Maybe you are finishing your senior year nursing preceptorship. Maybe you’re almost done with orientation as a nurse new to your unit. Maybe you really appreciated your clinical instructor or a nurse you were paired with. You want to say thank you, but can’t figure out a gift to get them because you only know them professionally, not personally. The answer is to give a nurse preceptor gift!
When choosing the perfect nurse preceptor gift, you want to try to think of one that will actually be used instead of just sitting around gathering dust or something which isn’t practical so don’t choose anything too expensive or extravagant.
It is not necessary for you to have a personal connection with any nurse or doctor to give them a gift as a token of appreciation for their time and effort teaching you.
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Tips for Selecting the Best Nurse Preceptor Gifts
First, set a reasonable spending limit. Don’t spend hundreds; that’s too much and inappropriate. Less than $50 is a good rule of thumb, and you can get a great gift for under $30. This is a small thank you gift, not a grand gesture.
Next, pay attention to soft mentions during your time with them. Do they love Marvel? Are they a Potterhead? Skincare fanatic? Just knowing that can help you select a really meaningful gift.
Also, don’t buy books or courses unless you’re 100% sure. If you buy a “how to be a better preceptor course” (I do have one of those actually…) or a book on how to be more confident, that can send a message you don’t intend to send.
Stay away from cheesy on-the-nose nurse gifts unless you know they’ll enjoy it. I would not recommend a “Nurses Call the Shots” shirt, or a heartbeat necklace. Let’s stick to simple, thoughtful gifts they’ll use and enjoy, not something that gets throw in the back of a closet.
Last, make sure you include a handwritten thank-you note. In your budget, save $5-7 for buying a nice blank card and write a genuine thank you for their expertise and time, and the impact they have had on your professional development. This will mean just as much to them as any gift you purchase.
Now – let’s get into gift ideas!
#1 Indulgent Spa and Bath Items
Nurses love a hot bath or shower after a shift. They don’t usually keep fancy shower bombs and bath salts on hand, so this can be a great treat.
- BodyRestore Shower Steamers
- Pacha Soap gift bundles – These bundles change regularly, but I love this company and their soaps, bath bombs, and other items.
- A bath bomb gift set
#1 Coffee or Tea for Your Nurse Preceptor Gift
No surprises here! Most nurses enjoy a specialty drink as a treat. If you’ve paid attention to soft mentions, this can help guide your selection.
You can purchase a gift card from their fav spot, like Starbucks, Dunkin, or a local shop. I highly recommend getting a physical card and placing it into the handwritten thank you card rather than simply emailing one. This is much more personal and really exemplifies your gratitude.
If you’re not sure, here are a few fun options.
Firehouse Coffee offers fun flavors just for nurses like CPR, V-Tach Espresso, Rupture Raspberry, and even Cardiac Cath Vanilla!
Alternatively, local roasters offer great options. Here’s one near me that I love.
Coffee and tea accessories are also fun. These can include:
- A Tea Tumbler – infuse loose leaf tea on the go
- Baby Nessie Tea Diffuser – it’s adorable, functional, and will definitely get a laugh
- Milk Frother – very cost effective and will fancy-up any at-home drink
- Gourmet Coffee Syrup Gift Set – This store, Thoughtfully, has a ton of great options
#3 Good Nurse Pens
Nurses also love good pens. Here are some fan favs:
- Papermate Inkjoy Gel – available in blank and multicolored
- Papermate Felt-Tip pens – I loved these for report, but they cannot be used on lab labels, so not everyone enjoys these
- Pilot G2 pens – these are true nurse classics (just check out the reviews!) and also come in multicolored packs. A large pack isn’t cheap, so these are fun when paired with something else small
- Badge Reel Sharpies – These are permanent markets on a keychain. I absolutely love these (again, check out the reviews!)
#4 Nurse Badge Reels
My #1 favorite place to get badge reels is from BadgeBlooms. This company was founded by a nurse and has a ton of great products.
You can get ones specific to your unit, fun ones, more professional options, and even essential oil diffusers. I loved those when I was pregnant and smells were really tough. You just put a few drops of an oil on the pad located inside of them and you can sniff PRN! The scent isn’t strong enough for other people to pick up on, but potent enough for the wearer. They’re a 10/10 recommendation from me!
#5 Water Bottles
A good water bottle makes all the difference in a shift. I like ones that don’t sweat and don’t need to be refilled a bunch. Two of my absolute favorite brands are below.
(I literally have both of them on my desk right now. My coffee is in a Yeti, my water is a Hydroflask!)
Yeti makes a phenomenal product that will keep water cold for hours. Here is the largest one you can get. It’s great, but it doesn’t fit in a car cupholder. However, it is large enough to not require multiple refills in a shift. A smaller option that fill fit in a cup holder is here. The only downside is they don’t have a waterproof lid, since it’s a tumbler and not a true water bottle. Many color options available.
Hydroflask is also great. The 32 oz is the largest option, but also will not fit in a cup holder (it’s the one I’m using right now). The 18-oz will fit in a cup holder, but will need to be refilled a few times each shift.
#6 Amazing Socks
A good pair of socks is not cheap, so getting someone some really nice ones feels like a treat.
For regular socks, Bombas are expensive but amazing. These wool gripper house socks clock in under $50, but you won’t find much else from Bombas for less.
Lululemon has a nice 3-pack athletic socks that would be great for work. Many available colors and patterns.
#7 Indulgent But Effective Skin and Lip Care for Your Nurse Preceptor Gift
Hospital air is very dry. Add in the cold winter months and repeated hand washing, and nurses are in for cracked skin, bleeding knuckles, and peeling lips. Here are very effective highly-rated options approved by dermatologists:
- Versed Skin Soak Rich Moisture Cream
- SkinFix Barrier+ triple lipid peptide cream – a little over our price point, but an amazing product
Hand and Body Lotion
Note, I know these might not seem exciting, but they are a good gift because the nurse won’t have to spend over $20 on good lotion!
- First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream
- O’Keefe’s Working Hands
- CeraVe Itch Relief Moisturizing Lotion (store in fridge for extra relief)
- CeraVe Healing Ointment – for very dry areas, not all over
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – for all over
- SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair
- Langeige Lip Sleeping Mask – available in different flavors, this is a massively popular item
If you want to check out my full list skin care and hair care recommendations including my day and nighttime routines, click here.
#8 Nurse Headbands
I would only get these if you’ve seen the nurse preceptor wear them before.
#9 Soy Candles
CoCo Benjamin Premium Scented Soy Candles are the perfect gift for that hardworking preceptor. They are hand-poured and come in beautiful scents that are inspired by nature.
Another option is to check out a shop local to you and grabbing a nice candle. These can be $20-$30, and people don’t tend to want to spend that on themselves but really enjoy them when they’re gifted!
#10 Sleep Accessories
Given the high stress job and odd hours, nurses are notorious for having poor sleep hygiene. Here are some fun options for making sleep feel more restful.
- thiswork Deep Sleep Spray – this is massively popular with thousands of positive reviews and only around $30
- Mavogel Cotton Sleep Mask – rated best sleep mask for 2022 by CNN and only around $10, this is a steal!
- Quiet ear buds – enhance deep sleep with these bad boys, which are phenomenal for night shifters and ranked as one of top picks by the Sleep Foundation
#11 Gift Cards
If you’re entirely unsure and short on time, a solid gift card for $30-$40 is great. As I mentioned before, I highly recommend getting a physical card and placing it in with your handwritten thank you note.
These are some sharp thank you cards that are professional and classy. But you can always get one where ever you get the gift card (like your local grocery store) as well.
Places to get gift cards include:
- Dunkin Donuts
- Local restaurants, coffee shops, etc.
My Personal Favorites from the Nurse Preceptor Gift List
I know I just threw a ton at you. Let me tell you my top picks.
You could pair one of these with a small package of their favorite pens and your thank you note and we’ve got a PERFECT preceptor gift!
Final Thoughts on Nurse Preceptor Gifts
Giving a gift to someone who has helped you in your professional career is a necessary gesture, but doesn’t have to be expensive. The thank you note that goes with the gift is just as important.
Make sure you spell their name correctly and write legibly. Otherwise, it will look like you don’t really care that much and are just doing it because you think you have to. Try to plan for this gift with a few weeks left of working together so you can allow time for it to ship if ordering online.
A common question is, do I have to wrap my nurse preceptor gift? Giving a gift in a professional setting is a bit different than to friends and family. I would recommend either simple wrapping paper, or a bow with ribbon directly on it if the packaging is nice. You could also use a plain gift bag or box. Kraft wrapping paper with a simple bow is very sleek and professional.
By ending your relationship on a note of gratitude, you are leaving the door open to have a great reference! Make sure you have their work email address before leaving for good, so you can email to ask them for one in the future if needed.
Good luck, I know your preceptor will love it!