31 Best Gifts for Nurses and Nursing Students ( Christmas and Graduation gifts under $50)

gifts for nurses

Nursing is a lifestyle … it’s so much more than a job. Nurses are inducted into a secret society …  bound by a lifetime pact to save lives.

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

We thrive on our secret language, killer sense of humor . . . and an unpredictable sleep schedule. And pots of coffee, lots of coffee.

Nurses are a rare breed with unique needs. I figured it’d be great to compile a gigantic list of best nursing student gifts ideas. I hope these ideas will help you make life easier for the budding nurse in your life.

They need your help to crack the code and join the coveted ranks of RN.

The best gifts for nurses are in four categories (in order):

  • Tool
  • Fashion
  • Books
  • Fun

TOOLS: Nursing tools best gift ideas

ScrubCheats

scrubcheats clinical reference sheets

It’s no secret that nurses are a fountain of knowledge. Nurses read, memorize, and understand a gazillion pages of medical information.

And that takes time and practice. Gifting a nurse or a nursing student scrubcheat is a great way to ease this burden. Not only does a scrubcheat make a fun study companion … but it also helps nurses remain sharp and knowledgeable.  Makes a great Christmas or Graduation gift.

Pros

  • An extensive deck with 106 cards
  • Features latest medical information
  • Made from durable, high-quality material
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • It’s a tad bulky
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Nursing Clipboard 

It’s not secret … nurses struggle to stay organized in a busy, often chaotic work environment. A nursing clipboard is the one gift that can help a nurse stay organized … and sane.

Our pick of the best nursing clipboard keeps you from being overburdened … so you can run into a code brown or blue unhindered. It packs the reports and color-coded medical cheat sheets into a sleek and stylish folder.

This nursing clipboard puts the nurse in control. It provides all the information a nurse needs without bogging them down.

Pros

  • Sleek, stylish, and portable
  • Durable and water-resistant
  • Made from premium PVC material
  • Features access to an online resource library

Cons

  • It doesn’t include a hematology sheet
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IV Practice Arm Training Kit 

iv arm gift for nurses

Handling patients is a delicate task … it needs finesses, skills, and confidence. Student nurses need to practice and refine their craft into an art form to excel in their careers.

An IV practice arm training kits are the perfect gift for a student nurse. It allows them to polish and perfect the ability to hook up an IV to a patient’s arm.

Gifting a student nurse this kit demonstrates utmost care and support.

Pros

  • It has a realistic feel
  • Wearable design
  • Hardwearing for extended usage
  • Ships with all supplies

Cons 

  • Can’t handle heavy usage
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Nursing Bag 

nursing bag gift for students

Nurses tend to lug around a lot of stuff … they often shuffle between home, work, and school. From scrubs to shoes to notebooks to their tool of trades … they need a practical carrying solution.

Backpacks are great …. but nursing bags are better. They’re both practical and stylish, and tailored to a nurse’s specific needs.

Nursing bags are thoughtful gifts for nurses because they accommodate everything, they need heading out the door … from cellphone to coffee to go.

Pros

  • Cool and stylish tote bag
  • Doubles as an insulated lunch bag
  • It comes with a stainless tumbler
  • Made from quality durable materials

Cons

  • Limited color options
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Portable Pulse Oximetry

pulse oximeter

Techy and nerdy … we understand why you might hesitate to consider an Oximeter. But is promise you … a personal pulse ox is one of the best gifts for nurses.

Nurses take patients’ oxygen readings almost every four hours … every hour in the HDU and ICU setting. Having a portable pulse ox handy saves them time.

Patients are happier if you don’t keep them waiting … and it saves you an extra trip.

Pros 

  • One-size fits all
  • Accurate and detailed readings
  • Large display screen
  • Remarkable battery life
  • Ultralightweight

Cons

  • Silicone cover tends to slip off
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CAVN Pen Light with Pupil Gauge 

Nurses go the extra mile for their patients … including trying to light out their world. But shining a light into someone’s eyes can be a tricky undertaking … unless you have the right penlight.

You don’t want one that shines too bright and startles the patient. Or one that quits on you after a few uses.

The best penlights find the right balance … they are classy, professional, and extremely durable.

Pros

  • A perfectly balanced light beam
  • Ships with batteries
  • It uses a bulb instead of an LED
  • Sturdy with long battery life

Cons 

  • Requires a little more effort to turn off
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ADC Stethoscope 

nursing student stethoscope

Let’s face it … a stethoscope commands respect on the hospital floor. You come off as a savvy professional … ready to save lives. You should, no, you must always keep one on you.

A reliable stethoscope will not only serve you for a long time … while constantly saving the day.

Pros 

  • Superior acoustics for seamless performance
  • Compact, durable, and comfortable
  • Includes accessories
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • It might be a tad heavier
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BOVKE Stethoscope Holster 

Nurses are tidy, organized … and short on time. You need to keep your precious tools handy … and safe.

You simply can’t have your expensive stethoscope rupturing prematurely. Or worrying over misplaced pens, thermometers, or scissors.

This stethoscope case eliminates this headache quickly … and stylishly.

Pros 

  • Classy, stylish, and spacious
  • Pressure and shockproof
  • Dust, water, and scratch-resistant

Cons 

  • It’s not a hard case
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Uni-ball Retractable Pens 

Nurses thrive on keeping accurate records … in a chaotic environment. An ordinary pen simply won’t do.

Retractable pens, preferably with pressurized, quick-drying ink, make you a superhero. You can write on wet paper from some impossible angles.

Pros 

  • Light, textured rubber grip
  • Waterproof for seamless charting
  • Retractable and smudge-free
  • Fine point

Cons 

  • It lacks a lanyard hole
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Spill-proof Coffee Mug

coffee mug for nurses

Nurses run around … a lot. Sometimes it feels like running a marathon. Hence, they need to stay hydrated. A spill-proof tumbler or coffee mug will do the trick.

A nurse can have their hot coffee on the go – minus the spilling or scalding hazard. Or keep their favorite beverage cold and refreshing … for hours of delicious sipping.

Pros

  • Made from stainless steel
  • Keeps drinks hot for 5 hours
  • Keeps drinks cold for 12 hours
  • One-hand grip
  • Spill-proof

Cons

  • It might be hard to clean

EKG Calipers

Nurses heart their patients. Corny but true… they regularly monitor heartbeats to detect anomalies. EKG calipers is a thoughtful gift for a nurse as it sharpens the ability to read and interpret charts.

Reading and interpreting EKG can be scary and overwhelming. It takes lots of practice to build the skills and confidence. Get this for a student nurse, and they’ll treasure it forever.

Pros 

  • Strong and sturdy
  • Tight and doesn’t move around
  • It comes with 3 ECG cheat sheets
  • It comes with a plastic safety case

Cons

  • The cards are small
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Trauma Shears

Nurses are handy with scissors … they must be when attending to medical emergencies. ER nurses use trauma shears to cut away clothing from trauma patients … sometimes, they must slay stubborn EMS straps to rescue a patient.

A good pair of trauma shears make quick work of any clothing item to spare a nurses’ hands.

Pros 

  • Made from premium stainless steel
  • Serrated blade with a razor-sharp edge
  • Nonslip handle with contoured grip
  • Rounded tipped to enhanced safety

Cons 

  • They might feel a bit light

Fashion: Best Clothing Gifts for Nursing Students

Compression Socks

Nurses spend a good chunk of their day on their feet. That gives our legs a quick workout … it’s not unusual for a nurse to walk over 7 miles in a 12-hour shift.

Compression socks are both functional and stylish. They help nurses keep their feet happy and healthy… and come in various styles and colors.

Pros 

  • Improves blood circulation in the legs
  • Comfy and long-lasting
  • Prevent cramping, swelling, and fatigue
  • Unisex

Cons 

  • All socks are knee-high
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Hand Creams

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Nurses were fastidiously washing their hands long before the pandemic made it a staple … and will continue after it’s long gone. But hospitals use harsh soaps and detergents … rightly so because pesky germs aren’t welcome.

Gifting a nurse or student nurse a gentle cream helps heal, repair, and relieve their skin. It shows a deep appreciation for what the nurses endure to keep safe and sanitary.

Pros

  • Repairs cracked skin
  • Boost moisture levels and retention
  • Delivers fast results
  • Specially crafted for the working hands

Cons 

  • Only available in small tubes

Registered Nurse Pendant

Going through nursing school takes plenty of effort … and then some. Nurses must earn their stripes to wear these beautiful pendants.

Wearing this pendant tells all and sundry that one prides in their calling as a nurse. We’re proud to help patients regain their health and improve their quality of life.

Pros

  • Made from sterling silver
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Classy and beautifully designed
  • High-quality jewelry

Cons

  • Larger than standard pendants
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Comfy Nursing Scrubs

Yeah, I’ll say it … it feels nice to rock scrubs to work. They’re nice, comfy, and loose … but only if you pick the best. Nice fitting scrubs are a lifesaver.

Breathable, moisture-wicking, and easy to launder are among the best gifts for a nurse. It keeps a nurse as they respond to all manners of emergencies.

Pros 

  • Available in multiple colors
  • Multiple pockets
  • Great quality fabric
  • A complete set

Cons 

  • Measurements vary
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Nurses Watch 

nurse watch gift

Ordinarily, timepieces are fashionable … but to a nurse, a watch is a tool of the trade. We need a reliable way to tell the time … we can’t afford to take chances when taking vital readings.

But not all watches make a nice gift for nurses. We prefer one that’s easy to clip on our scrub and easy to sanitize … gotta keep away the pesky germs.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Easy to clean and sanitize
  • Easily attaches to a pocket or stethoscope
  • Can glow in the dark

Cons

  • The clip could be sturdier
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Nursing T-shirt

Nurses are essential … there, I said it. We help save lives, recover from life-threatening injuries, and chronic diseases. In a nutshell … we matter.

So, it’s only fair that we take pride in our careers and let the entire world know we love our jobs … without getting in your face.

A proud nursing t-shirt is an excellent present for a nurse or a graduation gift.

Pros

  • Made from lightweight, durable fabric
  • High-quality printing inks and graphics
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Environmental-friendly

Cons 

  • Limited designs

Books: BestGifts That Nourish A Nurse’s Mind 

N is for Nurse

Sometimes nurses a fun and colorful reminder … why nursing is a calling more than a career. This classic picture book captures the essence of being a nurse in a fun and exciting manner.

It carries a powerful message about what being a nurse entails … it’s a must-have for every nurse.

Pros 

  • Highlights the core values of being a nurse
  • Full-color picture books
  • Available in different formats
  • Authored by a Registered Nurse

Cons 

  • It’s only 60 pages

Nursing Mnemonics

There’s no denying it … nurses are avid, voracious readers. But there’s a ton of materials to read and memorize in nursing schools.

And we need to keep these concepts at our fingertips and rattle them at the top of our heads. This book is the perfect gift for a budding nurse … it takes away the chore from reading.

Mnemonics is just what the doctor ordered … when you need to breeze through nursing school and graduate in the top percentile.

Pros 

  • Customized Mnemonics for nurses
  • Geared towards NCLEX-RN exam
  • 100+ memory tricks
  • Improves learning speed and retention

Cons 

  • Could a better editorial standard

Prioritization, Delegation, and Assignment: Practice Exercises for the NCLEX Examination 3rd Edition

Yeah, it’s quite a mouthful … but this is one of the few books that every nurse who kills it in nursing school swears by.

Besides helping nurses’ breeze through the exams, this book prepares them for the real world. It’s an ideal gift because it molds world-class nurses who kick ass on the clinical floor.

Pros

  • The gold standard for the NCLEX exam
  • Brimming with helpful practice questions
  • Improves critical thinking and reasoning
  • Easy to ready

Cons

  • Use a dry writing style

The Joy of Nursing

It’s worth repeating … nursing is a calling, not a career. This beautifully written memoir gives a detailed account of what it takes to be a nurse.

Juliana Adam shares her experiences as a nurse … that run the gamut … from heart soaring to heart-wrenching. It’s the eye-opener that a fledgling nurse needs to temper expectations. Or a seasoned veteran needs to reconnect with their calling.

Pros 

  • A gripping and compelling story
  • Based on true events
  • Fun and easy to read
  • Deep and insightful

Cons 

  • Could use higher editorial standards

140 Must Know Meds

Pharmacology is a critical part of a nurses’ toolkit. But most books … yawn … read like Wikipedia. They make you work for all information … instead of presenting it quickly and simply.

Jon Haws, a CCRN Alumnus, cuts the clutter and clears the noise in this book. With the help of this book, any nurse will breeze through the medications and pharmacology part of the NCLEX test plan.

Pros 

  • Concise and well written
  • Detailed and useful information
  • Easy to ready
  • A quick guide

Cons

  • Could use better editorial standards

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers 

I will skip right over the double entendre … and point out that no better book explores the subjects of human cadavers with this degree of hilarity.

Aptly named funniest and most unusual book by Entertainment Weekly, this book dulls the edge of working with cadavers. It explores their … good deeds … over the centuries with a sidesplitting but educational lens.

Pros

  • Funny and humorous
  • Highly educational
  • Well-researched
  • It makes light of an otherwise dull subject

Cons 

  • A difficult read for some

The ICU Book 

Working with ICU patients requires skills, advanced knowledge, and expertise. This book packs all the information a nurse needs to kick ass in intensive care units.

It’s a valuable gift for nurses at all stages … seasoned veterans, and beginner nurses.

Pros 

  • Authored by a medical practitioner
  • Detailed and informative
  • Explores medical and surgical facets of critical care
  • Contains best practices

Cons

  • Pricey

Fun: Silly Nursing Gifts

Prescription Coffee Mug

Nurses may not write prescriptions for patients, but you may very well prescribe yourself a cup of Joe. This large prescription ceramic mug is what … erm … the nurse ordered.

Pros

  • Made from high-quality ceramic
  • Humorous message
  • Attention-grabbing

Cons 

  • Handwash only

I Will Stab You

We can legally stab you … with a syringe, of course. And we take pride in it but only because it’s good for your health.

Pros

  • Humorous gift item
  • Large carrying capacity
  • Durable
  • Water-resistant

Cons 

  • The tote bag is unzippered

Nurse Buttons 

We could use a chuckle every now and then … especially when reaching into the fridge after pulling a long shift. Magnets are a fun and functional gift to a nurse.

Pros

  • It comes with fun sayings
  • Practical and useful
  • A set of four buttons

What Do You Meme? Nurses Edition 

We are a fun bunch … our sense of humor is different but trust me, we are humorous. And we love memes that we can relate to every day.

Pros

  • Fun and humorous gift
  • Great way to bond with family
  • A perfect way to unwind
  • 300+ cards

Cons 

  • Pictures could be better

Not to brag but nurses down shots bought with money made from wait for it … saving lives. These shot glasses make a great souvenir.

Pros

  • Fun and practical gift
  • Holds two ounces
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Durable branding

Unbreakable Wine Tumbler 

A little wine is always welcome as we soak in the tub or catch up on light reading. Unbreakable wine tumbler? Yaay, we’ll treasure it forever.

Pros 

  • Fun and thoughtful gift
  • Durable and cute
  • Practical and functional
  • Thoughtful accessories

Conclusion 

And there it is … a solid list of ideas for best gifts for nurses and nursing students.

Nurses can be hard to crack, but any pick from this thoughtful list will do the trick.

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