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8 Nurse Appreciation Gift Ideas Every Nurse Will Love

If you’re looking for a gift for your favorite nurse but don’t work in the medical field yourself, you may be struggling to find the perfect gift. Nurses are some of the most humble healthcare workers and often shy away from gifts or praise.

But it’s important to recognize the hard work that nurses do during those long shifts. From making sure patients get their medications on time to making hospital beds as comfy as possible, it’s easy to see how vital they are to the quality of care and overall comfort when people need it most.

While you don’t need a special occasion to express your gratitude for nurses, Nurse Appreciation Week is always a good time to make sure you do. This yearly celebration takes place from May 6-12 and was chosen based on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Nurse Appreciation Week gifts from the hospital usually entail silly gifts that no nurse actually wants. Umbrellas with the hospital logo or a hand sanitizer keychain are nice, but they often lack a personal touch. When you’re looking for the best gift to make your nurse’s day, it’s important to choose something that they actually want and imparts more of a personalized feeling. That’s where this list of nurse appreciation gifts comes in.

8 Nurse Appreciation Gifts for Every Nurse

Whether you’re planning for Nurses Week or you simply want to show your favorite nurse some love, these gift ideas aren’t only meaningful but they’re also useful. From a sleek stainless steel tumbler to a relaxing home spa gift basket, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your healthcare hero. 

1. Coffee Mug

nurse appreciation gifts: different colors of coffee mugs

Nurses run on coffee. Day shift or night shift, a nurse’s shift starts with a strong cup of joe. Gifting a stainless steel coffee mug will ensure their coffee stays hot (or their iced coffee stays cold). Etsy makes several nursing mugs you can monogram or customize with messages like “Best Nurse Ever.” Picking one that works well as a travel mug is ideal so nurses can choose to bring their coffee from home or grab a cup on the unit. 

2. Water Bottle

Along with that all-important tumbler of coffee, having a water bottle handy to stay hydrated is also essential for every nurse. Depending on your favorite nurse’s personality, choose from mild to wild with water bottles — subdued Contigo 24-ounce stainless steel bottle or a fun floral pattern Vera Bradley tumbler.

By having a bottle that holds more water than the typical 16 ounces, this means fewer trips down to the galley to fill the bottle up (which always seems to get further and further away as the shift goes on). 

3. Wine Glass

Sticking with the beverage theme, a great nurse appreciation gift is a wine glass they can use once their long shift is over. Etsy has tons of nurse wine glasses in various shapes with funny sayings and quotes lik, “Safety first – drink with a nurse” or simply “Because, patients” to show your nurse you understand how stressful their job can be. To really make this gift idea pop, be sure to include a bottle of wine. 

4. Tote Bag

Many nurses have to walk quite a ways from the parking lot to the unit (sometimes taking a bus or shuttle from their parking area), so gifting a tote bag can make a huge difference in that final commute. You want to find a tote bag that is durable and easy to care for, plus one with comfortable straps so they can carry all of their essentials without cutting into their shoulder. 

Vera Bradley has a classic professional tote that will hold everything from a lunch box, car keys, and Kindle (in case they have any down time during a night shift). A tote like this is perfect for work as well as packing for an overnight trip when your fave nurse is finally off the clock!

5. Personalized Items

Personalized gifts might be the best nurse appreciation gifts around. Working in the hospital means you’re working with multiple people throughout the day. By personalizing items, they’re less likely to get mistaken for someone else’s. 

The list of things you can personalize are endless thanks to Etsy and other customizing sites. You can monogram a lunch box, badge holder, keychain, or notepad as a gift. You can bring focus to their nursing accomplishment and get their credentials added to a lunchbox like this one with a stethoscope on it or a comfy T-shirt.

6. Stethoscope ID Tag

Speaking of things that can disappear quicker than pizza at a unit potluck – stethoscopes can be particularly tough to keep track of. Nurses need them for every patient, but it’s not the most comfortable medical tool to hang around their neck for 12 hours or shove into a pocket.

No wonder stethoscopes are often left hanging in a communal area, on the back of a chair, or next to someone's computer. By gifting your fave nurse a stethoscope ID tag, you’re not only offering a practical nurse appreciation gift, but you don’t have to worry about picking out the stethoscope itself (which is a highly personal choice). Littman offers engraved stethoscope tags so you can create a classy and lasting name tag for your #1 nurse. 

7. Gift Basket

nurse appreciation gifts: gift basket

If you’re looking for a gift idea that can be used outside of the hospital unit, a gift basket is a great option. As mentioned, nurses aren’t ones to focus on themselves, so taking the time to relax and unwind isn’t always a natural feeling.

Gift sets or care packages take the effort out of them having to plan a relaxing evening after work. You can fill it with an eye mask, sugar scrub, lip balm, and wine for an evening of pampering. You could also create a gift basket that has a movie rental gift card, candy, popcorn, and cozy blanket for a ready-made movie night. The options are endless and you can easily personalize the care package to show your nurse how much you appreciate them.

8. Scrubs

close up of Keswi scrub top

Scrubs are a vital part of the medical uniform for nursing assistants, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Buying scrubs is probably best left for nurses to do themselves, but you can always treat them to a gift card. They’ll love the thoughtfulness and can have fun choosing exactly what they want.

You can’t go wrong with a gift card for Keswi scrubs. These premium scrubs are moisture-wicking, wrinkle-resistant, durable, breathable, and the softest around thanks to their micro-peached finish. (Oh, and they’re oh-so fashionable.) Keswi scrubs come in five great colors for women and men with a wide range of sizes (XS-3X for women and S-3X for men), so your favorite nurse can find their new scrub set with ease.

Find the Best Nurse Appreciation Gifts Today

As frontline workers who put the needs of others above their own, nurses deserve to be celebrated as the healthcare heroes that they are. And showing your appreciation with a great gift can make a lasting impact. From a graduation gift for a nursing student to a Nurses Week thank-you for a nursing veteran, finding the best gifts for nurses doesn’t have to be a challenge.

Nurses love functional gifts, so a customized water bottle or coffee tumbler will always be a winner. If you’re looking for something more personalized, creating a special gift box or a gift card for a new pair of scrubs is sure to be a favorite.

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