What are the perfect gifts for nurses? This list is everything you need to know about finding a thoughtful gift he or she will really love. Are you a nurse or a nursing student? Treat yourself to something on this list!
Table of Contents
Ultimate List of Gifts for Nurses
We’ve outlined some of the best gifts for nurses in this comparison table to make it easier to find the one that is right for you. You can click “Read More” on any of the gifts in the table to jump to the section in this article outlining more information about it. Or, you can click the “Buy it Now” button to pick it up immediately.
Do you know someone who is about to graduate from nursing school? Or maybe you have a birthday coming up for your nurse friend? This list is about to make your gift-buying job easier than passing morning meds to a bunch of walkie-talkies with only oral meds. Holler!
There are things on this list that nurses use and appreciate. As an experienced nurse myself, I’ve tried a lot of different things and spoken with many other nurses about products they use and love. They are all on this list!
Compression socks are incredibly necessary -, especially for long shifts. FIGS has high-quality compression socks that also look great. I’ve tried so many different socks over the last 10 years, and these are by far my favorite.
2. Being Mortal
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande is a life-changing book. Death is a real part of our jobs as nurses – especially those of us working in high acuity areas. This book is uplifting, encouraging, and straightforward – all at the same time. Multiple nurse friends recommended this book to me, and it was so powerful that one healthcare organization that I worked in bought a copy for every employee. How crazy is that!? I get why they did it, though it’s outstanding.
3. Fly Jammies
Yes! Treat yourself to some luxuriously soft pajamas! After working your tail off, put on some of the comfiest comfy pants and snuggle up for some Netflix (HAVE YOU SEEN THE TED BUNDY TAPES?), scroll through your phone, and unwind. FIGS has the softest knit loungewear you’ve ever felt.
If you or your loved one is a new nurse, check out my guidebook specifically for the nursing student and newbie nurse: Anatomy of a Super Nurse: the Ultimate Guide to Becoming Nursey. I’ve got time management tips, prioritization, and delegation tips. Not sure how to call a doctor? I’ve got you. I interviewed a physician and discussed some really crucial tips to help you learn how to communicate confidently with physicians. Learn all the practical stuff they don’t teach you in school.
5. A Tumbler
No, not Tumblr – a tumbler! Every single nurse needs their own tumbler. You have to stay hydrated on long shifts! Whether you prefer ice water or hot coffee, this tumbler is insulated so it keeps things both hot and cold.
6. Personalized Vinyl Decal for Tumblers
After you get that perfect tumbler, you’ll probably want to jazz it up. I suggest this personalized decal. It’s vinyl, so it will last a long time. Plus, you can mark your tumbler, and everyone will know it is yours!
Black out curtains are helpful for night-shifters, but they never block ALL of the light. The secret? Use a good sleep mask in addition to the blackout curtains to ensure your sleep environment is as dark as possible. Invest in a high-quality sleep mask for those day-sleeps.
Do you know a nurse that is going to be working on a cardiac unit or with cardiac patients? Then this course is extremely valuable. It’s made for new nurses, so the information is designed in a way to prioritize the need-to-know information (like where does a mediastinal chest tube actually drain? What’s a wedge resection? What should I do now that my patient is in atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response?) to help you get the most out of orientation.
Essential oils are the natural way to help your mind and body relax after a stressful shift. Add some good relaxing oils to a cool, dark room with a warm and comfy bed, and your sleep hygiene is stellar. Night shifters will appreciate any help to decompress and drift off to sleep. This set is from a really solid company (which is very important in purchasing oils) and has a little bit of everything. Use the whole set as part of your wind-down bedtime routine. Take a relaxing bath, smooth on the lotion, diffuse the outstanding sleep blend, and spray your pillow and sheets as you transition from your high-stress work environment to your calm and relaxing bedroom.
If you do choose to buy some essential oils, I recommend this diffuser. It is beautiful – fitting in with your home decor naturally. It also automatically turns off, which is a plus. I’ve known a few people who have this exact one, and they all really enjoy it. Plus it’s on Amazon – hello Prime shipping!
11. Daylio App
This is a free app, but as a gift, give the premium version. Daylio is an app that prompts you once a day to just say how your day went (rad, good, meh, bad, awful). You can also add notes about your day.
This is so important for nurses because it’s easy to lose perspective and after a few bad shifts, it can feel like every day is bad. Keeping track helps you maintain perspective and not get lost in the exhausting or challenging days. I have a nightly reminder at 2130 to enter how my day was. It’s as fast as just marking my overall thought of the day (rad, good, meh, bad, awful) and adding as much detail as I want, so I can look back at what happened and how I felt. I can use icons (work, family time, friends, exercise, a good meal, etc.) or write them out. Then take a look at the mood tracking and get a sense of overall how your week, month, etc. look from a more collective perspective.
12. Paper Planner
Enjoy the art of balancing work and life with a paper planner. Looking at and creating a to-do list isn’t always fun, but it’s great when you can look at something clean, sleek, and organized when you do. Erin Condren or Happy Planner are really great options. If you have to keep track of bills, you might as well make it look pretty!
13. Fitbit Flex
Fitness trackers are actually pretty helpful. You can see how much you do in a shift and get a better perspective. For those of you who count macronutrients and plan workouts, this information is particularly valuable!
These things are outstanding. I know they seem a bit expensive, but if you’re a student, they are so valuable. Most instructors won’t let you pull out your phone to look things up. Instead of carrying pocket textbooks around (yea, that sucks) use these color laminated cards. Pick out the ones you’ll need for that particular clinical and stick them in your pocket. These are valuable even for experienced nurses – the lab and pharmacology ones in particular. They are great quick references for the many labs and meds you must know to be successful in ICU right out of school.
These are great. I’ve worn one on my badge for years. I never have to look around for a penlight because it’s always on my badge. Plus, it’s not heavy so it doesn’t weigh my badge down. Many times, I’ve gone in to see a neuro patient with a neurosurgeon or neurologist, and they start patting down their own pockets to try to find a penlight to do a pupillary assessment, and I slyly hand them my badge and look so prepared. (Don’t mind me… rock star nurse over here…) Oh, and did I mention – they’re cheap and have Amazon Prime? Ok, sold.
16. Nice Badge Reels
My favorite badge reels, by far, over the last decade of health care experience are from Badge Blooms. The shop is on Etsy (follow them on Facebook for intermittent coupon codes!) and is owned by a nurse! My favorite is the essential oil diffuser. It truly works. I saturate the pad with some grapefruit, orange, and lemon to wear throughout the shift. It’s near my face (but not too close) so I can get a light scent throughout the day. It’s not strong enough for patients to pick up on it at all. Added bonus – if I find myself in a particularly stinky situation, I just sniff it directly to clear out the old nostrils. Highly endorse the essential oil one!
17. Scrubs Gift Card
A comfortable, well-fitting pair of scrubs is worth every single dime. Nurses, treat yo self to scrubs that will work with you all shift long. Now, if you are buying this as a gift for someone else, give them a gift card to FIGS. Don’t try to guess sizes or try to meet scrub color requirements
18. Coffee Gift Card
I have to brag – I have the best coffee pot. Now, it’s a little expensive, but we love it and it lasts. We’ve had ours for about 6 months, and my friend has had hers for 5 years, both with zero issues. We buy whole-bean coffee and grind it in the maker right before brewing.
It. Tastes. Amazing.
Get a great bag of whole-bean coffee; add the beans. Set the timer for when you need it to go off before you leave for your shift, add your water, and let it make itself. Toss it in a tumbler and enjoy outstanding hot coffee on your way to work that will stay warm and delicious even beyond your first med pass.
I’m drinking a cup from my coffee pot right now guys… it’s so, so good.
Call me crazy, but I think those funny t-shirts (Stay Safe at Night and Sleep with a Nurse!) and wine glasses for nurses (nurses call the shots!) are overdone. Chances are, if you’re buying a gift for a nurse – they probably already have one. Go with a more innovative approach and get something that they’ll not only like receiving but that will make their nurse life easier and more enjoyable.