Being an LPN is challenging work—there’s no doubt about it. They often work in more residential situations rather than hospitals, and they work super long hours with less pay than RNs. They stand and strain all day long, and they do so without any glory on the horizon. You may already know this, and that's why you're seeking out a gift for the new Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in your life.
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Do you know a seasoned LPN or one who is just about to graduate? Are you curious about what gets your LPN through their workweek? If so, it’s a nice gesture to show gratitude for how hard they work—because they may not get a lot of thank yous along the way.
If you’ve been thinking about an LPN in your life who you want to celebrate, we’ve got you covered. We’ve found some basic and functional gift ideas for hardworking LPNs. Plus, we’ll give you a few ideas on how to relieve some of their stress with practical experiences or gift certificates. No matter which one you choose, giving the gift of gratitude to any LPN goes a long way.
Practical Gifts for an Experienced LPN
I’m a big advocate of gifting experiences over tangible or physical items whenever possible. That way, people have experiences and stories, rather than dust collectors. So, in this first list, you’ll find a healthy mix of both because most experienced LPNs are going to pick up the things they need when they need them.
1. A new stethoscope
LPNs work the same demanding hours as nurses, but with far less pay. So, it’s likely that they haven’t thought about purchasing a new stethoscope since graduation. For that reason, a new one is a perfect gift. Stethoscopes can range from super affordable to very pricey, so do your research.
Better yet, if you’re completely baffled, you could always get a gift certificate to a medical supply store and let your LPN decide.
2. Herbal tea basket
Not everyone is a coffee drinker (gasp!). A tea basket is a great idea because there are so many herbal remedies available. Let’s be practical. People in care facilities are often sick.
Herbal teas can boost immune systems to fight off colds, help you relax, or make you sleepy. They can help if you’re stressed, alleviate an upset belly, and so much more. If you know your LPN’s preferred flavor—like hibiscus or mint—you’ll be helping them with one less to-do on their list.
3. Weekly massages
At a growing rate, nurses are experiencing more and more chronic physical pain in their backs and knees.
They are always on their feet, lifting and bending on repeat. So, while they may not be a handy work-related gift, massages can be a lifesaver for the experienced LPN with a lot of miles on their muscles and joints.
4. Health store gift certificate
This is a practical gift, but it can also be hit or miss. So, make sure you know your recipient well.
Plus, rather than buy glucosamine, chondroitin, turmeric, or fish oil, you can save the trouble by letting them choose their supplements. Even if they want to buy some gummy Vitamin C’s and a magazine, you are helping both their health and their happiness.
5. Dog walking service
My aunt loves her party poodle, Annie. But she works long hours as a nurse, and sometimes Annie only gets to see the back yard. This is especially true during the winter months when the sun sets so early. A dog walking service can bring some pep back to a pup’s life.
Advice: choose a local service with credentials and insurance. You can set up a meet and greet to make sure everyone gets along, too. My aunt treats Annie like she’s her child, so she wouldn’t just let anyone walk Annie—or into her home.
6. Yoga or pilates
Sometimes after a long day on your feet, the idea of going for a run or a trip to the gym seems impossible.
As a great alternative, you could purchase a gift certificate to a yoga or pilates studio. Some people find motivation from group exercise. Both pilates and yoga offer that inside-out kind of emotional cleansing, too. Add in the fact that aerobic exercise increases endorphins and you’ve just made sure they have a good pick-me-up on the horizon.
If you live far away, make sure you consider the location of the studio. You don’t want to gift your LPN an extra commute.
7. Just ask
Unless you’re a skilled, crafty sleuth, sometimes it’s easier to ask people directly what they need. It’s totally okay to do. In fact, it’s a lovely thought because it shows that you want to get a good gift for the first time.
When you ask what your LPN wants or needs, they hear that you care enough to get them something that will function well in their life. That’s the kind of friend you want. Just make sure to follow through and don’t procrastinate.
Gifts for a Newly Graduated LPN
Time will be the best indicator of what the newly graduated LPN can’t live without. Once they get on the new job and see how the day-to-day will play out, they’ll have a much better idea of what will make their lives easier.
Until then—besides a reliable alarm clock—here are the top seven gifts that will be perfect no matter what.
8. Anti-odor sticks
It takes a lot to get used to the smells that humans make, especially when they’re sick and can’t help what goes in or out. If your newly graduated LPN hasn’t fully perfected their weak constitution yet, an anti-odor stick will help out until they become nose blind.
Other options include medicated menthol rubs and lavender essential oils for their masks. Some say that shaving cream does the trick, but nurses have said that it causes them to feel high. Don’t rely on trial and error.
9. Compression socks and a good pair of shoes
If they’re not used to standing on their feet all day, your LPN’s legs are going to get really tired, really fast. So, a great pair of shoes and a few pairs of compression socks will go a long way. Additionally, peppermint oil lotion also makes tired legs feel cool and soothed. So this could turn into a useful basket of goodies!
Here’s some advice: Try your local running store for the compression socks. Ultra-marathoners need ones with major staying power, which means there may be more companies out there than you think.
10. Food service subscription
We all forget to cook healthy meals when we’re stressed. The perfect way around this is to sign up your new LPN with a food delivery service.
That way, all the right nutrients are delivered right to their door, and they can bring health and energy to work. As an added benefit, they’ll have more time to do the things they like or catch a show with some friends.
Some advice: choose a service that offers easily portable solutions like smoothies or protein cups.
11. Personal care for on-the-go
If you were going to make a toiletry kit for yourself, what would you put in there? You’d probably choose a toothbrush and some toothpaste, dental floss, a deodorant stick, saline (for contacts) or eye drops, hand lotion, chewing gum or mints, cotton swabs and cotton tips, facial cloths, and tissue. For a new LPN adjusting to their hectic new schedule, this could be a thoughtful gift.
You can also add some personal touches. Hide some notes with words of encouragement or dollar bills in different pockets with the vending machines in mind.
12. Brand new stethoscope and holder
To do their job well, LPNs need the right tools. Part of that includes a new stethoscope. On top of that, some stethoscopes can irritate the skin. If that is the case, manufacturers have conveniently designed some holders one can wear on their waist.
This is one product where you get what you pay for. If you’re not sure which one to buy, you could always call your own doctor’s office and ask an LPN there.
13. Medical penlight
This is going to be one of those tools they can’t live without. Some lights are too bright for pediatric or geriatric eyes, so you may want to wait to buy until you know where your LPN will be working.
Otherwise, you’ll find that the reason they love these is that they are perfect for neural checks and checking for blocked airways.
14. Nurse’s bag
Every nurse needs a nurse’s bag, and your new LPN likely has a lot of the items that go in one already. So, here’s my advice on the bag itself: buy one with a wide, strong zipper. That way, if they are in a hurry or if their hands are slippery, it’ll be easy to open every time.
Some of the basics you’ll typically find in one of these bags are an analog watch with a good battery, a thermometer, a notebook and pen, over-the-counter medicine, and some sanitizer and lotion.
Gifts for the LPN in Your Life
LPNs are some of the hardest working nurses out there. They are also some of the most underappreciated assets to a medical team. It’s important to take a moment and let them know you see how hard they work—and that you appreciate them.