Gift Guides

The 15 Best Gifts For A Nurse [Thankful & Thoughtful Ideas]

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With the craziness of 2020, I think we can all agree that healthcare workers deserve some serious applause. While most of us have been hunkering down in our homes and doing our part to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, nurses everywhere have been on the front lines, working overtime to keep our community healthy.

And it’s time to show nurses some love.

Whether you are giving something to a student still in nursing school, looking for a graduation gift that celebrates all their hard work or helping someone you love transition to night shift, this gift guide is here to inspire.

Here are the 15 best nurse gift ideas to show your appreciation.

Gifts They Can Use

Practical, everyday gifts are a great option for busy nurses. Not only can it make the daily grind a little less painful, but every time your gift gets used, your special nurse will remember how loved they are.

During Training

Nursing school is that special time where ordinary people develop the superhuman strength and stamina needed to keep people alive. It is an intense time. And it isn’t for the faint of heart. So if you need a gift for a nursing student, and you want more than the much-needed coffee gift card, you could opt for some inspirational swag to keep the momentum.


An encouraging necklace can be a great way to let someone know you are thinking of them. Plus, your nursing student can wear it to all the dreaded exams for a dose of added confidence.

This sterling-silver stethoscope & heartbeat necklace comes plated in gold or rose gold.

Available for $32 from Etsy 

Nurse Friends T-shirt

Gifting is made easy with an iconic Friends t-shirt.

This unisex shirt comes in a variety of colors and is something your favorite nurse won’t be embarrassed to wear in public.

Available for $35 from Etsy 

Water Bottle

People not only feel better when they are hydrated, they are better. So set your nurse up for success with the insulated water bottle of their dreams, stickers included.

Now, I’m not about to get into the Yeti vs. Hydro Flask battle. You can decide for yourself which option is better. I’m just going to point your attention to this 26-ounce stainless steel Yeti Rambler that any nurse would be proud of.

Available for $39.98 from Amazon

Leather Tote

Have you seen the inside of a student’s car? It isn’t pretty. A tote bag not only helps keep your nurse’s stuff together, but it also frees up that much-needed seat space for all your fun adventures. (Hey, running up to your local Thai food restaurant totally counts as an adventure!)

This leather tote is as functional as it is attractive, will last for years and just may be the nicest gift your nursing student gets all year. And if leather isn’t your thing, here is a good vegan bag that doesn’t skimp on design.

Starting $139.30 from Etsy 

Plush Organ

Plush organs were made for medical students everywhere because who else would tolerate this kind of unique gift? And if you have to spend hours studying gallbladders, it just makes sense to have one smiling back at you.

These make great Christmas gifts too.

Available for $18 apiece from Uncommon Goods 


In the Field

Medical professionals doing the life-saving shuffle from room to room still appreciate practical gifts. Here are a few gifts that can be used all throughout the day (or night).

Coffee Tumbler

Keep the caffeine going on long days (or nights) with a coffee tumbler or mug. The eco-friendly silicone lid and the calming coastal design make this handmade mug a nice reprieve for any overworked and tired nurse.

And if your nurse prefers hot coffee all day long, you might consider an insulated tumbler.

Available for $36 from  Uncommon Goods

Compression Socks

Nothing says 12-hour shifts quite like the swollenness that comes from being on your feet that long. And while you may not be able to offer foot massages at the end of their shift (or maybe even want to), compression socks are the next best thing.

The nurses in my life swear by them to keep blood flowing and help with swelling, numbness and overall discomfort.

Available from $7.55 from Amazon 

Related: Should You Wear Wet Socks to Bed to Cure the Common Cold? 

Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer

It’s no question that hand sanitizer is a hot commodity right now. But those intense chemicals and constant recalls of seemingly high-quality sanitizers have me seriously questioning some of my normal sanitizing practices.

So hallelujah for Megababe. Squeaky Clean is made from plant-based alcohol, is never tested on animals and contains skin-saving oil, so your hands don’t look like something from a Tim Burton movie after a few weeks.

Available for $9.99 from Target

Something to Show Some Personality

Because nurses live in scrubs, it is always fun to find subtle ways to let their personality shine through. But because they live in scrubs and masks, this can be a little tricky.

Here are a few ways to showcase your favorite nurse without risking decontamination.


Stethoscopes are a great graduation gift, but they are still fun anytime. You don’t get many options when it comes to scrub life. So why not let your new nurse show his or her personality by letting them choose between stainless steel and rose gold?

Available for $54.90 at MDF Instruments 

Stethoscope ID 

If your special nurse already has a stethoscope (or if buying one is a little outside of your price range), you can still incorporate some personalized charm by customizing a stethoscope id.

This cute little metal number is subtly sophisticated and won’t break the bank for all you fellow students. And at this price, you can get one for yourself too.

Available from $8.95 at Etsy  

Badge Reel

A badge reel is another subtle way to add some charm to your nurse’s daily wardrobe without having to invest in a whole new set of scrubs. And the best part? Badge reels are easy to swap out with the changing seasons.

Available from $15 from Etsy

Something to Help Unwind

What do you get the person who has the world on their shoulders? How about something to unwind at the end of a long shift.

Wine Glass

I know we talk about wine quite a bit here at ChatterSource. But that’s because wine is a perfect gift in our eyes. So if your nurse is a fellow wine drinker, a bottle and a wine glass are always a good idea.

Available from $9.95 from Etsy

Related: The 11 Best Wine Delivery Services [Sip, Sip Hooray!] 

Self-Care Gift Set

Nurses spend a lot of time pushing their bodies to (and past) its natural limits. And too often, self-care gets put on the backburner. A self-care gift basket is a great gift to help your nurse take care of themselves. Include a foot massager, lotion, bath bombs, essential oils, an eye mask and some chocolate.

Or, opt for an already made luxurious bath box.

Available from $37.99 from CrateJoy

Related: How to Recover from Burnout 


Your nurse might not have the lifestyle for a pet, but a plant may be just what they need to feel a little less lonely at home. Many online retailers now offer live plants. And with this selection from Amazon, you can put one in every room.

Available from Amazon or Etsy 

Send a Note

It’s no surprise that the best presents to open are heartfelt ones. And from the mouth of a lifelong nurse, one of the best gifts they can receive is a letter or card from one of their patients.

Nurses are in the industry to make a difference.

So if there is a special nurse that helped save your life (literally), take a few minutes to say thank you.

Gift Card 

Nicole Glass Photography /

If none of these gifts sound like a good fit, you can always opt for that timeless

self-serve gift: a gift card. That way your nurse can get whatever suits their fancy.

You might also be interested in: 17 Best Gifts for Grandpa 


No matter how you say it, just be sure you spend some time thanking the nurses in your life. They do a lot for our community, especially during this crazy year.

And if you are a nurse working long hours day after day, we see you. And appreciate all you do.

The 15 Best Nurse Appreciation Gifts:  

  1. Heartbeat necklace
  2. T-shirt
  3. Water Bottle
  4. Leather Tote
  5. Plush Organ
  6. Coffee Tumbler or
  7. Compression Socks
  8. Megababe Hand Sanitizer
  9. Stethoscope
  10. Badge Reel
  11. Wine Glass 
  12. Bath Gift Set 
  13. Plant
  14. Card
  15. Gift Card

Nicole Post

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