15+ Practical Nurse Graduation Gift Ideas

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Graduating as a nurse or in any medical field can feel really satisfying and definitely worthy of celebration. After so many years in school, your loved one has finally received their degree and looking to the next stage in their life. so they're ready for a graduation gift for their new nursing degree.

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They’re ready to start making the world a better place, one patient at a time. But before they launch into the next phase of their life, congratulations are in order. And nothing says ‘congrats!’ better than a few touching words and a practical gift. 

You can never go wrong with a heartfelt graduation card, but if you’d like to do a little something extra, here are some great ideas for the new nurse in your life.

Nurse Graduation Gifts for Her

Most graduation gifts can be very serious, while they celebrate the work a loved one has done to get that degree, they also recognize the hard work ahead. If you’re looking for something that is comforting, practical, or fun, we’ve got some suggestions.

1. Slippers

Slippers are often lauded as a great gift for doctors. Many people in the medical profession spend hours on their feet, which can be brutal on your legs, feet, and back. Any gift that helps alleviate that pain will be very appreciated.

Finding the perfect pair of slippers takes time. Due to your nurse’s profession, finding a thick pair with extra cushioning and tough soles is crucial. But you can even find themed slippers that serve as a fun nod to their passions outside of nursing. 

2. Custom coffee mug

Coffee can be the lifeblood of those starting out a new profession. With long shifts and early or late hours, some nurses may live on their daily cup of joe. This gift is a practical one that they will probably use daily. If you check on custom crafty sites like Etsy or Redbubble, you can often find exactly what you’re looking for. 

You can make the mug a tribute to their favorite books, TV shows, or a well-timed funny quote. But for this special occasion, a mug that pays tribute to the hard labor of nursing school might be just the thing.

3. Bone pens 

Taking notes is a major part of any nurse’s profession. They’ve got to keep track of prescriptions, patient symptoms, and their own thoughts. Chances are, they’ll be going through a lot of pens during their nursing career. Providing them with some unique pens can be a really thoughtful gift for their many notetaking days ahead.

There are fancy pens with rosewood inlays and silver notes. These pens are a classy gift that will be treasured forever—and can also be refilled if you look for versatile inks and fillers. And there is also a funny option. There are lots of pens specifically themed for users in the medical industry. What about a pen that’s shaped to look like a human’s spinal column?

ยป MORE: How do you handle your loved one's final affairs? Get your free post-loss checklist.


Nurse Graduation Gifts for Him

Nursing gifts have been traditionally made for women, but the nursing profession is open to anyone who wants to help medical patients. Find the right gift for the new male nurses in your life.

4. Monogrammed sweatshirt 

Hospitals and doctor’s offices often get a little chilly. And who doesn’t like wearing a cozy sweatshirt around the house on the weekends? These sweatshirts come in a variety of styles.

If you’re ordering online, make sure to grab a slightly larger size than you think is necessary. It doesn’t matter if a sweatshirt is loose as they can pull it on over a pair of scrubs as well. Depending on the style you pick, you can find one with the student’s initials, and they can be designed in a stethoscope style, too.

5. Stethoscope

Every nurse needs a stethoscope. Why not give them a special one they’ll remember from the earliest days of their career? Since almost everyone is wearing a stethoscope, it might be hard to stand out. Make sure to pick out a unique or brightly colored stethoscope they can sling around their neck and keep track of. 

6. Silicone wedding band 

A wedding band might very well be someone’s most valued possession, but many professionals can’t wear it on duty. For medical workers, they might pose an infection hazard as it’s easy to sanitize your hands, but not so easy to sanitize a ring.

In addition, rings can often cut through and get caught in latex gloves as well. That’s especially true if you have a rough-cut gem. Silicone bands solve all those problems for you. 

Practical Graduation Gifts

Gag gifts have their place. But when it comes to a serious occasion, you might want to be the one that brings a practical gift.

7. Neoprene backpack 

Everyone needs a way to carry their belongings around. And when they’re bringing stuff to work, nurses might bring along more than your average person. They’ll need to bring along a clipboard, hand sanitizer, their phone, or even a spare pair of scrubs. No matter what they’re bringing, they’re taking a backpack into a germ-laden environment that is strictly regulated.

That’s what makes neoprene backpacks special. Your new nurse can sanitize them easily, thanks to the soft, resilient material. With the availability to swab it down with some disinfectant wipes, they’ll be ready to take their backpack anywhere!

8. Compression socks 

Remember how we talked about how many hours a nurse will spend on her feet? When it comes to their hospital shift, they are unallowed to wear slippers. There’s a hospital dress code, and those traditional bunny slippers don’t cut it. That means that nurses may need some extra help to get their circulation going and their feet from swelling.

One of the most highly recommended ways to prevent swelling is with compression socks. They can be worn under scrubs, and are great for keeping the blood flowing, especially during the chilly winter months.

9. Nursing keychain

Keeping track of keys, especially if you’ve got a lot of them, is hard to do. And a poorly made or nonexistent keychain can spell disaster. If the keychain breaks, or it’s easy for keys to slip off, they can be lost on any sidewalk. Scrambling for keys, or trying to replace lost ones can make a morning stressful for anyone. And what better way to announce their passion and profession to the world?

You can find nursing keychains at a variety of novelty stores, whether locally or online. And if you want a custom-made keychain, sites like Etsy often provide lots of great options.

10. Penlight

Depending on their specialty, your nurse might use a penlight. It’s a tool used to dilate a patient’s eyes, to get a better read on their vision and reflexes. It can also be easy to go fumbling for one right before a checkup starts as they start their rotations. With their own penlight, relying on the hospital’s supplies will no longer be a concern. There are customized penlights, of course, but a standard one will do just as well.

11. Foldable clipboard

Taking notes and keeping track of their patients is the main priority for most nurses. While clipboards are usually set down outside of a patient’s room, as a busy nurse, you might need some extra space to jot something down. Having the ability to stow a clipboard in your pocket can be very handy to write down those extra new tips and tricks. These collapse or fold into neat squares, often small enough to tuck into the pockets of a lab coat or a pair of scrubs.

12. Scrubs

What nursing gift list is complete without mentioning a pair of scrubs? They’re the main uniform that any nurse wears during the workday.

Having lots of pairs will cut down on the amounts of times they have to do laundry during the week, especially if they are busy. That means even if someone else has already beat you to the punch, there’s no such thing as too many pairs. Be sure to get the right size and some appropriate patterns for them.

13. Funny socks

Socks can be the most underrated and valuable piece of clothing you own. Yet, the power of a pair of clean socks is unparalleled, especially if you’re on your feet often.

Gifting a few pairs of warm socks with some choice phrases can make anyone’s day. So when you make your gift, it’s worthwhile to invest in a few laughs, too!

14. Stethoscope ID tag

Losing a stethoscope is all too easy. And when it comes to keeping track of them, some nurses often struggle.

When you invest in an ID tag, everyone will know which stethoscope is theirs. That way, even if they do lose it, everyone at the hospital knows exactly who to return it to.

15. Cell phone sanitizer

This can come in many different forms. Even if you’re trying to keep it simple, a box of alcohol wipes probably isn’t enough. But since we touch our cell phones so many times in a day, they’re bound to collect germs that no one wants.

Some companies offer UV light scanners that banish germs as soon as the light touches a surface. Now that’s a sci-fi style solution your nurse may be interested in. 

Finding the Right Gift

A nurse’s job is very challenging. From treating patients to consoling them, to breaking bad news and suggesting they start end-of-life planning, it can be a major challenge. Finding a practical or funny gift to help them through the day can be a great thing to do.

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