3 Gift Ideas for Nursing Students (and Nurses Too)

December 19th, 2011

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By , BSN, RN

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through house not a creature was stirring, not even an online nursing student…well ok, you might actually be stirring since online classes never really take a break. But, you do deserve some special presents under the tree, as do all the special nurses out there.

This list can be copied and pasted to any loved one's email or printed and handed out as suggestions for nursing oriented gifts for students and working nurses everywhere.

  1. Gift Cards for Apps-Nursing students today are dependent on their smart phones and tablets. Many of their textbooks and references are now downloadable; charts for lab values, drug indexes, care plans and procedure manuals can all be found as apps. There are even apps that can decipher physician's handwriting While some of these are free, many are costly—plus, gift cards are always the right size.
  2. Books (print or electronic)-I'm not talking textbooks here, I'm talking about literary nursing: biographies, adventures and even poetry. Pleasure reads. Theresa Brown's Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life and Everything in between is a great read by a former English professor who gave most of it up for nursing. She has put the writing skills from her first career to work and shares stories to which every new nurse can relate. Nursing in the Storm: Voices from Hurricane Katrina is a true-life adventure relating the tales of nurses from six separate hospitals in New Orleans in the destruction and flooding following the massive hurricane. They are stories of compassion, commitment, craziness and the unbelievable conditions theses nurses worked through. This inspiring tale was a winner of an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award in 2010. Finally, for the the lyrical side nursing try out The Poetry of Nursing: Poems and Commentaries of Leading Nurse-Poets by Judy Schaefer or Between the Heartbeats: Poetry and Prose by Nurses by Cortney Davis. Nursing Times says of Cortney's collection, “This volume of poetry and prose is written by nurses about their experiences of caring. It describes their disasters, their triumphs, their joy and sorrow. It is, quite simply, wonderful…Beg, steal, or borrow this book; if that fails, buy it." Books are often the perfect gift and, they're easy to wrap or simply download.
  3. Nursing Memorabilia-There is all kind of fun stuff out there and most can be found on Ebay. No one gets a cap anymore but maybe it would be a fun reminder for a newcomer to nursing of the many traditions the modern nurse is built upon. There are vintage stamps featuring nurses and charms for necklaces and bracelets galore. There are figurines from bobble-heads to Lladro, watches (second hands a must), and classic old books featuring heroines like Cherry Ames—who solved mysteries in 27 novels while working every area of nursing including as an army nurse, boarding school nurse, ski nurse and even a dude ranch nurse. These may not be the most practical of gifts but they point out there is a lot of fun in this very serious profession.

These are just a few suggestions for nursing related gifts. Anything that promotes a little laughter, or relaxation or distraction from the grind of studying, clinicals, or patient care will be welcome.

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