If you’re lucky enough to know a nurse, you know how hard they work and how well-deserved a thoughtful gift can be. For someone who helps others for a living, the best gifts will make them feel appreciated and loved. So whether you’re celebrating their birthday or just wanting to thank them, these gifts for nurses will bring a personal touch to their professional workspace.

Celebrate National Nurses Day (May 6th) by surprising the RN in your life with a gift personalized to their profession. From work gear to cozy at-home items, we’ve included gift ideas for a variety of personalities. And for current nursing students or soon-to-be graduates, we’ve also included unique gifts to help them enter the health care field. No matter how long they’ve been in the field, these gifts are the perfect way to say thank you and show your appreciation.

Practical Gifts for on the Job

Nurses sometimes spend half of their day (or more) at the hospital or care facility. These practical gifts are meant to make them a little more comfortable, organized and stylish during their long shifts.

1. Compression Socks

Long hospital shifts on your feet can be grueling. Compression socks help promote circulation and prevent swelling so nurses get a little relief when they’re on their feet. Pick out your favorite design and surprise your friend with this practical gift.

2. Drink Tumbler

A heavy-duty tumbler that keeps liquids hot or cold is a great nurse gift because its versatility means it can be used for hot coffee or ice water. Whether it’s used for caffeine or hydration, they will appreciate the useful gift. Attach a gift card for coffee or breakfast to complete the package.

3. Stethoscope Tag

A critical piece of equipment for anyone in health care is a stethoscope. Since many high-quality stethoscopes are also costly, it’s important to have yours marked so that it doesn’t get mistaken for someone else’s. A personalized tag serves a purpose while also adding a personal touch to a usually standard uniform.

4. Lightweight Zip Jacket

Hospitals can be cold at all times of the year. Treat your RN to a lightweight jacket that zips to keep them comfortable. There are special medical scrub jackets available but a nice athletic jacket is a great option to wear outside of the hospital as well.

woman zipping athletic jacket

5. ID Badge Holder 

Accessorize the standard scrubs by adding a personalized badge clip to display hospital identification. There are many designs to choose from and multiple styles of badges.

6. Multi-Pocket Messenger Bag

For nurses always on the go, a high-quality messenger bag can store all their items in one place. Make sure there are compartments for storing medical equipment and that it is large enough to hold a laptop or clipboard.

7. Pens

It sounds simple, but pens are always disappearing when you need them most. Stock up your favorite caregiver with plenty of pens to keep them on the ball. Bonus points if they are nursing-themed!

Cozy Gifts for Relaxing at Home

After a long day of being on their feet and running around, nurses appreciate downtime a little more than the rest of us do. These cozy gifts for nurses will help them relax at home, plus encourage them to take some time for themselves and give their bodies some much-needed rest.

8. Soft Blanket

Curling up with a soft blanket and good book makes for the perfect time off activity. Encourage your friend to enjoy catching up on a favorite TV show or just napping on the sofa.

9. Wine Glasses

Off-duty nurses can relax at home with a little wine in their glass for a cozy night in. There are many nursing-themed glasses available so they can relax in true style.

10. Stress Relief Candle

Lighting a candle with a relaxing scent is a great way to de-stress after a long shift. Candlelight is a nice change from fluorescent hospital lighting.

relaxing candle with flowers

11. Plush Robe

There’s no better uniform than a cozy robe for lounging around. After a relaxing bath, slip on a fuzzy robe and slippers to take relaxation to the next level.

12. Moisturizing Lotion

Prone to constant handwashing and sanitizing, nurse’s hands can easily dry out. Give them some luxurious hand cream to restore moisture and prevent dry, cracked skin.

Gifts for Nursing Students and Graduates

Nursing students have some of the toughest courses and clinical exams during their time in school. Treat your favorite soon-to-be nurse with some of these gifts to motivate and congratulate them on their hard work.

13. Professional Backpack

It’s likely that nursing students and recent grads are only using a school backpack. For graduation, get them a professional bag that is both functional and stylish so they can carry all of their items.

14. Nurse Laptop Sticker

Deck out your favorite nursing student’s laptop with a custom decal to show off their field of study. A medical-related sticker is a great reminder of their goals while spending time studying.

15. Lunch Kit

Whether students use a lunch kit in school or on the job, a quality lunch kit that keeps their meals cold is very useful during their commutes and makes lunchtime a little bit easier.

healthy lunch at desk

16. Nurse Flashcards

Flashcards with pre-written study notes and definitions make a great nursing student gift. They can use these both in school and as a quick reference during their shifts for all of those complicated medical terms.

15. Alarm Clock

It may seem old-fashioned but with early hospital shifts and overnight stays, an alarm clock is much more dependable than a smartphone when it comes to getting to work on time. Many alarm clocks also serve as a smartphone charger and speaker.

17. Nursing Clipboard

Help your student stay organized with a new clipboard. Many clipboards allow for storage and file organization so your RN can keep everything in one place.

Funny Nurse Gifts

If your friend appreciates a little humor, try gifting them some of these funny nurse gifts to treat them to a good laugh. All in good spirit, these gifts may not be the most practical, but they will definitely serve up some laughter.

18. Bandages

Nurses can fix anything, right? Gift your RN a package of bandages as a cute reminder that they are healers and fixers. Pick out an adorable design so that when they need it at home, they’ll be reminded of you.

bandage teddy bear

19. Themed First Aid Kit

While a real first-aid kit is useful for any nurse, try giving your friend a themed kit to switch things up. Make your own hangover kit stocked with things like pain reliever and water bottles or a fashion emergency kit with items such as tape, deodorant and clear nail polish for when they’re in a pinch.

20. Hand Sanitizer

Nurses are constantly sanitizing so they most likely don’t need any more hand sanitizer, but this gift makes for a funny joke and certainly adds to their collection.

With all of these gift ideas, you can combine your top picks and create the perfect care package for your favorite nurse. If your caretaker friend prefers something sweet, send them a basket of these nurse brownie pops for any occasion. No matter how you say thank you, show your appreciation and let them know how valued they are!