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7 Ways to Honor Nurses During National Nurses Week

These health care heroes across the world deserve to be showered with gifts for everything that they do.

Lydia Noyes

Apr 23, 2024

Nurses work hard to keep us healthy and alive so National Nurses Week (May 6-12) is the perfect opportunity to show these health care heroes how much their selfless service means to you.

Here is a list of nurse-approved gift ideas — with some input from actual nurses and their advocates — to serve as inspiration.

1. Write a thank-you note

a photo of nurses week: nurses working

Nurses devote their lives to serving others, so expressing your gratitude can go a long way toward making them feel valued. Take the time to write a heartfelt card and send it to a nurse you know who's made a difference. Make the sentiment extra sweet by adding a box of cookies.

2. Give the gift of personal pampering

On their days off, nurses need nothing more than the chance to relax.

"As cliché as self-care sounds, it is necessary. Just as you recharge a car's battery, we must recharge our own," Elizabeth Cantu, BSN says. "Thoughtful gifts that encourage self-care while reminding us to unwind and fill our own cup first are much appreciated."

Be creative with your present for pampering. A soothing tea and essential oil gift set, comfy personalized lounge socks, or supplies for a home spa day are all excellent options. Another is a themed box of chocolates to help them satisfy their sweet tooth while on break.

3. Food is always appreciated

When you spend your whole shift on your feet running from room to room, you can miss meals. That's why the gift of food is always a hit among those in the nursing profession.

A Thanks for All You Do Healthcare Party in a Box is a clear sign of your appreciation and is easy to enjoy while on the clock. Or, go even bigger by covering dinner for an evening with a gift of a gourmet ham feast or lobster dinner for two.

4. Send a flower bouquet

a photo of nurses week: delivering food to nurses

The reality for nurses is that they are frequently exposed to sickness and sadness. Cheer them up with an infusion of life and color in the form of fresh flowers. These bouquets may be used to brighten up the break room at work or taken home to enjoy in the dining room.

You can opt for a traditional bouquet of roses or go the cutesy route with a “Doggie Howser, M.D." gift, made from white carnations.

5. Give gift cards (or even cash!)

Let's be frank: What health care workers really want is to be paid more. The nursing profession is grueling under ideal circumstances, and the past several years have been anything but.

“The best way to celebrate National Nurses Week for these wonderful people is MONEY!" exclaims Evan McCarthy, CEO of online dental lab Sporting Smiles. "Nurses sacrifice their own health and families and they deserve more than a medal for their selfless service."

While you may not be in a position to increase the salary of a nurse you know, a present of cash or practical gift cards is sure to be appreciated.

"Thoughtful gifts that encourage self-care while reminding us to unwind and fill our own cup first are much appreciated."

Elizabeth Cantu, BSN

6. Think practical

Sometimes the best gifts are the most useful ones. Rebecca Morrison, NP for Alberta Health Services, has plenty of ideas that fall into that category. “Most nurses could use a high-quality black pen," she says. “Legally, we have to write in black ink, and there is nothing better than having a really nice pen to write with. Or maybe give a super-fun lanyard or badge holder that we can easily clean."

Consider also how you can provide extra comfort for nurses during their shifts. A cozy sweatshirt, Morrison says, is always a great gift idea. “Health care facilities tend to be quite cold, especially at night, so a warm sweater to go over our scrubs would make a long night shift more pleasant."

7. Nominate a nurse for a DAISY Award

a photo of nurses week: nurse receiving flowers

If there's a nurse in your life you believe goes beyond their pay grade to show care and attention to patients, consider nominating them for a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. This recognition program began in 1999 and strives to thank nurses for all the super-human work they do every day.

Anyone, including patients, family members, co-workers, and other health care staff, can nominate a health care worker for this award. The program honors nurses all year long, not just during National Nurses Week.

Depending on the care facility, DAISY Award ceremonies may be held multiple times a year. All recipients receive a personalized certificate, award pin, hand-carved "healer's sculpture," and an online spotlight page recognizing why they were nominated.

Thank a nurse with a gift

Recognizing the sacrifices and patience of nurses is more important than ever. We’ve got the perfect Nurses Week cookies, gifts, flowers, and more to show your appreciation for all the tireless caregivers you know.

nurses week cookie rescue kit
Cookie Rescue Kit
nurses week youre incredible party in a box
You're Incredible Party in a Box
nurses week buttercream frosted long stemmed cookie flowers
Buttercream Frosted Long-Stemmed Cookie Flowers


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