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28 Cool Gift Ideas for a Nurse Under $50 (+2 to Avoid)

nurse gift ideas

Looking for the perfect gift idea for a nurse, nursing student or instructor in your life? Often working long hours and under stressful conditions, nurses will appreciate gifts that offer relaxation and, sometimes, a mental diversion from the hospital. They also love gifts that help them see the value they provide. We surveyed over 500 ideas to find 28 top options, all under $50 at the time of publication.

Meds Socks

We love these high-quality, detailed “Meds” socks that manage to be both cute and professional at the same time. Makes a perfect stocking stuffer or graduation gift.

Medical Patent Art Prints

This set of four 8″ x 10″ prints depict real-life patents for medical items. Includes patents for a blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, otoscope and thermometer. Printed on high quality paper, these are ready to frame and will look fantastic in either the home or office.

Good Luck Voodoo Nurse Doll

Whether your nurse is helping to fight a global pandemic or doing routine checkups, the weight of the job can be a lot to bear. Protect your nurse with this fun voodoo doll designed to bring her joy and good luck. The box says “I will help you work life saving miracles on a few hours of sleep, all done in comfy shoes.” 3.5 inches tall, the doll is portable enough to take with you.

Tote Bag

Give your on-the-go nurse a stylish place to keep all of her belongings. Containing six side pockets and an interior zipped up space, this tote bag will keep her organized and feeling great.

Boho Headband 4-Pack

Keep your hair worry-free with these soft and stretchy headbands. The lovely floral patters will bring a sense of serenity to those around. They are great for household activities, jogging as well as the daily hubbub of nurse life.

Heartbeat Stud Earrings

These cute handmade earring studs, made from surgical steel, will get loads of compliments. They are subtle enough to be work-appropriate, but when noticed they are guaranteed to delight. They come with two different types back pieces, allowing your nurse to choose what works best for her.

Scrub Watch for medical professionals

Most people use their phone to check the time these days, but in a patient-oriented setting this is often considered unprofessional. Nurses need to be able to quickly check the time down to the second. This watch, available in five tasteful colors, is made for them. The stainless steel back is engrave-able, making it a great gift to personalize.

Prescription Coffee Mug

Coffee is the life blood of many a nurse. Make it official with this funny prescription-style mug. Includes directions: 1 cup orally to reduce drowsiness, 2 cups orally to feel like a super hero. The mug comes with a “prescription note” coaster and is packed in a appropriately designed gift box.

RN Super Hero T-Shirt

Know a nurse who uses his or her super powers for the greater good? This fun Super Man-themed t-shirt is sure to be a hit. Comes in both male and female sizes.

Anatomical Heart Necklace

Nurses will love this realistic, anatomically correct heart necklace. The heart symbolizes both the science and care that go into nursing. Outside the hospital, it’s sure to be a hit at parties and conferences. Great quality and not too large, it is built to last — and at a great price it’s a no brainer.

Foot Massage Roller

Winning high praise from buyers for its effective treatment of tired feet and pain, the TheraFlow foot massage roller is a great gift for a nurse who is on his or her feet all day and needs some relief. Constructed out of Theaceae wood, this well made massager is lightweight (1.6 lbs) and comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Aromatherapy Diffuser

Serving the duel purpose of relaxation while also humidifying the room, an aromatherapy diffuser is the perfect gift idea for a nurse who wants to come home and unplug from it all. We recommend the InnoGear brand thanks to its great user accolades and features such as auto shut off and changing color options that both adults and kids will find fun.

Compression Sock

If you’re standing for more than 6 hours per day, your legs and feet undergo a lot of physical stress. Compression socks help alleviate the strain, prevent you from swelling up and keep from blood collecting in the lower extremities. We recommend compression socks by Nurse Mates, which come in a variety of styles including Cause for a Cure, a great way for a nurse to show her moral support.

Appreciation Gift Basket

If a nurse in your life has gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care to you or a loved one, show your appreciation with a gift basket full of goodies. It can be hard to find a good gift basket. We researched over 50 and recommend Golden State Fruit’s (pictured here) for value for the money and quality.

RN Charm Bracelet

This high-quality, rust-free charm bracelet is a great value for the money. A wonderful birthday or graduation gift for a nurse, it contains three adorable charms that will inspire her to excel.

Smiling Bandage Badge Holder

A great idea for a school nurse or a nurse who works with younger children, this adorable smiling bandage will help put patients at ease. Be known around the school or office as the nice, friendly nurse, even on days when you’re not feeling like it.

Adult coloring book for nurses

This coloring book was created by someone with a keen understanding of the nurse profession and a great sense of humor. After a stressful shift, this book is the perfect way to step back and laugh while relaxing as you color. Contains 30 unique designs, each printed on a single side of large 8×10 paper.

True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

Winning rave reviews from readers, “I Wasn’t Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse” is a collection of well-written narratives from nurses who offer candid accounts of their most memorable growing experiences, from treating terminal cancer patients to car accident victims — it is not light reading, but at the same time is relieving to know that others have walked in your shoes (and compression socks). Hard to put down, nurses will find many relatable experiences that conjure all kinds of emotions.

Nurse Butterfly Suncatcher

Great as a nurse’s graduation or mother’s day gift, this lovely butterfly will brighten up a window, patio or garden. The butterfly is a symbol of growth and renewal, a message nurses especially will appreciate. The best part is it looks like it’s from an expensive boutique, but comes at a great value price.

Herbal neck wrap w/ lavender eye pillow

These neck and eye pillows are packed with healing herbs that offer relaxation and restorative energy. Can be either heated (for 1 minutes in the microwave) or frozen depending on the need. Get to sleep faster with their soothing aroma and relieve any tension in the neck or back. Users also say it’s helpful for migraines.

Stethoscope heart computer decal

Add some character to a computer with a cute heart decal that a nurse will absolutely adore. Other options are available specific to mac computers, with decals that wrap around the Apple logo.

RN wine glass

Sometimes the medicine cabinet isn’t exactly what’s called for. A glass of wine after a hard day of helping patients is therapeutic in its own right. A great gift to show your sense of humor.

Male nurse lego figure

Looking for the perfect gift for a male (or any) nurse? This lego action figure is a great is a great conversation piece. And if you have kids, they’ll love having a lego representation of dad!

Bath bombs

Bath bombs are fizzy, scented soap balls that turn a regular bath into an at home spa, replenishing the skin with essential oils and reducing muscle cramps with the salts contained inside. After a long shift, the nurse on your list will appreciate these healing cleansers.

Nurse nutritional facts mug

This mug is a great way to show a nurse how appreciated he or she is without getting too sentimental. Hardworking, unrivaled skill, passion, caring, sleep (0%) and caffeine are on the list for a serving size of “one excellent nurse.”

Personalized stethoscope coffee mug

Add a personalized touch with this cute stethoscope mug featuring his or her name on it. A great graduation or holiday gift that will be treasured for years. Microwave and dishwasher safe, the mug’s designs lay flat (appears slightly 3d in photo).

First year nurse

Seeking an idea for a new nurse? “First Year Nurse” is packed with useful advice, from dealing with difficult patients to communicating effectively with hospital staff.

Nurse craft bags

Looking for bulk nurse appreciation gifts? These little bags (12 in total) are a great way to give gift cards or other tokens of gratitude. Perfect for nurse week.

And 2 dumb ideas to cross off your list…
1) Any “naughty nurse” related gifts. If you want to risk secretly enraging your wife or girlfriend who is a nurse, go ahead and get her a naughty nurse outfit.
2) Anything blood-themed. They see enough of this at work.

Looking for retirement gift ideas for nurses? Check out our ideas.