Graduation Gift Ideas for Nurses

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From the time they enter nursing school until the day they retire, nurses put everything they have into their profession. Long hours, busy shifts, and compassionate work are the common denominator among nursing staff members, whether they work in hospitals, clinics, doctor’s offices, or other healthcare settings. Nurses do what they do because they care and have a genuine desire for helping others.

Scrubs magazine says it best: “Nursing is a work of heart.” Show that special new nurse in your life how proud you are of their achievement. Check out these 10 gifts for a nurse’s graduation for inspiration.

A Book About The New Nurse

No matter how much heart the new nurse has, there may be days when they question the decision to go into nursing. It’s a demanding profession filled with unbelievable experiences that range from greeting new life as its born to helping loved ones say goodbye when a life is lost. Give the gift of encouragement. Buy a special journal and have everyone important in the new graduate’s life write an entry about why they will make an amazing nurse.

Celebratory Trips

Once the new nurse gets to work, their life is sure to get real busy, real fast. Consider giving the gift of time spent together — a long weekend away or a quick day trip is a great way to connect, catch up, and celebrate. Whether you arrange it just for the two of you or for a larger group, you’re sure to create fabulous memories that you’ll both enjoy for years to come.

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Framed Photos

Even the best nurses have difficult days. Long shifts, difficult cases, and lost patients can take an emotional toll on a new nurse. Help combat the tough days with a sweet gesture that surrounds the nurse with love and encouragement. Find a nice photo of just the new graduate, or a group photo with a bunch of friends or family. Have them sign the matting with personal messages before slipping it all into a decorative frame.

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A Series Of “open When” Notes

As the graduate embarks on their new career, there are certain experiences they are sure to encounter. Give friends and family each a topic to write about. Examples include the following “open when” topics:

  • Losing your first patient
  • Saving your first patient
  • You’re questioning why you became a nurse
  • You feel helpless and wish you could do more
  • You don’t know what to say to a grieving family
  • You wonder if you are making a difference

After everyone has written their notes, package it all up in a keepsake box, basket, or gift bag.

Stock The New Nurse’s Bookshelf

Have your group buy a series of nurse-oriented books to stock the graduate’s shelf. Did your graduate already take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX)? If not, a NCLEX prep book is a great gift idea, especially when paired with a handwritten note of encouragement. Or outfit your grad with reference guides within their chosen nursing specialty — intensive care, pediatrics, or cardiac, for example. Other ideas include books geared to uplift nurses’ spirits after long shifts or on tough days. Look for books written by nurses for nurses, as well as books geared to brand-new nurses embarking upon their first year in the profession.

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Special Jewelry

Jewelry offers the perfect opportunity to personalize a gift. From graduation pins to heartbeat necklaces and stopwatches (perfect for taking pulses), there are seemingly endless options out there. If you can, consider adding a custom engraving to give your nurse graduation gift an extra-special touch. Or have the whole group go in together on something like a charm bracelet or necklace with each person contributing a meaningful charm.

Spa Day

Pampering and relaxation is a wonderful graduation gift for nurses, who spend most of their time making sure others are comfortable. Nursing school is hard work, and your grad has surely spent countless hours on their feet during clinical rotations. Massages, facials, and manicures honor all your special nurse’s hard work and gives the gift of a little “me-time.”

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Nurse-themed Gift Basket

Nurses often supply their own gear, and this is a great opportunity for a group of friends and/or family to all pitch in and get some of the must-have essentials a new nurse is sure to need. Then put it all into a great gift bag or basket. Ideas include:

  • Scrubs: Depending on where your nurse graduate works, they may be responsible for buying scrubs. Why not treat your nurse to something special that will make them think of you every time they wear it? Unless the employer has a uniform policy, many nurses get to choose their own wardrobe, which can be lots of fun given the variety of scrub designs and colors (especially in pediatrics!).
  • Stethoscope: Nurses use their stethoscopes during every shift, so they’ll surely think of you when they do. Popular brands among nurses include Littmann, Lumiscope, and Prestige.
  • Accessories: Bandage scissors and scrub hats are important work tools, while coffee mugs and travel cups personalized with special photos or sayings add just the right touch to remind the new nurse how loved they are, even during difficult shifts.

A Beautiful Journal

The early days of a nurse’s profession are filled with firsts and new experiences. Give the new graduate a gorgeous journal where they can record some of the special things that happen along the way, valuable lessons learned on the job, and other noteworthy experiences that they may want to reflect on later in life. This is a simple gift that becomes more profound over time as the new nurse fills the blank pages with experiences and wisdom all their own.

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Graduation Ecards


Break out the pomp and rock the circumstance with congratulatory ecards for the awesome graduates that you can send from anywhere. High-fives all around!

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Graduation Creatacards™


Congratulate them with a memorable card! Personalize and print unique graduation cards from your home computer.

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Graduation Party Supplies


This is the party they’ve been waiting for, so make sure you have everything on your celebratory syllabus, like gift wrap and party supplies, to honor the graduate’s big achievement.

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