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We've titled this "Better Gift Ideas" because last year's holiday gift list didn't exactly earn us rave reviews. However, we are tenaciously trying again--with excellent suggestions from our community--inspired by last year's list. With your able assistance, we've come up with a new list of nurse-appropriate holiday gifts for this year that are fun, practical and professional (or at least one of the three).
We've divided the ideas into 7 categories according to the goals they're intended to achieve. Happy shopping!
Gift cards for airlines and hotels. Find out which ones your nurse commonly uses. The reader offering this terrific gift idea explained how she could use the cards to keep work-travel costs down or even to book an extra hotel day to go sightseeing after the assignment ends.
Airline food and drink vouchers, because nothing is free on planes anymore!
Gas cards can be perfect for nurses who log lots of miles in their personal vehicle.
Gift cards for coffee or food. Chains like Starbucks might be easiest, since they can be found in airline food courts and in most towns across the country. Also, consider grocery store cards for the longer assignments.
Quality Earbuds for enjoying an audio book or music on public transport or a plane.
E-Books. Books are great travel companions, especially now that you don't need to use precious space to pack them.
A Kindle or other e-reader. This is handy if your nurse doesn’t already use an app on his or her smartphone.
New, wheeled, slim luggage and/or new luggage tags. A backpack is also a good idea, depending upon your nurse.
iPad or other tablet and/or a sleek, protective cover.
Skype gift card to make audio and video calls affordable.
Bluetooth headset. For any time you need hands-free phone calling on the go.
Tiny webcam. If your nurse’s laptop does not have one—or if he or she isn’t traveling with a laptop. Your nurse may already be using a free webcam/video chat app on their phone/tablet.
iTunes gift card.
Amazon Prime. A year of "fast and free" 2-day or less delivery and a long list of movies and TV series that members can watch for free.
Tickets to a concert, play or local attraction.
Selfie stick. Your nurse can use this for great group or solo sightseeing photos.
Certificate(s) for an oil change or other routine car care.
Favorite teas with relaxing properties like chamomile, etc.
Neck pillow or back pillow (compact and easy to use).
Fitness watch/tracker to get your 10,000 steps per day in. That's not likely to be a problem for a nurse, but these come with a variety of diet, fitness and health monitoring features.
Compression socks, so your legs don’t tire out before you reach 10,000 steps.
Nurse’s watch. Choose an indestructible and waterproof nursing watch, with a second hand. This can be a very personalized decision, so buy with your nurse present or include a gift receipt for return/exchanges.
Specialized traveling nurse bag or tote for daily use, with lots of pockets and interior capacity.
Small travel alarm clock that's reliable and durable, to help your nurse get to work on time, no matter what time zone he or she travels to.
You can also get your favorite nurse an Amazon gift card, so they can pick out almost any of the above items on their own! Please help us improve on this list by sharing your unique holiday travel nursing gift ideas in the comments. Happy Holidays!