If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that healthcare workers are indispensable—especially nursing professionals.
These hospital heroes have helped countless patients survive a global pandemic and more with their care, and there’s no better time to appreciate their irreplaceability than the holidays.
If there’s a hard-working nurse in your life you cherish, you’ll need a present that goes above and beyond the usual stocking stuffers. In this gift guide for nurses, we’ll point to 32goodies that will make nurses feel essential, showing the same degree of care they give their patients year-round.
Gift Category 1: Bites & Sips
Anyone who’s ever seen a nurse in action knows: these healthcare professionals know how to stay busy. Whether they’re hightailing it to the clinic, a patient’s home, or between rooms at the hospital, they need to stay nourished with proper hydration and fuel.
Make it easy for your favorite nurse to keep their energy levels high with these travel-friendly food-and-drink gifts:
- Drink tumbler – It’s tough to get through an entire day’s and night’s work without a little warm drink to soothe you. Give the gift of hydration (or caffeine) to your favorite nurse with a high-quality tumbler or thermos. Look for insulated brands with reusable straws, so that they can sip while in motion. For an extra special touch, consider customizing the tumbler with their name or a health hero-related icon.
- Reusable food packaging – On a busy shift, many nurses don’t have the time to run out and grab a full lunch. That’s where packing a lunch can come in handy—especially if you have some cute canister options to sweeten the deal. If the beloved healthcare worker is a lover of the planet, it'll make a nurse's week to know they’ll lower their footprint with reusable options like beeswax wrappers, snap containers, and multi-use pouches.
- Lunch bag – To keep all of that home cooking fresh, treat your favorite nurse to an insulated lunch bag. For the fashionista (or hyper-organized) nurse, try a stylish, multi-compartment lunch tote. These nifty bags have compartments for individual snacks, tumblers, and even cell phones, so that nurses can stay prepared for all their refreshment needs.
- Mini blender – Does your favorite nurse have a home base health clinic? Consider gifting them a travel-size blender to whip up fresh protein smoothies at work. When they only have 10 minutes for a meal, keeping a mini blender at work provides fresh and healthy nourishment options ad infinitum.
- Mini french press – If your friend is a nurse and a caffeine addict, a miniature French press may be the perfect gift to help them thrive. To up the ante, buy them a fancy batch of pre-ground coffee. Then, all they’ll need for their first cup is hot water, a little push, a coffee mug and voilà! Fresh brew in mere minutes.
- Cooking subscription box – After a long day of work, even prepping a box of mac and cheese can be a challenge—let alone whipping up dinner from scratch. Cut your nurse friend’s to-do list in half with a home cooking box subscription. These services provide fresh, pre-measured ingredients to whip up delicious recipes, minus the shopping or prep work. Plus, they’ll be able to use any leftovers on hand for lunch the next day. Trust us; this is the best kind of nurse appreciation gift.
Gift Category 2: Self-Care at Work and Home
Nursing is a tough job—period. Between standing on their feet all day and dealing with patients and their families in crisis, nurses deserve the world and more in mental and physical self-care.
Whether you want to give a personalized gift item or build a self-care care package, these calm-inducing Christmas gifts for nurses will help them build a soothing routine, on or off the clock:
- Hand cream
- Foot spa or bath salts
- Deep treatment moisturizer
- Hair masque
- Blackout sleeping mask
- Self foot-massager
- Bath bombs
- Body brush
- Terry cloth robe
- Sheepskin slippers
- Yoga mat
Gift Category 3: Gifts to Hit the Hospital in Style
We’re used to seeing our favorite essential workers in the usual garb—pale blue or teal scrubs. But nursing uniforms today go beyond these traditional palettes, and many nurses will love sprucing up their professional closets with some customized wardrobe pieces.
Before you purchase, just be sure to check in with your favorite nurse to confirm they don’t have a strict hospital dress code. If they do, you can always layer #21—accessories—a fool-proof way to jazz up any on-duty outfit:
- Colorful scrubs – Modern scrubs can vary widely in fit, quality, and pattern, so aim for ones that fit your friend’s style off the clock. Brands like Figs are renowned for their comfy yet stylish designs—you’ll find everything from terracotta joggers to cozy sherpa zip-ups. For a special personal touch, seek out monogrammed or custom scrubs and have their name embroidered on the collar.
- Custom tags or clips – Make that ID or stethoscope pop with a customized clip. Whether you print their name or add a special graphic, a customized tag can help keep their personal items from getting lost.
- Fanny pack – Every nurse has a few instruments they need to keep on hand at all times—pens, notepads, phones, and so on. A fanny pack is the perfect effortless satchel to protect and hold those essentials. Pick one with a fun design, slogan, or hue for instant work outfit flair.
- Accessories – Some of the best gifts for nurses are those that let them feel at home in their skin, even as they’re generously offering their time to others—accessories. So, does the special nurse in your life have luscious locks? Spring for a headband to keep their hair back with stylish flair. Do they love wearing giant gold hoops on their off-time? Present them with a tiny pair to add some work-appropriate glimmer to their daily grind.
Gift Category 4: Gifts for Staying High-Tech
Simple, effective tech tools can take a nurse’s workload from strenuous to simplified. Help them update their work routine with:
- Smartwatch or fitness tracker – Whether they’re caring for others all day, or rigorously studying day and night through nursing school, it can be tough for nurses to prioritize their own health sometimes. A smartwatch with fitness tracking capabilities can help nurses meet their own health goals on the job. Find a model that can sync with their smartphones so they can track their steps, activity, and sleep throughout their day.
- Cellphone sterilizer – Nurses come into contact with plenty of germs on a daily basis. Soap and sanitizing gel can keep hands clean, but they don’t always work for electronic devices. Gift them a UV light sterilizer to banish bacteria and keep germs far away from their phone.
- Penlight – Most nurses could administer an eye or ear check in their sleep—but present them with a handy penlight, and you could take their skills to a whole new level. Look for USB-rechargeable models with different light settings and a pupil gauge to elevate routine examinations.
- White noise machine – Catching a nap in the staff room? No problem. A portable white noise machine is a great gift for any interning nursing student/registered nurse and can be used at home or work to transform any space into a napper’s paradise.
Gift Category 5: Gifts for Fleet-Footed Nurses
Nursing may require a decent amount of paperwork, but it’s far from a desk job. On an average shift, most nurses walk nearly 10,000 steps—that’s a lot of mileage on the job.
On top of that, many nurses take work that requires frequent relocation, i.e. travel nursing. And with traveling nurse jobs nearly tripling in average earnings, it’s no mystery why these roles are gaining traction (literally and figuratively).
Help both in-hospital and traveling nurse professionals stay grounded and in motion with:
- Nurse bag – Larger than a purse but lighter than a duffle, a nurse bag is a multi-compartment tote to carry everything a nurse might need on a shift. Choose one with both closeable inner and outer pockets in their favorite color to kick off the new year fresh and organized.
- Travel suitcase – Some travel nurses only get a week’s notice before a new job begins. Make traveling on a dime less stressful with a quality carry-on-sized roller bag. And, for stationary nurses, a suitcase will still come in handy for those well-deserved vacations.
- Travel toiletries kit – From overnight shifts to cross-country flights, travel-size toiletries are compact, flight safe, and keep nurses from overspending on full-sized personal care. Gift a small waterproof kit that holds all of their “quick refresh” essentials, like toothpaste, a collapsible toothbrush, moisturizer, and deodorant.
- Compression socks – Long shifts mean long hours standing upright, and many nurses suffer from leg discomfort and swelling as a result. Protect their legs and feet with a comfy (and cute) pair of compression socks. There are many benefits of compression socks for nurses. They help support circulation and relieve pressure, and they can help combat future circulation issues down the line.
- Nursing shoes – When you’re working on your feet for hours, rubber clogs simply don’t cut it. Make every shift feel like a cloud walk by gifting a supportive pair of work shoes for nurses. Opt for a pair with waterproof, slip-resistant soles to keep your favorite nurse safe, supported, and stylish—whichever task awaits them next.
Snibbs: Footwear for Function and Fashion
During the holidays, finding the ideal present for anyone can feel like a lot of pressure—so the secret is selecting a gift that takes the pressure off of someone else.
Whether you select a comfortable, fashion-forward work sneaker or compression socks to provide relief, Snibbs doctor's shoes and work shoes for nurses designs are built to provide the support nurses need to keep carrying their workload with grace. Show a nurse you love some extra support by finding their next favorite footwear with Snibbs.
- ASC. Travel nursing by the numbers: 9 stats. https://www.beckersasc.com/asc-news/travel-nursing-by-the-numbers-9-stats.html
- Human Resources for Health. Nurses’ steps, distance traveled, and perceived physical demands in a three-shift schedule. https://human-resources-health.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12960-022-00768-3