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The Ultimate Gift Guide For the Nurses In Your Life

Nurses are the unsung heroes of the healthcare world, working tirelessly to provide care and comfort to their patients. Their demanding schedules and long shifts can be incredibly challenging, making it all the more important to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. 

Thoughtful gifts that cater to their on-call needs, help them prepare for lengthy shifts, and allow them to unwind during their off-hours can make a significant difference in their lives. In this blog, we’ll explore a range of ideas designed to support and pamper the nurses in your life, ensuring they feel valued and cared for every step of the way.

On-Call Gifts for Nurses

Appreciation gifts that make life easier when working a 12-hour shift

Nurses have some of the toughest jobs out there, often powering through long, demanding shifts that keep them on their feet and constantly on the go. To help make those grueling hours a bit easier, we’ve rounded up some of the best on-call gifts for nurses. These thoughtful and practical items are designed to bring a little comfort, convenience, and joy to their workday. 

Belt Purse (Fanny Pack)

Belt purse for nurses with medical supplies

Photo courtesy of Nursingtools.com

A belt purse, like the Kanga Pak, is an essential tool for any nurse. These compact, hands-free bags provide a convenient way to carry essential items like pens, lights, and snacks. On those particularly hectic days, having a fanny pack means that everything a nurse needs is within easy reach. 

Underscrubs

woman wearing FIGS underscrubs

Photo courtesy of FIGS

Hospitals tend to be a bit chilly, and underscrubs offer a perfect solution for added warmth without bulk. These lightweight layers fit comfortably under standard scrubs, providing an extra layer of insulation. In addition to keeping nurses warm, underscrubs are often designed with moisture-wicking properties to help them stay dry and comfortable throughout their shift. 

Some top brands include:

  • FIGS - Known for their stylish and high-performance medical apparel, FIGS underscrubs are both comfortable and functional.
  • Cherokee - A trusted name in medical wear, Cherokee offers a variety of durable and comfortable underscrubs.
  • Medelita - Specializing in premium medical apparel, Medelita’s underscrubs are made from high-quality, performance fabrics that enhance comfort and durability.

Satin Scrub Caps 

woman wearing blue scrubs and gray satin-lined scrub cap

Photo courtesy of Grace Eleyae.

Traditional scrub caps can be rough on the hair, leading to breakage and dryness. Satin scrub caps provide a gentle alternative, reducing friction and helping to maintain hair health. 

The smooth texture of satin helps retain natural moisture, which prevents hair from becoming dry and brittle. For nurses who wear scrub caps for long periods, this can make a significant difference in their hair health and comfort. 

Some of the best brands for satin scrub caps are:

  • Grace Eleyae - Offers a variety of stylish and comfortable satin-lined caps designed to protect hair.
  • KimKaps - Known for their fun and functional designs, KimKaps includes satin-lined options to help reduce hair damage.

Compression Socks 

Person wearing black compression socks

Photo courtesy of CompressionZ. 

Nurses spend long hours on their feet, which can lead to swelling and discomfort. Compression socks are designed to enhance blood flow, reducing the risk of blood clots. These socks provide graduated compression, which helps to reduce swelling and improve comfort during those long shifts. Compression socks also offer extra support and cushioning, making long periods of standing or walking much more bearable. 

Top brands for compression socks include:

  • CompressionZ - Known for their durable and comfortable compression socks, ideal for long shifts.
  • Bombas - Popular for their stylish and supportive compression socks.
  • Sockwell - Provides a variety of compression socks with different compression levels and stylish designs.

Health & Fitness Trackers

Person wearing Oura Ring holding a jumprope

Photo courtesy of Oura Ring.

Keeping track of health and fitness can be challenging for nurses with their demanding schedules. Health and fitness trackers, such as smartwatches, like an Apple Watch or Garmin, or the Oura Ring provide valuable insights into activity levels, sleep patterns, and overall health. These devices make it much easier for nurses to monitor their own health, set fitness goals, and manage their busy lives more effectively. 

Amplified or Digital Stethoscope

3M™ Littmann® CORE Digital Stethoscope

Photo courtesy of 3M Littmann.

Stethoscopes are a crucial tool for nurses, and amplified or digital versions offer superior sound clarity. These stethoscopes enhance the ability to hear heartbeats, lung sounds, and other bodily functions, crucial for accurate diagnoses. For nurses with hearing impairments or those working in noisy environments, amplified stethoscopes can significantly improve diagnostic capabilities. 

Digital stethoscopes often come with noise-canceling features, reducing background noise and allowing nurses to focus on important sounds. 

Some top brands include:

  • 3M Littmann - Known for their high-quality stethoscopes, Littmann offers digital models like the Littmann Core Digital Stethoscope, providing excellent sound amplification and noise cancellation.
  • Eko - A leader in digital stethoscope technology, Eko offers stethoscopes that combine advanced audio amplification with digital recording and analysis features.
  • Thinklabs - The Thinklabs One Digital Stethoscope is renowned for its compact design and superior sound quality, making it a popular choice among healthcare professionals.

Shift Prep Gifts for Nurses

Appreciation gifts that make life easier when getting ready for a 12-hour shift

Preparing for a 12-hour shift is no small feat, especially for nurses who need to stay alert, organized, and comfortable throughout the day. The right gear can make all the difference in ensuring they’re ready to tackle whatever comes their way. From practical backpacks to soothing sleep systems, these shift prep gifts are designed to help nurses start their day on the right foot and keep them going strong until the end of their shift. 

Backpack

Woman carrying Day Owl Pro backpack

A reliable backpack is a must-have for any nurse preparing for a long shift. It should provide ample space and compartments to organize and carry essential items such as medical supplies, personal belongings, snacks, and a change of clothes. 

A well-designed backpack can make it easier to keep everything in order, ensuring that important items are always within reach. 

The Day Owl Backpack Pro is a versatile option that combines durability with a sleek design, perfect for both work and personal use. Its multiple compartments and sturdy construction make it ideal for carrying everything a nurse might need for a 12-hour shift.

If a backpack isn’t perfect for the nurse you love, Day Owl also carries handy and super cute pouches to hold everything from a stethoscope to charging cords. We also carry a crossbody bag with a very popular quick-release magnetic clasp that goes great with scrubs and can easily carry quick tools for hospital rounds. 

We know hospitals have a LOT of waste but this won’t be part of it—Day Owl bags are completely recycled and the most sustainable bags on the market.

Day Owl also always offers 30% off for nurses and hospital workers. Just verify their ID in the cart before checkout and enjoy an extra bit of appreciation.  

Lunch Box

Stacks of bento boxes

Photo courtesy of The Spruce Eats

A dedicated lunch box allows the nurse in your life to pack and carry their meals easily, helping them keep healthier eating habits while saving money. Bento boxes with thermoses are particularly popular because they keep meals organized and warm. Additionally, many lunch boxes come with insulation or compartments for ice packs, ensuring that their food stays fresh and at the desired temperature, whether hot or cold. 

Tumbler or Travel Mug

Yeti 30 oz. Tumbler

Photo courtesy of YETI.

Nurses often need their coffee or tea to stay alert during long shifts, but they don’t always have the time to drink it right away. Tumblers and travel mugs are designed to keep beverages hot or cold for extended periods, ensuring that nurses can enjoy their drinks at the perfect temperature whenever they have a moment to take a sip. Choose an option that is spill-proof or leak-proof to reduce the risk of accidental spills in busy hospital environments. 

Some top brands include:

  • YETI - Known for their rugged and highly durable products, YETI tumblers and travel mugs are excellent at maintaining temperature and built to withstand tough environments.
  • Hydro Flask - Renowned for their excellent insulation, Hydro Flask products keep drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours, making them ideal for long shifts.
  • Contigo - Offers a wide range of travel mugs and tumblers with spill-proof and leak-proof designs, perfect for busy healthcare settings.

Wireless Headphones

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation)

Photo courtesy of Apple.

Wireless headphones are a game-changer for nurses, providing the freedom to move around without being tethered to a device. Whether they’re on their way into the hospital or trying to unwind during a break, wireless headphones are the perfect appreciation gift for nurses to help them listen to their favorite music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Many wireless headphones also come with noise-canceling features, which can block out the busy hospital environment, allowing nurses to relax and recharge. 

Some top brands include:

  • Apple  - Known for their seamless integration with Apple devices, excellent sound quality, and active noise cancellation features.
  • Bose - Renowned for their exceptional noise-canceling technology, Bose wireless headphones like the QuietComfort series are highly regarded for comfort and sound quality.
  • Sony - Offers a range of high-quality wireless headphones, including the WH-1000XM4 and WF-1000XM4 models, known for their superior noise cancellation and sound performance.

Sleep System

Hatch Restore 2 sleep system

Photo courtesy of Hatch.

A good sleep system can make a difference for nurses who need to catch up on rest after their demanding shifts. White noise machines and other sound systems can help mask disruptive noises, creating a more peaceful sleep environment and help your favorite nurse enjoy deeper, uninterrupted sleep.

Listening to calming sounds can also help reduce stress or anxiety, making it easier for nurses to unwind and relax. A sleep sound system can provide a consistent auditory backdrop, which is especially helpful for nurses with irregular schedules who may need to sleep during the day. 

Some leading brands include:

  • Hatch - Known for the Hatch Restore, which combines a white noise machine with a smart light and alarm clock, offering a comprehensive sleep aid that can be controlled via a smartphone app.
  • LectroFan - Offers an extensive range of white noise and fan sounds, known for their quality and variety.

Off-Call Gifts for Nurses

Appreciation gifts to help your favorite nurse relax when off-duty

When nurses finally get some well-deserved time off, it’s crucial that they have the opportunity to relax and recharge. Thoughtful off-call gifts can help them unwind, indulge in self-care, and enjoy their downtime to the fullest. 

Subscription Boxes 

HelloFresh subscription box

Photo courtesy of HelloFresh.

Subscription boxes are a delightful way to treat nurses to something special on a regular basis. These boxes can be tailored to their interests and needs, offering a monthly dose of joy and convenience. Here are a few options and top picks to consider:

Snack Subscription Boxes

Healthy and delicious snacks delivered right to their door can be a great way to help nurses maintain their energy levels and enjoy new treats. Some excellent options include:

  • NatureBox - Provides nutritious snack options with a focus on natural ingredients.
  • SnackNation - Delivers curated boxes of snacks that focus on health and wellness.

Grocery Subscription Boxes

Grocery subscription boxes can save nurses valuable time and effort by delivering fresh, high-quality produce and pantry staples to their doorstep. Top choices include:

  • Imperfect Foods - Delivers groceries that might be cosmetically imperfect but are perfectly good to eat, reducing food waste.
  • Misfits Market - Offers organic produce and pantry staples at a discount, focusing on reducing food waste.
  • Thrive Market - An online membership-based market offering healthy, organic groceries at reduced prices.

Meal Subscription Boxes

Meal kits provide all the ingredients and recipes needed to prepare delicious, nutritious meals at home. They can make cooking easy and fun, even after a long shift. Some top options are:

  • HelloFresh - Delivers fresh ingredients and recipes for a variety of meal options, making cooking easy and enjoyable.
  • Blue Apron - Known for high-quality ingredients and gourmet recipes, offering diverse and delicious meal options.
  • Home Chef - Provides easy-to-follow recipes with pre-portioned ingredients, focusing on convenience and variety.

Coffee Subscription Boxes

For nurses who love their coffee, a subscription box can introduce them to new and exciting flavors from around the world—and ensure they are properly caffeinated for a long shift. Consider these options:

  • Blue Bottle Coffee - Offers premium coffee beans from around the world, tailored to taste preferences.
  • Atlas Coffee Club - Delivers coffee from a different country each month, along with information about the coffee’s origin.
  • Trade Coffee - Curates coffee from top roasters, personalized to individual taste profiles.

Gift Card for a Massage

person getting a massage

Physical strain from long hours of standing, lifting patients, and other demanding tasks can take a toll on a nurse’s body. A gift card for a massage offers the perfect opportunity for them to relieve muscle tension, pain, and fatigue. Massages can also help reduce anxiety and stress, contributing to their overall wellbeing. Whether it’s a deep tissue massage, a relaxing Swedish massage, or a specialized treatment, this gift will provide much-needed relief and relaxation. 

Gift Card for a Night Out 

Family eating dinner in a fancy restaurant.

After long and demanding shifts, oftentimes the last thing a nurse wants to do is cook dinner and clean up afterwards. A dinner out gives your nurse an opportunity to relax and unwind while spending quality time with friends and family. Whether it’s a gift card to their favorite restaurant or a new spot they’ve been wanting to try, this gesture will be greatly appreciated. 


Nurses give so much of themselves to care for others, often going above and beyond to ensure the wellbeing of their patients. By choosing thoughtful gifts that enhance their workday, provide comfort during long shifts, and help them relax during their downtime, we can show our deep appreciation for their dedication and hard work. Whether it’s a practical on-call tool or a relaxing treat, these gifts are sure to bring a smile to any nurse’s face and make their demanding days a bit brighter. Remember, a little thoughtfulness can go a long way in supporting and uplifting the incredible nurses in our lives. 

Ian Rosenberger
May
2024