Let’s face it finding the perfect gift for that special nurse in your life isn’t always easy, especially when comes to giving them something they’ll treasure and/or be able to use everyday at work or in school.
In order to take the stress out of finding that perfect gift we’ve put together a list of 21 gift ideas you can use for any occasion.
Whether your looking for something to help out a new nursing student, make a professional nurses job a little easier or just thank that special nurse in your life these gifts are both sentimental and practical ways to show you care and want to see them succeed in their career.
True Stories of Becoming a Nurse
True stories of becoming a nurse is an excellent collection of true narratives based on the experiences of real nurses.
These stories provide seep insights into the emotional and intellectual challenges nurses face within their career and shares a glimpse of what it’s like to be a nurse from their perspective.
True stories of becoming a nurse is a wonderful book for both nursing students and young professionals that want a deeper insight into the personal and often times emotional world of nursing.
Be sure to give this book a look here available on amazon
Weather you’re helping a nursing student buy his/her first stethoscope or giving it as a gift for a new nurse the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope is an excellent option for a beginner stethoscope and at less than $20 it’s also a fairly inexpensive gift that can be used all the time.
While there are a number of high end stethoscopes available for more experienced nurses the Omron Sprague Rappaport Stethoscope is a great beginner stethoscope when first learning how to listen to a patients heartbeat and/or vital signs.
For more information on this stethoscope check it out here available on amazon
If you’re interested in seeing our favorite stethoscopes read article on the top 8 stethoscopes for nurses.
P.S. If you’re looking for a higher end stethoscope we’ve also written about one later in the article.
Two Hand Watch
Weather monitoring a patients vital signs, moving from one station to another or managing several things a once nurses lead busy lives and often need to keep precise track of their time.
In fact wrist watches are extremely popular popular and important within the nursing community, and are often necessary for making a nurses job easier.
The Casio watch is a very popular and inexpensive watch that can purchased in various colors for both female and male nurses and is a great way to help them keep track of their time.
If you’d like to learn more about the Casio watch it’s available on amazon
Tote bag/Duffle bag
Let’s face it nurses need to carry lots of equipment with them to work every day. Stethoscopes, planners, smartphones, PDAs, writing utensils and lunch are just a few of the things that a nurse can pack in their bag as they get ready for work.
Having a a nice tote or duffle bag that looks not only looks good but also provides plenty of functionality is a great way to give a nurse a gift they’ll love and use on a daily bases.
The Vera Bradley line (including the one in this photo) has a great collection of bags that can be used both for work and for personal life.
For more information on this bag check it out here available on amazon
You can also check out our list of the 10 best medical bags and totes for nurses.
P.S. If you’re looking for a nice backpack for a male/famale nurse or student we cover that as well later in this article!
Prescription Coffee Mug
While we can’t speak for every nurse coffee is often a household item in most hospitals and healthcare settings.
What better way for a nurse (or any healthcare provider) to pronounce their love of coffee than with a prescription coffee mug.
Even if they’re not a nurse this is an awesome coffee mug for just about anyone.
You can taker a closer look at this awesome mug here available on amazon
Professional Nursing Shoes
Nurses generally work 10 – 12 hour days and often spend long hours on their feet moving from one location to the next, lifting heavy objects and helping patients with various tasks.
Over time this can lead to fatigue and even cause foot/back pain when wearing shoes that are uncomfortable/unsuitable for work, therefore having a pair of quality nursing shoes can make a huge difference in a nurses daily work experience.
Giving a nurse a nice pair of functional nursing shoes can significantly improve how they feel throughout the day and will allow them to focus on patient care rather than the aches and pains that can be caused by wearing an unsuitable pair of shoes.
These stylish/functional nursing shoes are available on amazon
You can also check out these articles to find the best nursing shoe for women and/or men:
Singing Bear in Nurse Scrubs
Who doesn’t love the gift of receiving an awesome lovable nursing teddy bear?
Chantilly Lane has an awesome 19 female bear dressed in a full scrubs uniform that signs the song “I’ll Be There”.
What more could you ask for in a gift?
This is a sweet way of letting that nurse in your life know that you appreciate their hard work and is a sentimental gift that can quickly lift their spirit whenever they need a boost at work or school.
You can learn more about the Chantilly Lane bear here available on amazon
Nurse Clinical Pocket Guide
This nifty little pocket guide allows nurses to quickly look up the medical references and information they need to provide safe and effective medical care to their patients and can be used as a quick reference guide for students that quick access to medical terms and information, and even has study tips for the NCLEX-RN exam to help nurses prepare for their licensure exam.
As the name suggests this clinical guide is pocket sized so is easy to carry and is made with waterproof mmaterials so it remains durable even when exposed to water.
You can find out more about this pocket guide available on amazon
The Syringe Shot Ink Pens are definitely a cool decorative gift that you can give to any nurse or student to help them dress up their desk or just add a bit of fun to their work.
They’re a simple, inexpensive gift that definitely stands out from the crowd and embraces a sense of humor and lightheartedness to a field that often requires lot’s of hard work and focus.
If you like these pens you can give them a look here available on amazon
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity refers to itself as “A Party Game For Horrible People”, and it happens to be one of the best selling items on Amazon.
This card game often pokes fun at the stereotypes life places on many different areas of life and turns it upside down by turning into a lighthearted hysterical card game.
Cards Against Humanity is a game for people who don’t take stereotypes seriously and are able to joke about topics that are sometimes too serious to talk about.
If you know a nurse who has an open mind a big sense of humor than Cards Against Humanity may be the perfect game to help them unwind from all of the seriousness of the work place.
Cards Against Humanity is available on amazon
Warning: Be sure to read the description and reviews before purchased this (hilarious) card game to see if its a game they’ll like.
Vitamin Capsule Pens
Add a little spice and humor to a nurses life with these vitamin capsule pens.
They’re a great little gift that can easily fits into a nursing bag and can be promptly displayed on their desk.
Sometimes its nice to sit back and enjoy the little things in life.
You can check out these vitamin capsule pens available on amazon
Human Transplant Insulated Tote
The E.M.T. Human Organ Transplant Tote is an awesome way for a nurse/student to carry their lunch while also making a statement.
It’s fashionable, functional and says I know how to joke around.
The insulated tote itself is a fun cooler with a mesh interior pouch and a foam-insulated water-proof lining to ensure their food stays fresh and disaster free.
If you think they’d love this lunch tote you can pick one up here available on amazon
Bath & Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Gift Set
Bath & Body Works sells an amazing array of products that help people relax and enjoy a variety of wonderful perfumes and other scented products.
Japanese cherry blossom is one of the best selling scents in the Bath & Body Works collection and for a good reason.
Simply put it smells amazing; and the Japanese Cherry Blossom gift set is a great way to boost a nurses mood and give them something they’ll likely use for the next several weeks.
The Japanese Cherry Blossom gift set is available on amazon
Funcational/Durable Travel Backpack
A travel backpack is an excellent gift for both nursing students and professional nurses that value space and functionality in a cool backpack design.
Nurses that aren’t interested in carrying a tote or duffle bag will likely love having a nice backpack that can support everything they need to carry for work or school.
The SwissGear Travel Gear ScanSmart Backpack is highly durable and functional, and can carry everything a nurse can through at it with ease.
It has numerous organizers and pockets, a water bottle pocket, easy access laptop pocket, an audio interface and comfortable shoulder straps for easy carrying.
You can learn more about this functional backpack available on amazon
High-End Coffee Maker
Let’s face it coffee is the lifeline of many hard working professionals and nursing is no exception.
A professional coffee maker is a great way to help a nurse wake up in the morning and can save them “LOTs” of money in the long run when compared to making daily trips to their favorite coffee barista.
Even if they never plan to give up the coffee barista this can be a wonderful compliment and a good way to help them kick start their day.
You can check out the Hamilton Beach coffee maker available on amazon
Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
Why not give a gift that can be used every day that will help your favorite nurse stay hydrated and energized?
A high quality stainless steel tumbler is great for nurses that want to carry their hot coffee or favorite cold beverage with them when they are on the go.
The Autoseal Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumbler from Contigo is designed to keep both hot and cold liquids at their ideal temperature for extended periods of time and the auto-seal lid prevents spillage while keeping air from entering or escaping and changing the hot/cold temperature of the liquid that’s inside the tumbler.
If you’re looking for a different color Contigo’s tumbler comes in a variety of colors such as tangerine, blue, black, silver, ocean and green, and you can find out more about this tumbler here available on amazon
Amazon Gift Card
An amazon gift card is the perfect gift to give to a nurse that has everything or is hard to shop for.
What can an amazon gift card help a nurse buy?
It can help them purchase plenty of things they need to become the ultimate nurse such as a stethoscope, nursing bag, books, scrubs, coffee mug/holder, work PDA, writing utensils and other work related items.
If you having trouble deciding on the perfect gift and you haven’t gotten any clues than a gift card card is a great way to make sure they get what they want/need without you having to worry about getting them the wrong gift.
You can take a look at the various Amazon gift cards here available on amazon
The kindle makes an excellent gift for the bookworm nurse in your life and is a good way to help them unwind during a work break or after school.
Being able to fit hundreds of books onto a very light and mobile device ensures that they’ll never be bored and the small design makes it easy to fit into a nursing bag and carry around.
The kindle also has a build in light for reading at night and the battery lasts for weeks (not days). Even if your favorite nurse has an iPad or tablet the kindle still makes a great gift because of its compact design, non sun-glare screen and simple focus on books over distracting apps that make it hard to focus on reading.
If you think that they’d love a simple yet functional Kindle Paperwhite e-reader you can pick one up here available on amazon
What separates a professional stethoscope from less expensive models is improved sound quality and lightweight materials.
The 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope is an amazing professional stethoscope with a dual sided chest piece that makes it easy for nurses to listen to a wide variety of frequencies when they are listening to their patients vitals.
It’s made of lightweight stainless steel materials that are easy to clean and has comfortable earpieces that allow nurses to use it throughout the day without ear pain.
If there is a gift you want to give a nurse that they’ll use at work or school on a regular basis then you might want to invest in getting them a high quality stethoscope.
You can find the 3M Littmann Classic II S.E. Stethoscope here available on amazon
NCLEX-RN Exam Book
The NCLEX-RN Exam Book is the perfect gift for nursing students that are close to taking their state exam.
The state exam is one of the final steps a nursing student has to take before getting licensed as a registered nurse and can have a profound effect on how quickly a nurse can get a job.
Failing the exam can mean an additional 45 days or more of waiting time before being able to retake the exam and can have a negative emotional impact on the nursing student.
Having a comprehensive review book can significantly help them prepare for the exam and improve their odds of succeeding.
Saunders makes a variety of excellent books that focus on the nursing field including taking the NCLEX-RN exam.
If you know a nursing student that is close to exam time and you want to give them a little guided help you can take a look the NCLEX-RN Exam Book from Saunders here available on amazon
How to choose the perfect nurse gift
The best gifts are the ones that resonate best with the person receiving the gift.
It can be anything from a cherished memento that reminds them of a great time they had or a gift card to a restaurant they love to eat at.
When you choose to buy a gift for someone think about the usefulness, pleasure and/or memories the gift inspires and try to find something that will resonate with their personality and interests.
To help find a great gift we’ve put together some excellent tips that will “hopefully” make the process a lot easier for you.
Each of these tips offers a different perspective on gift giving depending on how well you know the gift receiver, so choose the ones that work best for you and go from there.
Don’t be afraid to ask
I know asking someone what they want isn’t always consider customary when it comes to gift giving, however sometimes its worth it to save a lot of hassle, guessing and misunderstanding about what it is the recipient truly wants.
If you don’t really know the individual that well you can always ask their friends or the coworkers that know them best what it is they like and what they’re into.
For those that you do know personally it shouldn’t be too hard to ask them directly, especially if they are reasonable and you know they may be interested in a few decently priced things.
A nice gift that doesn’t resonate may bring a smile, but it will quickly end up gathering dust from a lack of use, and even worse it will be quickly forgotten.
Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be wonderful
Gifts don’t need to be expensive to have an impact on someones day.
A gift great can be anything that resonates with them such as a gift card to their favorite restaurant, a collection set of their favorite movie series, a beloved perfume or a sentimental gift that reminds them of great times.
It can also be an event or activity you planned from them in the future, if you know them well.
When it comes to gift giving the best gifts are the ones they enjoy and find useful, or keep as a reminder of precious moments.
If you have a little extra cash then feel free to get something a little nice, but keep in mind not to spend too much money, especially if you don’t know them well as this can make the situation more uncomfortable then not.
After all if you receive an expensive gift from someone you don’t know all that well it might come off the wrong way, despite their best intentions, so don’t waste your time or energy or thinking about buying something that’s unreasonably costly.
Keep things simple and meaningful
The meaning of a gift can often go a long way in terms of giving someone something that will be remembered and cherished for a long time.
As humans some of our most important possessions are the ones that don’t cost or do much, but create long lasting memories.
For example photo albums, personally treasured trinkets and simple items that remind us of our past keep the moments alive through happy memories.
These are often the gifts that are the most inexpensive, but deliver memories that are priceless.
If you shared an amazing moment, hilarious laugh, fun day or wonderful vacation with that person try to think of a gift that brings back those memories and reignites the good times in their mind.
The more meaningful the better, however don’t tire yourself over finding the perfect gift, just keep it simple and fun.
Listen and learn
One of the best ways to pick out an excellent gift is to simply listen to the person you want to get a gift for.
Tag along with them when they go shopping or ask them to go with you to the mall while you picking up some clothes or other items for yourself, and secretly watch their eyes light up when they find something that excites them.
Chances are you’ll have little difficulty picking out a great gift when they let their mouth and their body language do the talking.
Some of my best gifts have come simply from listening and observing others so that i can pick out clues for that perfect gift.
The best part of the listen and learn approach is that you don’t need to have the same taste or similar interests to find a great gift because they’ll be able to tell you exactly what they want without you having to ask.
It also makes you look like an amazing mind reader, even though you’re not!
Don’t be afraid to be nontraditional
Traditional gifts are often safe and acceptable because they are somewhat expected, however they often lack thoughtfulness, uniqueness and understanding
Traditional gifts can sometimes be though of as escape gifts because they make it easy to get out of making more thoughtful decisions about what to get.
I’m sure you’ve witness this personally at some point whether it was a gift you gave or a gift you received.
Think classic gifts such as socks, t-shirts and ties or something else that’s sitting in our closet because it doesn’t serve a purpose in your life.
Now think of the gifts that made you laugh, cry and jump up and down.
What’s the difference? It’s that one gift (while it may be useful) doesn’t resonate with your wants, needs or happy memories. It’s a friendly gesture, but it doesn’t hit any emotional notes.
The latter gift however made you feel great, and exited and delighted you. By staying away from the traditional route you stand a better chance of standing out and potentially making an impact, especially if you follow the rest of these tips.
Think unique and useful
O.K. O.K. I know socks and underwear are useful items, but they’re things that we all buy, all the time and they aren’t that unique.
There are plenty of ways you can buy gifts that are highly useful, while also being unique enough to show how thoughtful you are.
Some of the gifts you’ve already seen here in our 21 Amazing Nurse Gift Ideas post, but there are plenty of other gifts out there as well that are great gifts to give your favorite nurse.
When searching for a unique and useful gift take into account where they are in their life such as attending nursing school, working as a registered nurse at a hospital or running their own clinic, and think about the items that would be most useful to them.
For example if they’re just starting out in nursing school a good starter stethoscope can be a great gift that saves them money and allows them to focus on their school work.
If they’re a registered nurse that has everything they need, but they’re often stressed out or tired think about getting them a gift card to a great massage therapy office or an inspirational/purposeful book about nursing if they love to read.
Make new and wonderful memories
A nice surprise may last a few minutes but a highly memorable gift can last a long time.
I know it’s been mentioned several times already, but a great gift is one that reignites great memories and has a priceless sentimental value.
As time passes fewer and fewer things become as precious as the memories we keep close to our hearts.
Making new and wonderful memories is a great way to give a gift that keeps on giving.
If you can do something that you’ll remember for a long time then it may be well worth it.
Planning a day full of surprises, taking a trip to the carnival or fair and enjoying a night full of dancing and singing are all great ways to create new memories that can last a lifetime.
If you don’t want to give a physical object then sharing priceless time together is a wonderful alternative.
Don’t wait till the last moment
Last moment gifts often sacrifice forethought and good planning.
It also limits when you can do when it comes to gift giving and can make an otherwise amazing gift a potentially usefulness one.
If you know they have a birthday, graduation, retirement, holiday or you share a professional relationship (in this case a traditional/common gift may be appropriate) such as a teacher/nursing instrucor or a labor/delivery nurse and you want to give them a good gift plan early and save yourself both the time and stress that comes with last minute shopping/gift giving.
You’ll have more time to think about what they want, dig into their interests and plan something they’ll be sure to remember.
I hope some of these tips resonate with you and make it a little easier for you to pick out that perfect gift next time you go shopping, or plan a fun day out if you know them well.