Feature December 14, 2020 Kayla Valiquette, BSN, RNC-NIC

6 creative ways to thank a nurse

Thank a nurse during the holidays or anytime of year.

In my 11 years of nursing, the one thing I’ve loved the most is the level of care and passion that nurses put into what they do without expecting anything in return. There have been times, however, when people have gone above and beyond to thank their healthcare workers in a memorable way.

Nurses, being generally selfless and generous individuals, do not expect anything extra for the care and help they provide– especially in a year like this one, where healthcare workers have fully committed themselves to their front-line duties during the COVID pandemic. When someone takes the time to say thank you, even in the simplest ways, it has a huge impact on a nurse’s life. As we approach the holidays, it’s the perfect opportunity to give a little back to a nurse who has touched your life.

What to get a nurse for the holidays

Since you’ve made it this far, you’re probably wondering, “alright, alright, so what should I get my nurse?” Look no further. Here are 6 great gifts for nurses:

  1. Handwritten note or a card. Cards are one of the most personal, easiest, and best gifts for nurses. I’ve worked with very sick newborns for years, and some families were so touched by how I cared for their child. I only received a few cards, but the fact that someone took the time to pen their thoughts and express their gratitude deeply affected me. I’ve kept those cards for years and occasionally when I’m on the hunt for something in my filing cabinet, I’ll come across them and read them again. When I read them, I’m reminded of the patient I cared for; I remember the family, and I remember their story. Cards are great for all healthcare workers because it lets them know that you value so deeply what they do.

    Shop thank you cards for nurses

  2. Sweets. Mmm, who doesn’t love a good box of chocolates or some candy to snack on during a long shift? While we are a sweet bunch already, there is always room for just a little more sugar. Years ago, during one of my first holiday parties, one of our unit leaders put together an ice cream social. We were able to make delicious sundaes, topping our ice cream with sprinkles, whipped cream, chocolate syrup, and candies to our heart’s content. It made everyone’s day just a little bit sweeter.

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  3. Healthy snacks. Of course we love our sweets, but healthcare workers often need to take care of their own health. An assortment of healthy snacks such as protein bars, nuts, fruits, and veggies can help us keep up our energy during a busy, long shift. An edible arrangement is a beautiful, fuss-free way to show your appreciation (and boy do we love those!).

    Shop snacks for nurses

  4. Small gifts. Right off the bat, fun decorations for a nurse’s stethoscope are a great way to thank a nurse. A stethoscope is an extension of a nurse and is required to do many aspects of the job. Nurses can usually be seen around the unit or office with a stethoscope draped around their neck or plugged in the ears as a patient is being examined. There are tons of simple, inexpensive options to dress up a stethoscope. I once was given a charm to put on mine and since I used my stethoscope basically the entire shift, I was always able to see and appreciate the gift. It also helps make your stethoscope more unique and recognizable, so if there’s ever a time we accidentally leave it on the desk, it won’t suddenly grow legs and walk away.

  5. Caffeine. Not many nurses can get through 12+ hour shifts, weekends away from family, and night shifts without some caffeine to keep them going. A gift card for their favorite coffee place, a mug with a bag of coffee, or a freshly brewed cup can go a long way. This one is especially easy, because you can even send a gift card through email!

    Shop coffee for nurses

  6. Compression socks. Some nice compression socks make a great gift to thank a nurse. We’re on our feet all day, which tires on the legs and feet. A good pair of compression socks can make such a difference in soothing aches and preventing swelling. It’s a gift that truly keeps on giving and one pair can last a long time, providing many comfortable shifts.

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Healthcare workers are extremely grateful when they receive small tokens of appreciation.

Healthcare workers are extremely grateful when they receive small tokens of appreciation.

There’s still time to make someone’s year!

Now you have 6 great ideas to thank a nurse. There’s still plenty of time to surprise the special nurses or any healthcare workers in your life with a small token of appreciation. Even if you can’t get a gift, take a moment to tell a nurse, “thank you.” Almost everyone has been positively impacted by a nurse at some point in their life.

Though I no longer work at the bedside, the small tokens of appreciation I’ve received over the years live on vividly in my heart. They remind me of the important work I did every day, providing care for people in their time of need. This holiday, thank a nurse. I promise it will make their year.

And any time you cross paths with healthcare workers of any kind, make sure to give them a quick “thank you” and a smile. After all, 2020 was quite the ride.

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