6 Great NICU Nurse Gift Ideas

How to Show Your Appreciation for the Nurses in Your Life

A thank you note.
A thank you note. Ian Moran/Getty Images

There are so many wonderful ways to show your appreciation for your nurses. Simple gifts are such great ways to thank NICU nurses for the care your baby received while in the hospital or to recognize your baby's NICU nurses during the holiday season or National Nurses Week. Though the work they tirelessly do day after day can literally be life-changing, unfortunately many nurses go unappreciated. Give the nurses in your life the thanks they deserve with one of these inexpensive gifts.

Gift Ideas for NICU Nurses

  1. Thank you notes. Nothing beats the sentimentality of a handwritten thank you note. NICU nurses love their jobs, and the best gifts are your heartfelt thanks for doing it well. As a nurse myself, believe me when I say that thank you notes sent to the unit really lift our spirits, especially on sad days in the NICU. An additional copy sent to our unit's nurse manager or the hospital's customer service department is like icing on the cake, and it certainly doesn't go unrecognized.
  2. Pictures. Pictures of the babies we've cared for who are now growing healthy and strong are some of the best presents that NICU nurses can receive. We grow to love the babies we take care of, especially those who are with us for long periods of time, and we really do miss them after they've gone home.
  3. Snacks. You can never go wrong with food. Food makes a great gift for nurses! We're not picky: donuts, fruit baskets, cookies, veggie trays - you name it - it's all equally appreciated. One of my favorite gifts as a NICU nurse was a hot tray of chicken nuggets delivered at 10 p.m. That's snack time for night shift nurses, and the nuggets smelled heavenly and tasted delicious.
  1. Coffee. Twelve-hour shifts are long and often difficult, and if you've ever had the pleasure of sampling hospital coffee, you know it's far from gourmet. Flavored coffee, gourmet coffee and coffee creamers are always appreciated not just in the NICU, but in virtually any hospital unit.
  2. Hand lotion. If you have to "scrub in" to visit your baby in the NICU, then you know how quickly all that scrubbing, washing, and sanitizing can dry out your skin. Nurses can never have too much hand lotion. We especially like lotions with natural, skin-friendly formulas that don't have too strong a scent - preemies have delicate respiratory systems!
  1. Fun pens, badge holders, etc. Unless you're a nurse, you've probably never set foot inside a nursing supply store, but these places are practically treasure troves. Nursing supply store offerings go far beyond scrubs. They're full of fun, novelty items, like pens shaped like syringes, badge holders with smiley faces, as well as practical things, like shiny new bandage scissors. Any of these would make a great gift for a nurse.

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