40+ Gift Ideas for Nurses and Nursing Students
Consider these gifts to recognize the nurse in your life during National Nurses Week or at any other time of the year.
Gifts for Nurses | Gifts for Nursing Students | Self-Care Gifts for Nurses | Clothing and Apparel for Nurses | Accessories for Nurses | Gifts for Night Shift Nurses | Gifts for Travel Nurses | Gifts for New Nurses
Are you looking for just the right gift for the nurse or nursing student in your life? It's not always easy to know what to give someone, especially a special someone who spends most of their working life giving to others.
Take a look through these gift ideas that were chosen specifically as thoughtful gifts for hardworking and selfless nurses.
Our team independently chose these products. If you click on a product link, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.
$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50
Gifts for Nurses
Nurse Care Packages
These nurse care packages come with useful tools and fun little presents, such as dark chocolate and face masks (perfect for self-care), dry shampoo (a great option for busy nurses who don't have the time for regular hair washing), hand sanitizer (vital for healthcare workers), and tea (a great beverage for winding down after a tough day).Buy from Nurse Luxe
Fitbit or Smartwatch
Nurses are always on their feet, which can be exhausting. However, this also means that exercise is built into their job. If your nurse is interested in keeping fit, buying them a Fitbit or smartwatch can help them keep track of their step count each day. These devices can also monitor other factors, such as calorie intake, calories burned, heart rate, and sleep quality.Buy from FitBit
If you want to go a more altruistic route, you may consider making a donation in your nurse's name. This can be appropriate for nurses who entered the healthcare field to make the world a better place. You could donate to the hospital or clinic where they work, or you might consider donating to the Red Cross. If your nurse works as a COVID-19 first responder, you can find several ways to donate food or supplies to those at the pandemic's front line.Donate to the Red Cross
Subscription to American Nurse Journal
As the official journal of the American Nurses' Association, this publication informs nurses about the latest updates and research in their industry. It also includes articles about how to manage patients and gives advice from experts in the field. This journal can be a great resource for new and experienced nurses who want to grow in their careers.Buy an American Nurse Journal Subscription
Insulated Lunch Bag
Many times it's difficult for nurses to take a lunch or dinner break. Bringing food to grab and go in the unit breakroom may be the only sustenance your nurse gets during their shift. This stylish insulated bag with a matching tumbler may brighten their day while keeping their meals and snacks fresh.Buy from Amazon
Automatic Floor Sweeper
A nurse's life is busy and challenging. Who wants to spend time cleaning on their day off? iRobot has a variety of floor cleaning systems using smart mapping so your nurse can schedule floor cleaning when they're at work.Buy from Amazon
Gifts for Nursing Students
Anatomy and Physiology Flashcards
Admittedly, flashcards aren't the most glamorous gift for a nursing student. But they are incredibly useful, especially when nursing students spend long hours in the library memorizing facts so they can pass their exams. You can find several flashcard sets and even coloring books on the human anatomical system from reputable educational and test prep companies.Buy from Amazon
NCLEX Review Book
Your nursing student may not jump for joy once they unwrap this gift. But where it lacks in thrill, it excels as the perfect gift for any nursing student or recent nursing graduate preparing to take the NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN. Many companies publish different versions of this book, which typically includes test-taking advice, practice questions, and full-length practice tests.Buy from Barnes & Noble
Novelty Shot Glass
When nurses finally walk out of their last class, pass the NCLEX, and receive their nursing license, it's time to celebrate. Etsy offers a variety of shot glasses with cheeky captions aimed at nurses. Or if wine is your nurse's preferred beverage, you could buy them a novelty wine glass instead.Buy from Etsy
Personalized Nurse Graduation Print Photo
For a nurse's graduation gift, this print or illustration can serve as a poignant and pretty reminder of your nursing student's time in school. You can find many illustrations from independent artists on Etsy. They make a lovely addition to a mantlepiece or bookshelf, especially as nursing students move into their first homes and begin full-time work.Buy from Etsy
Whether studying or at work, nurses stare at a computer screen for hours each day. Exposure to blue light can trigger headaches, dry eyes, and sleep disturbances. Blue-blocking glasses come in prescription or nonprescription lenses. Consider picking them out together with your nurse or getting them a gift certificate.Buy from EyeBuyDirect
Detox Bath Salts
After a long day in clinicals or at work, your nursing student could use a little muscle relaxation. Bath salts give a silky feel to the water and help to soften the skin. Many bath salts also include aromatherapy essential oils that help to relax the mind and body.Buy from OdacitÉ
Popular MSN Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Self-Care Gifts for Nurses
"Poetic Expressions in Nursing"
This book, written by longtime nurse Susan Farese, focuses on supporting nurses by offering ways to cope with burnout and stress. This is the perfect gift for our frontline workers, new nurses, and even veteran nurses who came out of retirement to aid in nursing during the pandemic.Buy from Amazon
Nurses often work long shifts on their feet, and that can take a serious toll. Tending to their feet isn't just an issue of self-care; in fact, bad foot health can lead to limb-related problems and lower work efficiency. A foot massager can help nurses avoid these pitfalls—not to mention, they feel great.Buy from Amazon
Gift Card for Pampering
Everyone deserves to be pampered. Buy your nurse a gift card to a mani-pedi, massage, facial, or hair conditioning treatment to make them feel valued. You could also give them gift cards to their favorite stores offering products for pampering, such as Sephora, Ulta, or The Body Shop.Buy from Ulta Beauty
Adult Coloring Book
Adult coloring books provide many benefits. For one, they can help reduce stress, which plays a large part in a nurse's career. Coloring can also improve motor skills and focus, which may help nurses during their day-to-day duties. You can even find coloring books specifically made for nurses.Buy from Amazon
A stressful job comes with many consequences; for some, the stress shows on their faces. High pressure jobs can result in wrinkles, tired eyes, red or blotchy skin, and acne breakouts. Buy some high-quality skin care products for your nurse to help them avoid these pitfalls. If you're not sure what to buy, ask them about their skin type or buy them a gift card to a reputable skin care company instead.Buy from The Ordinary
A high-quality candle with a captivating scent can be a lovely gift for nurses. After spending 12 hours on their feet in a hospital with all sorts of unpleasant odors, they might look forward to coming home and lighting a candle to relax. It not only provides an alluring fragrance, but it can give a sense of calm and relaxation after a stressful day. However, people can be picky about scents, so ask your nurse about their favorite fragrances before you pick one out.Buy from Amazon
Nurses constantly use their hands at work, which means they're regularly washing their hands to prevent disease spread. All of that washing can lead to dry, cracked hands. Buy your nurse a small bottle of hand lotion that they can carry around with them throughout the day or a set of lotions so they always have a bottle within arm's length.Buy from The Body Shop
Flowers or Plants
Believe it or not, houseplants can come with health benefits. Research has found that plants reduce stress levels and may even improve people's productivity and outlook on work. Plus, many people find that working with plants can be therapeutic. Helping turn your nurse's home into a mini-botanical garden may improve their health as well.Buy from The Sill
Starbucks Gift Card
Coffee is a lifesaver during long nursing shifts or as a self-care treat before working the holidays. Tell your favorite nurse thank you with a Starbucks gift card.Buy from Starbucks
We all love to relax with our favorite TV show or a classic, feel-good romantic comedy. While many people subscribe to Netflix or Hulu, consider buying your nurse a subscription to a less common streaming service, such as HBO Max, Apple TV+, Peacock, or BritBox for Anglophiles.
Subscribe to HBO Max Subscribe to Apple TV
Yoga is popular for good reason. It's not only relaxing, but it has heart health benefits and can help with strength and flexibility. Plus, it doesn't take much to start a yoga session—all you need is a yoga mat, comfortable clothing, and 15 minutes. If you give a yoga mat to your nurse, then they've got all the equipment they need to get started.Buy from Amazon
Rent a Dog
The science proves it: Dogs are good for our health. Dogs improve our mood, heart health, stress levels, and loneliness. Of course, not everybody can adopt a dog, but you can rent one for your nurse. Dog rental or borrowing services connects people with dog owners or shelter dogs in need of a walk. You get to with the pups for a couple of hours, and the dogs get to make new friends. It's a win-win for everyone involved.Learn More
Clothing and Apparel for Nurses
Twelve-hour shifts, especially shifts with regular walking, can wreak havoc on a nurse's feet. Feet swell, shoes begin to feel smaller, and varicose veins can become more visible. Compression socks counteract these symptoms. The elastic fibers counteract the blood that pools in the lower extremities, which ultimately causes the swelling. If you want to buy a present that your nurse will appreciate and use on a daily basis, consider compression socks.Buy from Amazon
Every nurse wears a uniform, and that uniform is pretty simple: scrubs. But nurses don't necessarily need to give into the shapeless outfits that you see at so many hospitals. You can buy them some snazzier options, such as sleek outfits from FIGS or from Jaanuu, quirky options from Funky Scrubs, or flattering workwear from Fabled. Several other scrubs companies also can jazz up your nurse's outfit; just make sure you know your nurse's style and size before you order.Buy from FIGS
When nurses find themselves in a high-pressure situation, hair falling and covering their eyes is the last thing they need. Plus, pulling hair back may also help reduce the spread of germs and dust particles. You can find headbands everywhere, but some companies cater specifically to nurses.Buy from JUNK Brands Headbands
A necklace isn't necessarily part of every nurse's uniform. Still, jewelry can make a thoughtful gift. Jewelry-makers sometimes design necklaces specifically for nurses. For instance, you can find a necklace with a subtle heartbeat pendant or a stethoscope design.Buy from Etsy
You can buy all types of novelty clothing for nurses to wear on their days off. But a sweatshirt or a hoodie may just top other clothing options. After all, many nurses want to be as cozy as possible so they can relax in style and comfort off the clock. You can find plenty of sweatshirts with slogans nurses will love. "Eat. Sleep. Nurse." is a popular one; "Coffee, scrubs, and stethoscopes" is just as relatable.Buy from Cafe Press
Accessories for Nurses
Nurses recommend this stethoscope for its high acoustic sensitivity, tunable diaphragms, and customization. Choose from a number of different colors and patterns to make this stethoscope uniquely yours. You can even personalize the head or tube with your name or an encouraging phrase.Buy from Litman
Cell Phone Sanitizer
Although you can find a cleaning spray for cell phones, you can also go high tech. An ultraviolet cell phone sanitizer kills 99% of bacteria and germs, and some of these tools even double as chargers. For nurses who work in environments with ill patients where germs spread constantly, this gift can be especially useful.Buy from Amazon
ID Badge Holder
Hospitals and healthcare clinics can be chaotic places to work. It's easy to misplace or drop things. There's one item that nurses can't lose though, and that's their ID. Nurses need to keep their IDs with them constantly. That's where an ID badge holder comes in to keep their ID secure. You can find these holders in all sorts of colors and designs so that it matches your nurse's personality.Buy from Etsy
Pens can make a good gift for anyone. But for nurses, you can really level up with a penlight. These essentially work as flashlights, emitting a bright light with LED or halogen bulbs. Penlights can help healthcare professionals with tasks, such as assessing patients' pupils, examining their mouth or throat, or just helping nurses see during overnight shifts.Buy from Amazon
A nursing bag is another way to stay organized. You can find nursing bags with several pockets, so that nurses can keep all of their supplies in a designated place. You can also find nursing bags in many different designs. Choosing one almost feels like choosing a backpack for the new school year.Buy from AllHeart
Nurses always need to write down notes as part of their professional work, so it's useful to have a clipboard on hand at all times. Many clipboards open up like folders, allowing nurses to fit documents or educational resources for patients in the middle. You can find clipboards of different colors or with unique designs online.Buy from Amazon
This clip-on emergency light is perfect for your nurse's keychain to access their car at night, a hands-free light to take a patient's vitals in the dark, or quick help when the power fails at home. The strong magnet ensures it stays in place on the keychain so it's always where your nurse can find it.Buy from Amazon
Add a long sleeve to a short-sleeved scrub top to move from summer to winter, give your nurse the layered look without the constriction of wearing two shirts, or add a bit of pizazz. The sleeves come in four colors that coordinate with most scrub tops.Buy from Scrubs and Beyond
Gifts for Night Shift Nurses
Coffee Tumbler (and Coffee)
This could be an appropriate gift for any nurse. After all, nursing shifts are no joke, no matter when they work. But it's an especially useful gift for night nurses who need an extra boost to stay awake in the waning hours of the morning. If you want to buy an extra thoughtful brew, don't just pick up some generic coffee from the grocery store. Find some premium coffee beans from your local coffee shop and maybe a coffee bean grinder as an added accessory.Buy from Yeti
White Noise Machine
White noise helps many people fall asleep, no matter the time of day. Ambient noises like forest critters or crashing waves can produce a relaxing environment in the bedroom, forcing eyelids to become heavy for even the most jittery sleepers. If your night nurse is having trouble getting proper rest during the daytime, a white noise machine may do the trick.Buy from Amazon
Do Not Disturb Sign
Getting enough sleep during the day isn't easy, particularly when you live with other people. A sign on the door can help remind nurses' roommates or families to keep it down. Even better, you can find plenty of do not disturb signs made especially for nurses: "Unless you need CPR, do not disturb. Sleeping nurse inside," says one slogan.Buy from Etsy
Many curtains just don't make the cut. During the day, light still seeps inside and makes it difficult for nurses to get proper sleep. Blackout curtains keep the room as dark as possible, so that the napper is tricked into thinking that nighttime has come early.Buy from Amazon
Amber Reading Light
After a long shift at work, sometimes a couple of chapters in a good book is enough to relax your nurse's mind and help them drift off to sleep. Yet, blue light from most reading lights disturb sleep. This simple amber light reduces eye strain, won't disturb your nurse's partner, and is lightweight and travel friendly.Buy from Amazon
Sleep is essential for all nurses, but night shift nurses sometimes have more difficulty sleeping during the day. This BPA-free, silent aromatherapy diffuser can help create a restful and soothing environment to help your nurse recharge.Buy from Anjou
Gifts for Travel Nurses
Gift Cards to Local Restaurants
What better way to help your nurse settle into their new home than by providing food? Research the best local restaurants in the area through area magazines, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. Then treat your nurse to a meal. If your nurse's town is known for a certain type of food — say, barbecue in Kansas City or tacos in Austin — look for the highest-rated joint in town.Buy from OpenTable
Tickets to Local Attractions
In the same vein, you can help your nurse get to know their new location by helping them visit key attractions. Maybe that's a museum or theme park, or maybe it's an experience, like a walking tour or cooking class.
Traveling from place to place can make your nurse feel like they're constantly uprooted. This is one way to help them connect with their new (albeit temporary) home.Buy from Ticketmaster
Anyone who's traveled knows how uncomfortable long trips can get. A neck pillow can help nurses traveling by plane comfortably rest their head. Nurses will especially appreciate this thoughtful gift, as it gives them a chance to rest during a stressful schedule.Buy from Amazon
Whether a nurse is traveling by plane, train, or automobile, long-distance trips can be time consuming and tedious. An audiobook can help travel nurses pass the time with education or entertainment. You can buy them an audiobook you love, or pay for an audiobook credit or subscription so that your nurse can choose one for themselves.Buy from Audible
An eye mask is another small but thoughtful gift that can help nurses rest during an otherwise uncomfortable or distracting trip. Silk eye masks even promise to help prevent eye wrinkles and crow's feet, and wool eye masks could prove useful for nurses headed to colder climates.Buy from Amazon
These handy bags help your travel nurse pack their clothes and bedding efficiently. They are a wonderful storage solution and help make packing easier each time your travel nurse moves to another location.Buy from Amazon
Weighted blankets help you get cozy at night and provide deep physical pressure that helps calm and relax your nervous system. Sleeping in a new environment can be difficult. A weighted blanket may be just what your travel nurse needs to get a good night's rest.Buy from Amazon
Gifts for New Nurses
Membership to the American Nurses Association
As one of the largest nursing professional organizations in the country, the American Nurses Association (ANA) connects nurses with one another. New nurses can take advantage of networking opportunities and educational sessions. Plus, they will appreciate access to the career center and discounts for specialty certification.
Giving your nurse the tools to join the ANA can help them jumpstart their careers.Buy from the American Nurses Association
Any nurse can tell you: With long shifts and stressful work responsibilities, it's easy to neglect daily responsibilities. For instance, when it comes to eating meals, it's easier to pick up burgers at a drive-thru, order in, or heat up a frozen pizza than cook your own meals. Buying your nurse an instant pot can help them cook healthy meals with little effort, so they can conserve their energy for the hospital floor.Buy from Amazon
Meal Delivery Kits
Not only can cooking feel like a drag, but going grocery shopping seems like one of those tasks that's easy to put off — until the refrigerator is completely empty. If you purchase a subscription to a meal delivery kit, then your nurse doesn't have to worry about making shopping lists for their weekly grocery trip. Instead, popular services, such as HelloFresh or Blue Apron, deliver all of the ingredients for a great meal straight to your nurse's door.
Adjusting to a career as a nurse can come with its challenges and frustrations. It's never easy to see people struggle with severe illnesses or pass away. Journaling is a great way for a new nurse to express their thoughts and feelings in a productive manner as they adapt to their circumstances. To add a personalized touch, you can engrave your nurse's name on the notebook cover.Buy from Amazon
Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul
The "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books include motivational stories and essays for different demographics: mothers, pre-teens, fishermen, and nurses. "Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul" could be a thoughtful addition to any new nurse's book collection, inspiring them as they begin their careers.Buy from Barnes & Noble
Your new nurse may want to relax after a long shift, but running a bath isn't their style. Consider these shower steamers that give an invigorating aromatherapy scent and can be used as a body or foot scrub to exfoliate and leave their skin soft and smooth.Buy from Uncommon Goods
All-In-One Stackable Lunch Containers
Bringing a meal from home is often healthier than eating out, but juggling containers can make the process challenging. These stackable lunch containers are efficient, perfect for packing a variety of foods, and are BPA free. Your nurse also gets matching utensils and a two-year warranty.Buy from Amazon
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