What would you have done without that cheerful nurse by your bedside the last time you had a medical procedure? It just wouldn’t have been the same, right?
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Step 1: Find the Nurse’s Address
- Step 2: Find the Perfect Card
- Step 3: Decide How You Want to Start
- Step 4: Brainstorm the Right Words
- Step 5: Decide on a Gift
- Step 6: Deliver the Gift or Card
- Sample Thank You Notes to Nurses
Why not consider brightening that nurse’s day? Deliver a card or gift to the nurse who did a lot for you. It’ll make a very deserving professional feel appreciated — and it’ll make you feel great, too.
Step 1: Find the Nurse’s Address
Does anyone send mail anymore? It might not seem like it, but isn’t it fun to get mail in the mailbox? When you’re sending a thank-you note to a nurse, it’s worth it to go the extra mile and send a handwritten note.
You can ask your nurse what his or her address is or contact them on social media to get the address. Otherwise, check sites like whitepages.com If you want your card to be a surprise. If you’re lucky, you might be able to get the nurse’s family members or friends to help you.
Step 2: Find the Perfect Card
Finding thank-you notes for caregivers in the card aisle is challenging because there’s no “nurse” aisle next to all the birthday and sympathy cards. You may have to opt for a blank card or use a standard thank-you note.
Store-bought cards might not be quite special enough. Are you an artist? You might consider creating your own card — you could make a beautiful watercolor or draw a cartoon on the front.
Step 3: Decide How You Want to Start
Were you and the nurse close? If you saw him or her every week for a few years, there’s no need for introductions. But if you only saw the nurse a handful of times, it might be tough for him or her to remember you. (Think of how many patients a busy nurse sees every day!) If you have a common name, it may be worthwhile to start with a brief introduction.
You can start with something like, “I’ve seen you every week for my ovarian cancer treatments,” or reference a story or inside joke you’ve shared. All you need is a little something to jog your nurse’s memory.
Step 4: Brainstorm the Right Words
Nurses have a tough job. They’re responsible for administering medical care, emotional support, and knowledge. They have to make tough calls and might even have to tell a patient to start end-of-life planning. Remember to acknowledge your nurse’s emotional investment in your card.
But you might write, “Thank you for caring for me,” and then run out of things to say. It feels awkward to leave the rest of the card blank. The solution is to brainstorm before you ever touch the card so you don’t find yourself in that position.
You may want to write about your nurse’s:
- Expert medical knowledge.
- Emotional investment.
- Impact on you or a family member. (For instance, you could explain how he or she provided exceptional hospice care for your mother.)
- Kind bedside manner. (Maybe he or she told lots of jokes as you recovered from surgery — which is just what you needed.)
Step 5: Decide on a Gift
Is giving a gift doable and appropriate? If it’s not possible, that’s okay — a card is incredibly meaningful by itself.
If you feel compelled to buy a gift, think about your gift carefully. If you don’t know the nurse well, it’s best to hold off on gag gifts. You can never go wrong with practical gifts like a pair of new slippers or healthcare books. You can always give your favorite nurse a gift card.
You can read our guide on gifts for nurses if you need more inspiration.
Step 6: Deliver the Gift or Card
You might not be able to find your nurse’s address or you might have decided you want to deliver the gift in person.
Can you leave it at the front desk if the nurse is busy? A coworker may also be able to deliver it.
Sample Thank You Notes to Nurses
We’ve put together some templates for you if you’re still not sure how to put pen to paper. Feel free to use the words that apply to your situation.
Thanks so much for taking care of my mom while she was in the hospital! When I first visited, I was so worried about her medical care. She’s always hated being in the hospital, and she doesn’t like doctors. But she praised how you’d helped her take her medication and explained what was going on, so I knew you were a really great nurse!
You spent so much time with my mom — even when she didn’t need anything. Since I live six hours away, I couldn’t see her every day. That was so hard on both of us, but you really made her feel at home during a difficult situation. You’re such a kind person, and I’m so happy that there are nurses like you. Thanks so much for your patience and empathy!”
Thanks so much for your kindness while I was in the hospital. Even though I wasn’t there for very long, it was a sad time for me. Your empathy was a really bright spot during that time. Thanks also for keeping my parents updated on my situation.
You’re a standout nurse, and I’m glad you ended up being my main nurse. Best wishes for your career and future patients!”
Recovering from my surgery was such a long road. I’ve been in and out of hospitals for the past few years and I’ve never met a nurse as dedicated as you. You were always there to answer my questions. And if you didn’t have the answer, you didn’t stop until I felt comfortable with the answers I got from other nurses or Dr. Feeney.
Your persistence and kindness really made such a big difference. Since my family wasn’t able to visit me much, your cheerful personality made my stay so much easier. Thanks so much for being an awesome nurse!”
Nurses are often outstanding professionals — they’re usually patient and kind. Take the time to tell your favorite nurse how much he or she impacted your life.