Practical Gifts for Nurses to Honor Their Service

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Practical Gifts for Nurses

I’m sure you’ve seen your share of trinkets recently to celebrate nurses and honor them for stepping up as heroes during the 2020 global pandemic. After all, the world wants to honor these nurses as healthcare heroes. However, what do nurses really want?  I reached out to my community of amazing nurses and asked them what would be meaningful to them. And here is what they said, “Put the trinkets away and instead, focus on practical gifts for nurses.”

Here is a list of practical gifts nurses would appreciate and find meaningful:

Feed them (maybe)

Crystal Pompos, a nurse manager at Moffitt Cancer Center, said that nurses love food! I know donuts are easy to send but consider sending them a nutritious meal or a box of individually wrapped almonds, protein bars, or basket of fruit.  However, she’s managed teams that didn’t appreciate food at all. Crystal recommends knowing your teams “appreciation language” is key to really being able to personalize any gifts.

Another food tip is to send a meal to a nurse’s home if you know them. What a wonderful surprise to come home after a long day/night at work to find a meal already prepared and ready to enjoy with their family!

Gift cards, gift cards, and gift cards!

Several nurses replied that gift cards are the way to go. That way, nurses can buy what they need. For example, Yehudis Appel appreciates gift cards to a store that sells scrubs, while Sunnie Diaz appreciates gift cards related to self-care (I love a pedicure myself!). Others thought gift cards for items such as stethoscopes, shoes, or compression stockings were practical gifts nurses would appreciate.

Can you guess another gift card request? Coffee of course!

Compression stockings

Speaking of compression stockings, I was surprised at how many nurses included this as a practical gift! Leslie Morris, Melanie Dawn, Jenn Bonifield Brunworth, Jessika Casey (and more) all appreciated socks that supported them at work. This reinforces that nurses are on their feet all day and truly appreciate the “support”!

Financial support for continuing education

This is one of my favorite practical gifts – send me to a conference, pay for a subscription to a nursing journal or membership, support my intent to become the very best nurse I can be through ongoing and continuous education.  Ruth Hemingway-Frior, Joyce A. Becker, Larecia Gill, Laurel Pilkington, Mary Amoroso Vest, Kristin Paulson (and more) all agree! Anything that can help nurses reach their full potential, bring it on! Books, cover our shifts, online education, or coaching sessions, all support growth.

Especially now. Nurses need help to cope with the overwhelming burnout they’re feeling. Help them reduce burnout by learning the strategies to go from exhausted to extraordinary! Mental, emotional, and physical energy are required to keep up with the demands our world is placing upon them. We can help!


Yes! Many nurses actually said they would love a nice pen! Perhaps it’s because as soon as you find one, someone takes it!  Tracy Valentino Cook, Brenda Weegman, and many others asked for a NICE pen.

Handwritten note

Of all the practical gifts for nurses listed, this one is practically free. However, they can be the most meaningful. As Susan Marie shared, a handwritten note from their boss for a specific reason (not a generic one) meant the most to the majority of nurses we asked. A heart-felt note about how they made a difference – really did make the biggest difference! 

Recognizing nurses doesn’t have to be complicated. What it does have to be is practical and meaningful!

From Exhausted to Extraordinary Course

Find out how you can go From Exhausted to Extraordinary by clicking here.

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