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24 Gift Ideas for Nurses (must read before Christmas/Graduation)

gifts for nurses

Nursing is a lifestyle . . . it’s so much more than a job.  When someone becomes a nurse they are kinda inducted into a secret society . . . and we feel like we are pretty special.

So, here it is: the ultimate list of gifts for nurses and nursing students.

We have our own language, our own humor . . . we even have our own sleep schedules.

Nurses are a breed all their own.  So I thought it would be nice to compile a list of several nursing student gifts ideas that will help that special nurse in your life as they work to join the ranks of RN.

The gifts for nurses are outlined into 4 categories (in order):

  • Tools
  • Fashion
  • Books
  • Fun

TOOLS: nursing tools gift ideas

scrubcheats clinical reference sheets


Scrubcheats is our answer to thousands of emails and conversations with nurses and nursing students across the country who struggle to have the information they need at their fingertips on the hospital floor.

These pocket-sized, laminated, condensed nursing reference sheets make a wonderful gift for the nurse or nursing student who wants to up their clinical game.

The pages are color coded by category (Cardiac, Neuro, OB, Peds, Pharm, Labs, Fundamentals) for quick reference and allow for removal so the student can take just the sheets they need with them on a given shift.

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RELATED ARTICLE: Ep233: 36 Things Every Nursing Student Needs before Starting School [the ultimate list of “must-have” nursing school supplies]


Nursing Student Toolbox

The nursing student toolbox is a collection of cheat sheets, clinical tools, and study materials that I have found over the years to be insanely useful in my work as a nurse.

I began creating this years ago in nursing school as I discovered some tools that worked and others that didn’t help at all.

This tool kit makes a wonderful present for any nurse or nursing student . . . think of it as a scaled down version of the Scrubcheats.

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nursing clipboard for students

Nursing Clipboard

Staying organized as a nurse is possibly the biggest struggle a nurse experiences. One gift that can help the nurse is a clipboard designed specifically for nurses.

Our preferred clipboard is this one which comes with a 1 inch storage area as well as tons of nursing reference materials printed on the front.

For the nursing student who is required to bring 1,560,435 pages with them to clinical, this can be a great solution.

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nursing school kit

Nursing School Starter Kit

For the nurse or student who wants to take all the thinking out of what to buy this premium option includes educational and clinical materials.

Includes: Littman Classic II SE stethoscope, storage nursing clipboard, nursing report sheet (25 pack), nurse penlight with neuro badge card, trauma sheers, and hemostat.

PLUS: 4 books (140 Must Know Meds, 63 Lab Values for Nurses, 108 Nursing Mnemonics, N is for Nurse), Scrubcheats, and NRSNG lapel pin.

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Nursing Bag

So, nurses generally carry shoes, scrubs, notes, books, stethoscope, name badges, pens, etc, etc . . . with them between work, home, and school.  Finding a bag that can carry all this gear is tough especially a bag that can carry work shoes.

There are tons of options for bags for nurses.  Some prefer just a backpack while others prefer one more tailored to nursing.  They make great gifts because they can be a bit pricey but are necessary to working as a nurse.

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nursing portable pulse ox


RELATED ARTICLE: What Nurses REALLY Do All Day? (12 Hour Shift in 12 Pics)


Portable Pulse Oxemitry

Again, this might seem like a nerdy gift . . . but I promise you . . . the nurse who has their own portable pulse ox is going to be the most popular nurse on the floor!

This is one tool I always wish I had in my pocket.  Nurses check patients O2 sats at least every 4 hours and possibly every hour or even more in an ED or ICU setting.

While hospitals have tools for this, it can be handy to have your own in a pinch.

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nursing penlight

Nursing Penlight

Being able to correctly assess you patient is critical to providing holistic patient care.  We’ve developed a pen light that is really 4 tools in one (penlight, pen, stylus, and neuro badge reference card).

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littman cardiology iii


Please . . . PLEASE . . . please . . . don’t let any nurse you know ever arrive on the hospital floor without a decent stethoscope!  It might feel a bit Grey’s Anatomoy-ish . . . but nurses should wear their stethoscope with them at all times.

One of the problems (joys) of working in a hospital is that you never know what is going to happen next.  A GOOD stethoscope can bail a nurse out of a really sticky situation.

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FASHION: clothing gifts for nursing students


Nursing Socks

A good pair of socks is a must have for nurses. I once clocked how many miles I walked during a single shift around my ICU . . . it was over 7 miles during the 12 hours!

I have used many socks during my years as a nurse.  Here are my favorite athletic socks that I’ve used many years as a nurse.

But . . .if you want something a bit more fun and nurse themed as a gift for a nursing student, try the ones below.

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rn necklace

RN Charm Necklace

I’ve never been much of a jewelry wearer myself .  .  . so I might not be the best judge on this one, but many of my co-workers have worn beautiful RN necklaces similar to this one.

These make very beautiful jewelry and give nurses a nice way to show their pride.

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nursing compression sock

EKG Nursing Compression Sock

Running around a busy nursing unit takes a toll on your legs and feet . . . take it from me.

To combat this fatigue, many nurses rely on compression stockings.  Graduated compression socks for nurses with a bit of nursing fun can make a wonderful . . .and well used gift for nurses.

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comfortable nursing scrubs

Comfortable Nursing Scrubs

Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . nurses hear it all the time from their friends: “I wish I could wear scrubs to work like you!” . . . scrubs CAN be nice to wear, but if you wear the wrong ones . . .it’s NO BUENO!

Our friends at Benefit Medical Appearal have developed a line of cozy and functional scrubs designed for the active nurse.

View Benefit Scrubs

nurse watch gift for nursing students

Nurses Watch

A nursing watch makes a wonderful gift for nurses given that nurses have to check the time like every second!

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Nursing shirt

Nursing T-Shirt

If anything . . . nurses are proud of what we do!  It’s nice to have a way to show the world you’re a nurse when not on duty.  This shirt here is a cozy graphite v-neck with a subtle little message to the world that you are proud to be a nurse.

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BOOKS: gifts for the nurse who reads


 N is for Nurse

N is for Nurse by best selling nurse-author Jon Haws RN CCRN is a is a full-color ABC book for grown-up nurses, with a powerful message about what is means to “be a nurse”. N is for Nurse looks and feels like a classic picture book. But it’s not for kids, it’s for nurses and nursing students who are proud of being RN.

Learn More

Nursing Mnemonics

Are you ready to Take Your Studies to the Next Level? Mnemonics are a proven way to increase the speed of learning and length of retention.

This Mnemonic book for nurses and nursing students is packed full of 94 mnemonics with full descriptions and images to help you accelerate your learning.

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delegation for nursing students

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment

Yeah, I know . . . this isn’t the most exciting list of gifts for nursing students ever but let me just say one thing . . . I want every student to actually become a nurse and rock it on the clinical floor.

In order to do that, I have found VERY few books that can help students prepare for real world nursing apart from this one.

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the joy of nursing book

The Joy of Nursing

Juliana Adams recounts her journey as a nurse in this beautiful memoir.  This is a great read for anyone either considering nursing or the experienced nurse.  I actually interviewed Juliana on the podcast which you can listen to here.

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140 must know meds pharm book

140 Must Know Meds

Pharmacology makes up 15% of the NCLEX® test plan. For many nurses medications and pharmacology can be a difficult subject. But not anymore! If you are ready to finally take your NCLEX® Pharmacology studies to the next level, this is the perfect book for you!

This book essentially takes the guess work out of your studies and allows you to focus your valuable time on learning exactly what you NEED to know.

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good books for nurses


Stiff offers a morbid yet entertaining look into the “curious lives of human cadavers”.  I read the entire book on a flight as I was unable to put it down.  The book makes a wonderful gift for nursing students who have already taken Anatomy and Physiology as they are able to see the entire cycle of the bodies they learned on . . . I think it enstills a new appreciation.

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the icu book for nursesThe ICU Book

Hands down . . . this is the MUST have book for all beginning and experienced nurses.  This one book, written by Dr. Marino, provides so much information for the nurse.

It is pricey . . . but so worth it!  Given the cost of the book, it makes a wonderful present for nursing students.

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FUN: silly nursing gifts

rn sticker

RN Sticker

One of the first things I bought myself after graduating nursing school was a sticker for my car.

I was so damn proud of being a nurse that I wanted the entire world to know.  This little sticker is cheap and sends a message about who you are to anyone that sees you.  Makes a fun stocking stuffer.

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 funny coffee mug for nurses

Prescription Coffee Mug

Caffeine plays as much a part in nursing care as anything else . . .I remember when I first started on the night shift my body composition probably changed to about 80% caffeine as I adjusted to the change in sleep schedules.

This fun mug makes a wonderful and practical gift for any nurse or medical professional.

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ekg toilet paper

EKG Toilet Paper

Every nurse has to do two things . . . learn EKGs . . . and poop!

What better place to learn your heart rhythms than sitting on the can.  This makes a fun and silly gift for any nurse.

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nursing tote

I Will Stab You: Nursing Tote

For this light hearted/bad ass nurse . . . this makes a perfect tote. This high quality bag makes a silly gift any time of year for a nurse.

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nurse buttons

Nurse Buttons

Tiny buttons with funny sayings for nurses to place anywhere.  This makes a fun and easy stocking stuffer for any nurse.

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nursing shot glass

Nursing Shot Glass

Sometimes the only thing that get’s a nurse through a shift from hell is knowing they have a shot glass waiting for them on the other side!

For just a couple bucks, this makes a great graduation gift or retirement gift for nurses.

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So there you have it . . . a solid list of ideas for gifts for nurses and nursing students.

It can be hard to please a nurse (just ask my wife).   But I hope this list helps give you a few ideas.



best gifts for nurses

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