Great Gift Ideas for Nurses this Holiday Season · The Gypsy Nurse

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By CareerStaff Unlimited

December 19, 2020



Great Gift Ideas for Nurses this Holiday Season (and Beyond)

This article was provided by CareerStaff Unlimited.

As we cap off a challenging year, the holidays can seem less like a season of giving and celebration and more a time of cold weather and surging hospitalizations. And because you don’t have time to shop but still appreciate the value of a thoughtful gift, we’re helping kickstart the process with a rundown of some of the most popular holiday gift ideas for nurses.

Even if you come across this article after Christmas has come and gone, a gift can make a huge impression any time of year (and particularly this year, when burnout and compassion fatigue are at all-time highs). Take a look, and you may discover a new way to cheer up a friend, colleague, co-worker, or another hard-working nurse who could use a simple thank you.

Great Gift Ideas for Nurses

Hand sanitizer and accessories.

When it comes to catch-all gifts that almost every nurse can appreciate, you can’t go wrong with an extra supply of hand sanitizer. It’s relatively inexpensive, and you can easily order large quantities online. And have it sent gift-wrapped to any nurse you know—no matter where they may be living or working at the moment.

Totes, bags and backpacks.

From extra clothes, shoes, and scrubs to notebooks, PPE, badges, and more. A good bag or backpack is considered an essential accessory for most nurses. If you want to go big, a higher-end backpack or tote bag won’t come cheap. But is likely to be a cherished gift for years to come.

Scrubs and sweaters.

Many guides offer the idea of fashionable or extra-durable scrubs or winter-weather sweaters as excellent gift ideas for nurses. And yes, these are standards in the gift lineup. But before you make the purchase, make sure you know the recipient of your gift will like the style (or, say, the Harry Potter themes) of the item you’re choosing for them!


Nurses are on their feet all day, every day, and shoes wear out all too quickly. If you know a nurse well enough to know their size (and that they may be in need of an upgrade), a pair of new shoes is a great gift idea. For reliable comfy, and orthopedically sound shoes that are slightly high-end, Hoka walking shoes and Dansko clogs are widely beloved by nurses.

High-quality socks.

One of the most perennial gift ideas for nurses is a pair or two high-quality, purpose-designed socks. Compression socks are maybe the type of socks for nurses we hear about the most. Designed to promote blood circulation and support the Achilles heel, these are socks that offer not just noticeable comfort but durability, too.

Stethoscopes and accessories.

Many healthcare workers already have a favorite stethoscope or a system of using what’s available. So think twice before venturing into this gift idea. On the other hand, you could do worse than offer an upgrade for this important, use-it-every-day item. If you choose to buy a nice model (like a Littman and MDF), consider adding a travel case and personalized identifier, too.


The daily grind takes its toll! After a long shift, few things are as relaxing for sore feet — or low spirits — then a post-work massage. And there are quite a few affordable devices that fit that bill, too. You can choose from deep-kneading foot massagers, exfoliating scalp massagers, portable shiatsu massagers for the shoulders, and lots more.

Personal protective equipment.

This is a no-brainer in the Covid era. But while PPE items like masks, gloves, and goggles may not be the most original or exciting gift ideas for nurses, they’re likely to be greatly appreciated, nonetheless. That goes double if you’re springing for quality, re-usable, and stylishly simple items.


Especially in Covid-19 treatment, many nurses are required to continuously check patient O2 levels. Having their own oximeter could be a game-changer not only in day-to-day convenience but as personal insurance against unforeseen challenges of dealing with scarce supply.

Quick meal ideas.

In many areas, restaurants are closed, and some nurses prefer to avoid the risks of delivery service. An easy-to-use meal prep device like an instant pot can help tired nurses whip up fast, nutrition-focused meals quickly at the end of a long day. Meal subscription services like Blue Apron and Home Chef offer the chance to cook inventive pre-made meals.

ANA membership dues.

If you know a nurse who isn’t a member of the American Nurses Association (ANA), consider a gift subscription via a local state association. Membership is less than $30 per month. It offers benefits like access to CEU credits and conference tickets. As well as the chance to add a voice to the cause of promoting better workplaces for nurses.

Still haven’t found the nursing gift idea you’re looking for? How about scented candles for aromatherapy or a quality coffee maker? A FitBit can help your friends turn work steps into fitness goals. Silicone rings have become popular substitutes for jewelry in facilities where diamond rings and other items are off-limits.  

Taking it one step further, there are many great gifts for nurses on Etsy. With options like cute sanitizer holders, badge holders, water bottles, keychains, travel nurse gear, and lots more — even a hand sanitizer bracelet! And visit the CareerStaff Blog for more great gift ideas for healthcare workers and other career tips and job alerts.

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