10 Gifts for the Graduating Nurse

That time of year has come; your friend or family member has sacrificed so much for this moment: nursing school graduation. And that’s not including what’s next for them: the NCLEX . So why not surprise them with something they’ll actually want during this graduation season? Give them something that will make their transition from nursing student to nurse go a little more smoothly.  Here are ten great gifts for the graduating nursing student!

Related: Tips for Surviving the NCLEX.

A watch (wristwatch or fob, engraving optional). Let’s face it, nurses pretty much need to use a watch for many things, from checking respirations and heart rates to documenting time. Furthermore, a watch is useful for practical, everyday time management. So surprise the nurse in your life with a really nice one.

A salon or spa gift card . Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage or stress-free (and FREE) pedicure? Surprise the hardworking student with a moment of relaxation before starting to study for the NCLEX.

A keepsake box . A nurse’s job is full of ups and downs. Why not provide something to remember the ups? A simple box filled with encouraging notes from family and friends can go a long way in cheering someone up. Even better, nurses often get cards and letters from patients that they’ve helped. They can continue to store happy notes in this box, making it the gift that keeps on giving. Provide the nurse in your life with a box filled with positive and heartwarming messages that she can open after a long, stressful day.


A stethoscope . Definitely a practical gift, a stethoscope is a great way to give to a nurse. Stethoscopes can get stolen, so you could go even bigger and get it engraved with your nurse’s name, eliminating that “finders keepers” problem. But remember, nurses are pretty specific about the tools that they like to use, so be sure to ask your nurse which type is preferred, or give a gift card to purchase a specific stethoscope. (Remember that controversy about Miss Colorado, the nurse with the stethoscope ?)

Shoes (or shoe orthotics). Nurses walk a lot, and comfortable shoes are key. Offer to take your nurse out to buy the shoes that feel most comfortable, or provide a gift card for a shoe store. Again, shoes are particular for each person, so it’s better if you ask for their input on this practical and health-enhancing gift.

Subscription to a nursing journal . Help your nurse stay updated on important trends or emerging studies in their profession. Sure, this may not be the most inspired or fun gift, but journal subscriptions aren’t cheap, and there’s definitely some interesting content to learn about.

Something cozy for the home. A soft blanket, a tea collection, candles, a really luxurious pillow -- these are all gifts that will nurture the nurturer when times get tough. Nurses work long shifts that can often be stressful and taxing; help them relax after work and fall asleep in a comforting environment. There are even gift subscription boxes for things like candles and tea, allowing you to make relaxation a monthly present. Help your nurse’s home become a retreat after a long day spent selflessly serving others.

A trip or weekend getaway . Your nurse has spent so much time studying that an escape may be just what's needed. This type of gift can be something small, even a staycation at a hotel in your city! Be sure to chat with them about scheduling, but who doesn’t love a surprise trip to a lake, or a weekend yoga retreat? The NCLEX is next, so help your nurse escape for a couple of days before the studying commences again!

An Amazon gift card . Nurses are pretty particular about their favorite type of equipment to use, like which compression socks they prefer or what scrubs are allowed in their hospital. Let your nurse decide by gifting money to spend at the largest online retailer in the United States. Everyone loves  gift cards from Amazon!

A patient to keep alive: a house plant . Countless studies have proven that having plants in the home leads to a healthier lifestyle. If your nurse doesn't have a green thumb to speak of, gift a plant that's easy to take care of, like aloe or bamboo (aloe even has healing properties). As the plant grows, your nurse will fondly remember its significance and appreciate its beauty.

What was your favorite gift for graduating from nursing school? Tell us what you would add to this list.

And congrats to all our future nurses out there! We look forward to helping you find the best hospital to work for !


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