handy gifts for nurses that they can use daily! Perfect for cold and hot beverages like coffee! Customization options available.

Bookmarks
 Nursing school requires a lot of reading, check out these nurse bookmarks with inspirational message to keep them going! These are also great gifts for the Nurses Week!
Pens
 During nursing school, nurses write a ton especially when making nursing care plans which are required to be handwritten by some nursing programs. Our favorite pens are the Pilot G2 (pictured above) which are retractable, refillable, and smooth when writing.
Nurse Sticky Notes
 

These pack of sticky notes come in different shapes and sizes to remedy your writing! Stick a bandaid to mend that sentence and make your documents all better.

Nursing Clipboards
 

Designed by nurses, these clipboards are a lifesaver during clinicals and a perfect gift for nurses! These nursing clipboards gives you quick access to cheat sheets, conversions, lab values and more. It gives nurses (student nurses, especially) a handy way to access their notes and supplies during clinicals or long shifts! More colors available!

Nurse Planners and Notebooks
 Who doesn’t use a notebook to keep track of to-do’s at home or work, shopping lists, or favorite quotes and sayings for a quick boost? And doesn’t it just give you a feeling of luxury when you write in a notebook with a beautiful cover? Plain A6 or A5 notebooks are reasonably priced and there is almost no limit to the ways in which you can decorate them. For a few ideas have a look at the 26 suggestions for decorating a notebook.

Custom Nurse Planner

 Get this updated custom student nurse planner that you can use for school, work, or personal appointments. A great gift for a nursing student to keep track of their important schedule in one place.
Scrubs for Nurses
 You know what a nurse will actually need every day for her entire career? Scrubs! And give them scrubs with excellent quality. There are a lot of colors and designs online it’s so easy to choose. Our favorites are from Grey’s Anatomy because of their comfort, price, and quality though other brands are great too!
Nurse Bags and Stethoscope Cases
 If you’re gifting a nursing student, give them one of these nurse bags where they can fit their stethoscopes, mugs, scissors, and other paraphernalia. Nurses also love these nurse bags as they hold every tools they need.
True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
 Perfect way to showcase experiences of other nurses. Purchase the book and whoever receives this definitely will appreciate not only the book but their profession as a nurse as well.
Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul
 Another of my favorite book series now stories from and for nurses! You’ll laugh and cry along with these stories from all types of nurses – about the patients who affected them most deeply, their personal ups and downs as nurses, their funniest moments, their most heartwarming experiences, and lots of great tips that will help you make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.
Coffee Makers
 Does this gift even need explaining? If you’re looking for a nurse gift that’s a bit on the higher end of the price range, consider giving a coffee maker. An easy-to-use coffee machine is a great companion to a nurse who have long shifts and want a boost of energy throughout the day.
Funny Shot & Wine Glasses
 These come in different hilarious engravings like “because patients” or “safety first, drink with a nurse” and make a great funny gift to nurses.
Scrubcheats Nursing Reference Cards
 These are amazing handy references from our friends at NRSNG.com. Makes the perfect gift for nurses and medical professionals, nursing students, medical students, and residents. Take the most important clinical knowledge with you on the floor!
The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital
 A New York Times bestseller, The Nurses is the compelling story of the year in the life of four nurses, and the drama, unsung heroism, and unique sisterhood of nursing—one of the world’s most important professions (nurses save lives every day), and one of the world’s most dangerous, filled with violence, trauma, and PTSD. This is one of my favorite nursing books!

Keychains and Key Rings

 Customized keychains and keyrings that are great gifts for nurses! Includes engraving of inspiring prayers or quotes with cute designs that nurses love.
Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You!
 “Oh Sh*t, I Almost Killed You! A Little Book of Big Things Nursing School Forgot to Teach You” is a book about what it says it is. It gives you advice and experiences that can be useful for new nurses.
Nursing Cheat Sheets
 Another great gift for student nurses are these “nursing cheat sheets” which include condensed info about a key nursing topics.
Nursing Study Guide Books
 Another set of review books but this time for each nursing topic that most students find difficult like EKG interpretation, dosage calculation, and nursing pharmacology.

Nurse Flashcards

 
NCLEX Review Books
 If you’re gifting a nursing student, give them a head start for the NCLEX with these great review books. These books are not only great for preparing them for the NCLEX but can also be used as a review during their school exams.
Nurse Watches
 These nurse watches are ideal for nurses! Instead of wearing them on your wrist, they clip on to your uniform and are compliant to the Bare Below Elbows (BBE) policy that requires medical professionals to have nothing on their arms below the elbow.
Sleep Basket for Nurses
 You know what nurses need after a long shift? A long sleep! This gift is particularly helpful for nurses during the night shift. Their sleep may not be long but at least help them get a comfortable and restful sleep with these gifts.
Hope you find our gift hunting guide for nurses helpful! There are still tons of ideas and gifts for nurses that will make your recipient filled with joy! If you have more ideas, leave us a comment below!

Additional contributors:  Frieda Paton, M.Cur, RN, Iris Dawn Tabangcora, RN