Gift Ideas for Nurses & Other Healthcare Workers (When We Need Them Most)


To say nurses and other healthcare workers are heroes, especially right now, is an understatement. They’re risking their lives daily to save patients, working over 12 hours a day…and missing their friends and families to take care of our friends and families.

‘Selfless’ doesn’t begin to cover it.

There was a discussion on our Facebook insiders group page about the best gifts to get for our nurse (and physician) friends and family. So many readers weighed in (some who are nurses themselves), that we had to share.

Best Gift Ideas For Nurses And Other Healthcare Workers: How To Say Thank You During This Extraordinary Time

After seeing the request for gift ideas on FB, I immediately reached out to family members of mine (who also work in hospitals) to see if they had ideas, too. Naturally, their initial answer was alcohol (ha!). And I mean…no one is going to turn down a nice bottle of wine. But if you are looking for something a little less obvious, here are the best ideas so far (most of them from nurses themselves).

If you’re gifting to a nurse you know, that’s easy. If you’re sending a gift to a nearby hospital or medical center, be sure to call and find out the best way to deliver it, since rules for accepting packages are frequently changing during the pandemic (and by facility).

1. Ultra-Rich Hand Cream

One of our readers, Elizabeth R made a few great suggestions for gifts to give nurses (AND she’s a nurse herself.) First up, hand cream. All that sanitizing all day long, leads to dry, cracked hands.

2. Compression Socks

Elizabeth’s second suggestion was for fun compression socks — she likes the ones below. They help maintain blood flow and keep discomfort and swelling to a minimum — especially when on your feet all day.

3. A Soft Sweater

Elizabeth has been coming home and immediately changing into this sweater from Mersea. It’s been such a go-to after hours that she’s seriously considering getting another color.


4. Headbands W/ Buttons

Elizabeth’s last suggestion was a headband with buttons… this way nurses aren’t attaching the masks to their ears, but rather the buttons on the headband (keeping their poor ears from getting sore from a long shift). Brilliant idea.

5. Overnight Face or Lip Masks

If you’ve been on social media, you’ve probably seen the impact wearing protective gear all day has had on the nurses — painful bruising and sores on their face. A mask can certainly help relieve some of that discomfort.

6. Cute PJs

Pjs… another one of those things I LOVE but hate spending the money on. They just make you feel so cozy and kind of like you have your life together because you have a whole outfit dedicated just for bedtime… No? Just me??

7. Cozy Slippers

What goes with cozy pjs? Cozier slippers.

8. Fitbit

Considering nurses are on their feet ALL DAY LONG, they might as well turn it into a win on a Fitbit. And of course, it helps them to remember to take care of themselves, too.

9. A Nespresso Machine

If one of your nurse friends doesn’t have a quick and easy way to make coffee in the morning…OMG get this right now. Amazing coffee SO fast. (Safe to say the TME team is kiiinda addicted…)

10. …And A To-Go Mug To Go With It

A nice to-go mug is one of those things that’s kiiinda essential, but we really don’t want to spend the money on ourselves.

11. Send A Food Basket To The Hospital

Nurses have a habit of forgetting to eat throughout the day, and may not even have time to run and get lunch with the current chaos. My family has sent food in the past to thank nurses for taking care of our family members…and the snacks disappeared almost immediately.

12. Deliver Lunch or Dinner to the Hospital

If you are able to coordinate in advance (and your friend actually has time to eat on shift)…think about sending some Caviar or GrubHub over to the hospital. And if they work with a small team…maybe think about a party platter of subs or a few pizzas or something. (But this one has probably gotta be coordinated in advance.)

13. Stock Their Freezer With Soup Or Stew To Reheat

An easy way to take the pressure off of these hard-working nurses is by stocking their fridge with a few soups or stews to reheat. Here are a few suggestions…

Soup Recipes: Vegetable Soup | Lemony Chickpea Orzo | Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup | French Lentil Soup

Stew Recipes: Slow Cooker Pumpkin, Chickpea and Red Lentil Curry | Sweet Potato Stew | Instant Pot Miso Red Bean Stew

14. Or Give Them A Crockpot

I suspect most already have one…but if if your friend hasn’t yet taken the plunge on a crockpot or Instant Pot, send one over.

Slow-cooker Recipes: Pumpkin Curry Beef Stew | Vegan Chili

15. Good Ol’ Gift Cards

These may be boring, but they’re so practical. (And when I asked friends and family, many of them suggested gift cards, too.) I’m sure many nurses would appreciate Starbucks, Wawa, Dunkin’ Donuts or whatever your local coffee shop offers so they can be fully caffeinated before their busy day. And don’t overlook a grocery store gift card. No one wants to spend money on groceries! No one! (Even better if you have time to safely do the actual grocery shopping for them.)

16. Cute ID Holder

Sometimes, it’s the little things… like jazzing up your ID holder. There are personalized ones, nurse-related ones, and ones that are just plain…cute.

17. Something To Make Them Laugh

If there’s one thing we all need during a very trying time…it’s a good laugh. The amount of funny phrases I’ve found about nurses kept me entertained for quite some time.

Shop Witty Gifts

18. Something Personalized

If you have a nurse in the family, getting them something personalized is not only super-thoughtful and sweet, but it’ll help them keep their heads up throughout the day.

Shop Personalized Gifts

19. A Heartfelt Thank You

My aunt said nurses really appreciate getting cards and kind messages. It’s just a nice pick-me-up after a long, stressful day. You can have your kids make cards to send in (although, check with your local hospitals to see if they’re currently being accepted). If you can’t send a physical card in, you can make virtual cards to send to their emails, or even write a thank you on social media. Go here to make a virtual thank you card.

Hopefully, this gives you some gift ideas for your local heroes. Stay happy and healthy — and we’re sending lots of good vibes your way.


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Danielle — easily — wins the most helpful award in almost every category. While her background is Design & Merchandising, she has become the TME jack of all trades, working on our website design, infrastructure and graphic design, in addition to writing articles. A lover of neutrals, she manages to come up with seriously cool outfits using basic wardrobe staples, is a whiz at distilling trends, and — thanks in part to her own style — is a natural at making practical outfits more interesting.


  1. as a doctor, I’m feeling a little left out of this post. I imagine the radiology techs, phlebotomists, case managers, social workers and all of the other HEALTHCARE workers who are on their feet in the hospital day after day making sure the hospital engine keeps chugging feel a bit left out of this post too. TME, you’re usually very thoughtful about being inclusive. I’m not quite sure why this post was tone deaf.

  2. Agree with above. I thought that I just posted but I don’t see it. There are so many HEALTHCARE workers on the front line…xray techs, lab, social work, physical therapists, resp therapists etc… I little bit of shared love goes a long way.

  3. Case of wine for anyone working healthcare, gas stations, grocery stores etc. This nurse loves the love shown but I definitely couldn’t do my job without the MD’s MA’s LNA’s and all those people still working. I try to love on the awesome people working in the cafeteria who have the biggest smiles behind their masks and know my coffee order before I even ask. Thanks for the post.

  4. I loved this! I’m a night shift nurse and your suggestions are spot on. Love that you included our GUYS, too — those pics with hairy legs in compression socks are gorgeous! I’m gonna treat myself to a cute pj set.

  5. Love this list! Thank you for thinking about us healthcare workers. Work is not fun right now. It feels really nice to get some love from the community. I really love the suggestions of meals and snacks. My hospital is trying to minimize cross contamination, so if we’re working on a covid unit, we’re not supposed to go into the non-covid areas (ie. the cafeteria), so snacks are greatly appreciated! Thanks again for thinking of us! Stay safe, everyone! PS…as I was reading this, my second Catalina sweater was delivered! ?

  6. Also an MD, and I had the same thought. I feel like MDs and RNs are getting all the kudos and sympathy in this pandemic, but phlebotomists, respiratory therapists, techs, cleaning crew etc are vital too. Hospitals would grind to a halt without them, and they are every bit as exposed to COVID as most RNs and MDs.

    That said, I think we all know any slight to non-nurses in this post was not intentional. Thanks to TME for thinking of healthcare workers. I ordered myself a pair of the compression socks!

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