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The best gifts for nurses, according to actual nurses

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For 20 years in a row, nursing has been named the most trusted profession out there, according to annual Gallup polls. During the height of the pandemic, we watched nurses rise to the challenge in unprecedented ways, at times burning themselves out to save lives. However rewarding, being a nurse is not for the faint of heart. Nurses regularly work up to 12-hour shifts, on their feet almost constantly while simultaneously juggling the needs of countless patients while sacrificing their own. It’s safe to say nurses are the ultimate givers. Now’s a perfect time to give back. Not only is the holiday season right around the corner, but we happen to know exactly which are the best gifts for nurses — because we asked actual nurses! From stylish stethoscope cases to the smartest-looking scrubs we’ve ever seen, here are 12 genius gifts to grab — stat!

This scrub top is constructed for durability, comfort and style. It has four-way stretch and is odor-resistant and moisture-wicking. But this is not your average scrub look: this meticulously stitched top has a Mandarin collar, meaning it's almost on par with what you'd wear to a dinner, not a doctor's office. It has two front pockets and one pocket hidden inside keep every little thing close at hand.
$48 at Amazon
These FIGS scrub pants are essentially yoga pants — and a far cry from the baggy hospital garb that was the nurse's uniform for so long. This pair even has a yoga waistband as well as a straight leg style with two handy pockets. Just like the matching top, it has four-way stretch for zipping around an emergency room floor fast.
$54 at Amazon

In case you haven't noticed, hospital wear has come a long way. FIGS is one of the most popular brands on the market, and their scrubs make an ideal gift for nurses.

"I own a pair of FIGS scrubs, and they're super stylish while also being extremely comfortable," says fourth-year nursing student and ER tech Layla Solomon.

Just in time for the holiday season, these 16 gnomes keep any medical professional in a jolly spirit year-round. Not only are the winter holidays represented here, but we've also got Halloween, Independence Day, Easter and more.
$16 at Amazon
These cheeky badge reels include cartoon renderings of all the brain, lungs and heart, plus smiling bandages and even a happy uterus. We're all for a little medical humor, and these cuties serve it up in droves.
$14 at Amazon

"Since we wear scrubs, our badge reels give us the opportunity to show our individualism," says Alyssa Intindola, ICU/ED RN.

Wondering what badge reels are? They're those clips that hold a nurse's ID and keep it attached to her clothing — and now they come in so many design options, some with snarky sayings and others with pretty patterns.

Yeti thermal bottles are designed to keep beverages hot (or cold) thanks to double-wall, vacuum-insulated 18/8 stainless steel. It also has a Chug Cap that makes it easy to sip without having to slow down. It comes in lots of color options, and each has a long-lasting DuraCoat finish.
$67 at Amazon

Nurses run on caffeine just like a lot of us do, but they're also too distracted to be sitting there sipping a whole cup before it cools off.

"Our shifts can be unreliable and hectic and this thermos takes me through my day and keeps my coffee hot for hours!" says Erin Mahoney, ICU/ED RN.

Send your favorite nurse's heart aflutter with this cheerful case that holds not just a stethoscope but all the little odds and ends they need to do their rounds, like pens and thermometers. This one has a little more room than a standard case and has a handy strap for portability. This one comes in plenty of color options, too.
$14 at Amazon

This one's vital for any nurse: a stylish stethoscope case. Vanessa Cascio Broughton, RN swears by hers.

"I've actually had my bells tear before from just tossing them into my backpack without protection," Cascio says of the delicate pieces of a stethoscope's anatomy. The stethoscope case also has little pockets in it [where] I could keep pens, pen lights, small notebooks and things like that."

Splurge on that special nurse you know and love with this top-rated massager. It works out tension and knots using four different massage programs: air compression, Shiatsu, kneading and percussion. It's easy to clean too.
$199 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Remember all that standing and walking that nurses do for hours on end? Yep, it takes a toll.

"This gives quick relief after hours on our feet," says Victoria Mosiello, ICU RN. "Nurses take thousands of steps a day!"

Winc is a wine subscription and delivery service that quizzes you first to see what kinds of vino you enjoy, then suggests a box of bottles that would suit your tastebuds — or your favorite nurse's, of course. If you know them well enough to determine what pleases their palate, subscribe them to Winc and get four bottles for less than $30 as a new member. Gift cards are also available.
$30 at Winc

"After some tough shifts, a good glass of wine can ease the tension," says Joanna Couvertier, ICU RN. "For that special nurse, a wine subscription would put a smile on his/her face!"

Say no more.

One of Amazon's bestselling insulated lunch bag is waterproof, leak-proof and lined with aluminum foil to keep everything fresh for hours. The hottest soup and the freshest fruit are all safe in this sturdy shoulder bag that comes in tons of colors and patterns.
$15 at Amazon

"An insulated lunch bag is a great convenience as we mostly work 12-hour shifts; those long shifts cover more than one mealtime," says Annette Pepe, RN. "Even if we order a meal or go to the cafeteria while on shift, we would still need to bring one to two other meals/snacks from home, so having a nice cooler bag is helpful!"

The Freshly gift card recipient chooses from a weekly menu (dishes like Mexican black bean soup and Sicilian penne will have their mouth watering) and categories like Meat and Veggies, Family Friendly and Quick and Easy. The meals arrive on the doorstep ready to reheat and eat.
Starting at $25 at Freshly

"With those long shifts, nurses can sometimes find it tricky to get dinner on the table. Meal delivery services are a thoughtful and useful gift for nurses," says Howard Sandau, ICU RN.

Enter Freshly, a popular service that delivers freshly cooked meals to exhausted nurses and their families. Gift cards start at $75 for three meals a week for two people, and increase from there.

This 22-karat gold edition of one of Amazon's bestselling stethoscopes has adult, pediatric and infant attachments and two sound channels: one for each ear.
$68 at Amazon

"I'm a Postpartum Mother/Baby nurse. A gift I would have liked to receive would be a stethoscope that is adjustable to use for adult patients as well as pediatric patients," says Kate O'Brien, RN.

"The different pieces come apart and can be reassembled for the type of patient you are using it on. The pieces can be kept on your badge for easy swapping. Since I take care of both moms and babies, this is useful to me, rather than needing an adult stethoscope as well as a pediatric one."

Good news: Amazon sells gift cards redeemable at any AMC movie theater for up to $100 a pop — that should even cover popcorn!
$100 at Amazon

When nurses are overextended, their families feel the effects, too.

"A gift card for a nice dinner, a movie with our kids, a fun event with our families...I would appreciate gifts inclusive and focused toward family because they also sacrifice for our demanding work schedule, holiday absences and exhaustion," recommends Jessica O’Brien RN, NP.