14 Creative DIY Nurse Gifts for On or Off the Job

nurse in white lab coat and wearing stethoscope holding gift wrapped in red bow

Nurses — we need each other. We need to remind each other of the impact we make, the lives we change, and the people we serve with each nursing shift. As we gear up for the season of giving, what better to show love and appreciation for your fellow nurses than with homemade or DIY gifts?

Whether for the holidays, birthdays, or ‘just because,’ here’s the ultimate list of DIY nurse gifts for new nurses, seasoned nurses, travel nurses, and nursing students for on and off the job!

DIY Nurse Gifts: For New Nurses

Welcoming a new member to the nurse club? Celebrate the new chapter in their life with personalized DIY nurse gifts:

New Nurse ‘Survival Kit’

Consider creating a ‘survival kit’ for their first year on the floor, or for those long 12-hour nursing shifts. Find a nice tote bag and fill it with essentials to give them a warm welcome. Think back to your first year — what items do you wish you had? You might include:

  • Energy-boosting snacks, like granola bars and nuts.
  • A reusable water bottle to stay hydrated during long shifts.
  • A personalized note of encouragement for those challenging days.

Monogrammed Scrubs

No new nurse can have too many scrubs, right? Purchase a pair of comfortable scrubs in their favorite color. Add a personal touch by monogramming their initials on the scrubs. It’s a practical yet personalized gift!

Pro Tip: Not sure what scrubs to get? Check out this list of the best nursing scrubs!

DIY Nursing Journal

Design a personalized nursing journal for them to document their first-year experiences. Purchase a standard journal and add inspirational quotes, helpful notes and tips in the margins, and even journal prompts to help them grow and reflect on their journey.

Homemade Healthy Snack Jars

Remind them that they need to take care of themselves, too! Create a DIY snack jar filled with healthy treats, like:

  • Mixed nuts
  • Dried fruits
  • Protein bars
  • Dark chocolate

Tie it all together by attaching a note with a reminder to take short breaks for a quick energy boost.

‘What I Wish I Knew’ Book

Gather your colleagues and ask them to write down one piece of advice they wish they had when they first became a nurse. Put them all together into a sweet, welcoming journal!

DIY Nurse Gifts: For the Nurse Who Goes Above & Beyond

We all know that nurse who consistently goes the extra mile. Show them how much you appreciate them and how they inspire you with these meaningful DIY nurse gifts:

Afterwork Self-Care Basket

Give the gift of a self-care night! Curate a basket filled with items for a well-deserved post-work relaxation session. Put together refreshing and relaxing items like:

  • Scented candles or essential oils
  • A cozy blanket
  • Warm, fuzzy socks
  • Skincare items like lotions and lip balms
  • Bath bombs
  • Their favorite treat or snack

Whatever you choose, try to give them a pampering experience to help them unwind after all their hard work or for some much-needed nurse self-care.

Personalized Mug or Tumbler

Decorate a mug or tumbler with a heartfelt message acknowledging their dedication to their career. You might add a personal touch, inside joke, or meaningful message from you, your colleagues, or their patients to make it uniquely theirs.

‘Caring Hands’ Hand Cream Set

Assemble a set of luxurious hand creams to soothe their hard-working hands. Include scents like lavender or eucalyptus for a calming effect. Finish it with a personalized (and punny) note about caring for their caring hands.

Memory Scrapbook

Create a scrapbook filled with memories and notes of gratitude from their colleagues and patients. Include pictures, positive affirmations, thank-you cards, and stories that highlight their impact.

DIY Nurse Gifts: For Travel Nurses

Life on the road can be filled with adventure for travel nurses. Still, the holidays can be especially challenging. Why not give them something that brings comfort and a touch of home? Here are some DIY nurse gifts that can help:

Home Away from Home Package

Assemble a package with items for them to enjoy their travel nurse housing or ‘home away from home.’ This might include:

  • A collection of local treats from their hometown
  • A travel-sized aromatherapy diffuser
  • A cozy travel blanket
  • A picture frame of you together

Even the smallest of gestures can make their temporary home feel more familiar.

Travel Journal or Planner with a Personalized Cover

Capture their memories forever! Create a travel journal with a customized cover featuring a map or landmarks from their favorite destinations. Leave space for them to document their new memories.

Personalized Travel Playlist

Gifts don’t always have to cost. Let them know you’re thinking of them by creating a ‘travel playlist’ for them to listen to while on assignment. Include a mix of uplifting tunes and calming melodies for various moods. Encourage them to add new songs as they travel!

DIY Nurse Gifts: For Nursing Students

From coursework to clinicals, the nursing student in your life could use a thoughtful reminder of why it’s all worth it. Here are some DIY nurse gifts to inspire the nursing student in your life:

DIY Nursing School Survival Guide:

Create a study survival kit with essentials like healthy snacks, highlighters, pens, coffee, a thermos, and study aids.

Include motivational notes and encouraging quotes to lift their spirits during late-night study sessions. Make it extra special with tips, anecdotes, and wisdom from experienced nurses to help them navigate their studies.

DIY Flashcard Organizer

Keep the nursing student in your life focused on their studies by creating a stylish yet practical flashcard organizer using index cards and a small storage box. Decorate the box with nursing-related themes and include dividers for different subjects.

Nursing Vision Board

Set up a nursing vision board for your favorite student. Gather a corkboard, nursing magazines, and fun tips to help them get started (check out more ideas for DIY nursing vision boards here!)

Nursing School Memory Jar

While the future ahead of them is bright, encourage them to enjoy the ride. Provide a jar for them to jot down positive memories, achievements, or funny moments during nursing school. Encourage them to read the notes during challenging times for a boost of motivation.

Get (or Give) The Ultimate Nursing Gift: A New Career!

The best gift you can give yourself or the nurse in your life is a career that makes it all worth it. From travel nursing to local contract or per diem roles, find nursing jobs that support your future goals with CareerStaff. Discover nursing jobs nationwide or start now by filling out a quick application to connect with a recruiter below!

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