The Ultimate Gift Guide for Nurses Graduating into a Pandemic Workforce

by | Apr 22, 2021 | Nurse Gifts, Nurse Life, Nurse Scrubs & Accessories

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From stylish and comfortable nursing shoes to badge clips, new nurses need all sorts of things when beginning their careers. While they have likely acquired some stuff while in nursing school, it is never a bad idea to acquire some new gear to prepare for their first job. With COVID, there are some supplies that nurses need now that would not have been necessary in the past. 

When you consider the added stress of graduating into a pandemic workforce, it is clear that 2021 nursing school graduates could also use some fun and light-hearted goodies to brighten their day as they embark on a challenging journey. 

Whether you are thinking about giving something practical or something fun, here are some ideas for the special nursing school grad in your life! 

Badge Clips and Stethoscope IDs

Any new nurse would love a cute badge clip or stethoscope ID, especially one that matches her personality or interests. These accessories always make great gifts, and they will not break the bank. 


If you are shopping for someone you are close to, consider stocking their closet with cute printed scrub tops. High-quality scrubs are durable, comfortable, and sure to make any new nurse feel great. For nurses graduating into a pandemic workforce, scrubs with antimicrobial properties make an especially great gift. 

Compression Socks

Many nurses are on their feet for 12 (or more) hours each day. A good pair of compression socks help with blood circulation and can help the wearer remain a bit more comfortable throughout their shift. Compression socks come in countless colors and designs. Choose ones that match the intended recipient’s preferences or interests. 

Nursing Shoes

For nurses, a high-quality pair of comfortable and supportive nursing shoes are a must. This might not be the best gift to give as a surprise, though. Instead, let the nurse in your life know that you would like to buy him or her a pair of nursing shoes. Let them pick out their preferred brand and style, and then cover the cost for them. Giving the gift of happy feet is a wonderful option, but it’s best to let the recipient pick out and try on their new shoes themselves. 


While nurses know the importance of staying hydrated and tell their patients to drink plenty of water, many do not consume nearly enough themselves — especially while they are at work. Dehydration is common among nurses, but you can help by giving durable drinkware that will keep water cold all day long. 

Cell Phone Sanitizer

Did you know that a typical cell phone is ten times dirtier than a toilet seat? Yikes! Nurses’ phones are exposed to germs, bacteria, and other nasty things every day. Help your favorite nurse stay safe by giving her a cell phone sanitizer. These handy devices kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria in just six minutes, and they are must-have items for anyone in the healthcare field. 


If you are looking for a fun, fashionable, and practical gift, you cannot go wrong with a smartwatch. Used for everything from tracking steps to checking emails to looking up medications, a good smartwatch is like a personal assistant that wraps around your wrist. Check out the best smartwatches for nurses to find one that is perfect for the new nurse in your life. 

Black-Out Curtains

Is the nurse in your life starting their career on the night shift? If so, a set of black-out curtains is the perfect gift. They are an absolute must-have for anyone who works nights and can help your favorite nurse get some much-needed sleep during the day. Add a pair of earplugs, and you have an easy gift that will be deeply appreciated. 

Badge Reference Cards

Just about every nurse has a hard time remembering everything they learned in school when working in the real world. From medications and diagnoses to daily tasks, nurses have to remember countless things while on the clock. Badge reference cards are a great gift because they act as a quick reference guide to medications, medical abbreviations, and much, much more. Several companies make these handy reference cards. MDpocket is one great option, though. 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Nurses always need PPE, but it is more important now than ever before. Unfortunately, it has come to light in the COVID-19 pandemic that many hospitals and other medical facilities do not have nearly enough equipment to protect all of their employees adequately. 

To keep your loved ones safe, consider giving them a high-quality reusable mask. A 3M respirator (with extra filters) is a good option. The EnvoMask, a reusable NIOSH N95 respirator mask, offers superior comfort and has a secure seal that keeps glasses from fogging. If you don’t know what brand or style of mask the intended recipient would like, ask. As a recent graduate who will be starting their first real-world healthcare job amid a pandemic, they likely have a certain type of mask or other PPE on their wishlist. 

Rest and Relaxation

The next several months will likely be challenging for the nurse in your life, and that’s putting it lightly. The first year of nursing is always difficult, but entering the healthcare field presents even more issues during a pandemic. 

If you are looking for an awesome gift for a new nurse, consider giving the gift of rest and relaxation. There are several ways to do this, and it does not have to cost a lot of money. Gift certificates for massages, pedicures, and other pampering services are always appreciated. They certainly are not the only options, though. 

Offer to prepare a healthy dinner and drop it off at your loved one’s house on a work night, watch their kids so they can go out and do something they enjoy or ask if they need some help tidying up around the house. An act of love that eliminates a bit of stress is always a great gift.

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