35+ Best Gifts for Nurses: Ideas and Tips

Finding the best gifts for nurses!

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Collection of the best gifts for nurses!
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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! 

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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:

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.

WHAT TO INCLUDE: Some of the things you can include are retractable pens, sticky notes, candies, snacks, hand sanitizers, gift cards, or anything you listed on this article!

Detox Bath Salts

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.

HOW TO MAKE: To make a detox bath salt, simply mix equal amounts of table salts and Epsom salts, optionally, you can add essential oils for fragrance. Lavender is known to aid in relaxation and sleep. Then simply package them in a decorated cellophane packet, a recycled glass jar, or recycled bottle.

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.

HOW TO MAKE: Sew a rectangular bag and fill it with white rice (not instant). For the fabric, we recommend flannel or by using scraps you have. Get creative by adding ribbons.

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.

HOW TO MAKE: These simple drawstring bags are easy to make and, like the rice bags, can be made from scraps of fabric. Watch this video if you need some instructions on how to make a simple drawstring bag.

Indulgence in a Jar

Mason Jars for Nurses
Mason Jars for Nurses. You can buy hand painted mason jars via: LittleLunaMasonJars (etsy)

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!

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TIP: Hide an inspirational nursing quote inside the jar for an added mood lifter!

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!

TIP: Or you can make a personalized coffee mug as a gift for nurses. Buy some inexpensive plain mugs and decorate them with sharpies. You can write the person’s name on the mug and add a simple line drawing, a saying or a quote. Be sure to use oil-based sharpies – the decoration will withstand regular washing but you’ll have to add a warning label that the mug should not be washed in a dishwasher. You could also use Decoart glass paint markers, with the recommended heating, if you want to make the decoration dishwasher safe.

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

Best Gifts for Nurses-HumanOrgans

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

Best Gifts for Nurses--Socks
A nurse must-have!

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

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

Gifts for Nurses: 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 bookmarks gift

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!

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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

Best Gifts for Nurses-StickyNotes

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

Best 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

Notebooks and Planners for Nurses

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.

TIP: When you know that your co-worker uses a notebook at work you can feature nursing themed images or sayings like “Awesome Nurse Notebook”, “Nurse in Training”, or “Nurses are all Heart” on the decorated cover. Does your nurse friend write in a journal regularly or do you want to inspire her to start journaling to help her de-stress? Then use the same ideas to decorate a larger A4 book.

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

Best Gifts for Nurses-Scrubs

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.

TIP: There are some sellers where they offer free engraving. Write their name or a little message!

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.

TIP: There are actually free bonus books included on each purchase. Be sure to get them!

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Nurse Flashcards

Nursing students love these flashcards as they’re a big help when studying for topics that require memorization of key terms (e.g., pharmacology, anatomy).

TIP: Be sure to select the “Cards” option rather than the Kindle version.

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.

TIP: NCLEX prep books from Saunders, Kaplan, and others are great study aids and in finding simplified ways on how to understand complex nursing topics.

Nurse Watches

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.

WHAT TO INCLUDE: Same with the gift basket idea, for this one, fill it with a comfortable pillow, eye shade, essential oils (lavender is what I recommend), chamomile tea, pajamas, blackout shades, and melatonin.

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

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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