The Best Gift Ideas for Travel Nurses: A Guide to Useful & Fun Nurse Gifts

Affiliate disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. If you enjoy reading “Legalese”, here’s my full disclosure policy.

Are you trying to find the ideal present for a loved one or friend who works as a traveling nurse? You’re in luck, because I’m about to share some unique ideas with you.

Those who choose to work as travel nurses are intrepid souls who enjoy the independence of moving from one location to another in order to help those in need. They take on short-term positions in healthcare facilities across the country, giving them the chance to see the country, get to know new people, and broaden their professional horizons.

photo of nurse carrying a globe

This traveling worker lifestyle is about as far polar opposite to my own work situation as possible. I wrote a while ago about the realities of working from home because that’s what I do. Honestly, I’m a tad bit jealous of those who get to travel for work.

But I digress…

Long periods of separation from loved ones are one of the more difficult aspects of working as a travel nurse. This is why it’s great to occasionally express gratitude to the selfless medical professionals who take care of us.

When choosing gifts for traveling nurses, keep functionality and practicality in mind. Items such as a lightweight but sturdy backpack, a portable charger, noise-cancelling headphones, and a compact toiletry kit are useful for the constantly mobile person.

There is no doubt that they will value a gift card or two that are redeemable for groceries, dining, or shopping at their next eventual destination.

Make sure to show your appreciation for your friend or family member who is a travel nurse by getting them a present that fits in with their nomadic lifestyle. To get your creative juices flowing, use my suggestions as a springboard to come up with other great gift ideas for that special nurse in your life.

Gift Guide for Your Favorite Travel Nurse Friend

Compression Socks

The perfect gift for a travel nurse is a pair of compression socks. I am starting off with a very practical and thoughtful gift because travel nurses work long hours on their feet. This makes what they do a tough job and all this standing can cause fatigued, achy legs and foot pain.

Compression socks not only improve blood circulation, but they also stop blood clots from forming, which is a common concern connected with prolonged durations of standing or sitting, especially during long shifts. Short of a pair of high quality comfortable shoes, these are probably the next best thing you can do for your favorite nurse.

The truth of the matter is that they are the perfect gift for pretty much any and all healthcare professionals and healthcare workers who spend a significant amount of time standing while working.

Also, many brands of compression socks are constructed with moisture-wicking materials, which help to ensure that the wearer’s feet remain dry and odor-free. This feature is especially beneficial for individuals who work in healthcare settings.

Because they are offered in such a wide variety of colors as well as wacky and bright patterns, you will be able to choose a pair that’s unique and perfectly complements the style of any member of your family or friend group you are shopping for.

Compression Socks Don’t Have To Be Boring

Overall, compression socks are an excellent and practical gift for traveling nurses. They can make your loved one feel more comfortable and energized throughout lengthy shifts, and they can also assist promote general health and wellness.

Compression socks are actually a close-to-perfect present because they will likely be worn on a regular basis, regardless of whether the recipient is actively at work or while they are traveling and on the road in a car or plane heading to their next assignment.

Kindle e-Reader

An Amazon Kindle e-reader makes for an excellent present for that travel nurse that enjoys reading digital books. The device’s small size makes it easy to pack and carry around without taking up too much room in a bag or suitcase.

The Kindle allows traveling nurses to read their favorite books and magazines without having to lug around the additional weight of physical books when they’re on the road and on assignment.

The Kindle’s e-ink technology makes reading feel like reading from paper, with no glare or backlight to strain the eyes. This ensures that traveling nurses can read comfortably in a wide range of environments, from a dark hotel room to a dimly-lit nurses’ station to direct sunlight.

photograph of kindle e-reader leaning  against a stack of books
You Can’t Go Wrong With a Kindle Paperwhite

The Kindle is a tangible item that can hold more than just books; periodicals and newspapers and even travel guides can be downloaded and stored on the device. Travel nurses can keep themselves entertained and up-to-date no matter where they are thanks to the ability to download new books and publications on the go.

All things considered, the Kindle e-reader is a fantastic and useful present for traveling nurses. It’s a great way to lighten the load of reading materials while still having something to keep the best nurse entertained on long flights or during downtime on the job.

The fact that a travel nurse who is away from home can still feel at ease and at home with the help of a Kindle makes it not only a special gift but also a great travel companion that will be appreciated and used quite frequently for sure.

Wanna go the extra mile? Why not throw in a cover for the e-reader? You’ll have plenty of options to choose from. For the free spirit you can go for one with a fun design and for the more conservative nurse you can get one with a nice simple solid color.

Get Creative With Kindle Reader Covers

Tote Bags

Considering that travel nurses are often on the go, tote bags make a useful present because they give nurses a perfect way to hold everything from personal stuff to medical supplies. The modern tote bag is a hybrid of form and function, with multiple pockets and compartments for holding everything from a stethoscope and scrubs to a water bottle and personal items.

Some even have double wall insulation in some compartments to keep refreshments cold, making them a great choice not just for long shifts, but also for those who work the night shift. Because they come in a variety of sizes, there are many great options if you want to give him or her one to use on the days spent traveling.

You can take your show of appreciation for the traveling nurse in your life a step further by giving her or him a nursing-themed tote bag with a clever saying or graphic. Depending on the recipient’s taste and preferences, you can select from a wide range of options, from the bare minimum in functionality to ones with elaborate personalizations.

Personalized Totes & Fun Designs Are Always Winners

Many retailers let you customize your tote bag with a name, company logo, or other details of your choosing, just like the examples above.

Sleep Masks

Gifting a sleep mask to a travel nurse is both considerate and useful because they typically work long and unpredictable shifts and need to take advantage of any downtime they may get.

The purpose of a sleep mask is to reduce ambient light and enhance the quality of sleep, making it easier to fall asleep and prolonging the time spent sleeping.

Silk, cotton, and foam are just a few of the materials used to make sleep masks, and each type has its own distinct look and feel, as well as a wide range of shapes and colors to choose from. If you’re looking to give the travel nurse a truly restful night’s sleep, consider purchasing a sleep mask that also includes earplugs.

Not Your Run-of-the-Mill Airline Quality Sleep Masks

Gifting a sleep mask to a nurse on the road might make them feel more supported and cared for, particularly if they have to work in locations with less than optimal sleeping conditions. Because of how small and lightweight they are, sleep masks are a practical item to bring on the road and make an amazing gift for the sleep-deprived travel nurse.

Think about the recipient’s preferred material, size, and style of sleep mask when selecting a this particular item as a present.

Relaxing Spa Day or Spa Package

As the ultimate gift of relaxation, a spa day or spa package can help the traveling nurse unwind and reenergize after a long shift or week on the road. Gifting someone a spa day requires some thought, as the recipient’s needs and preferences must be taken into account in addition to the spa’s offerings.

Massages, facials, and mani-pedis are among the most requested spa services by nurses. Spa gift certificates can be made even more special by including a handwritten note or message from you.

photo of ladies at the spa
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Consider the spa’s reputation and the feedback of previous clients when deciding where to buy a gift certificate or package. Don’t forget to ask about any special deals or packages the spa may have for healthcare professionals like travel nurses.

A day at the spa or a spa package can go a long way for travel nurses. It gives them the opportunity to take a break from the pressures of their job and concentrate on the all-important act of self-care, which is extremely important.

Phone Calls

That’s right… phone calls! Sure you don’t have to buy this gift per se, but stick with me and let me explain why it’s on this list.

A phone call is a thoughtful and easy gesture to demonstrate to the busy travel nurse that he or she is still very much at the top of your mind (or at the very least, on your mind). The sound of a friend or family member’s voice can serve as a welcome emotional pick-me-up while far from home and loved ones.

Nurses can benefit from a phone call from loved ones back at home because it gives them the chance to stay in touch, catch up on news, and talk about any difficulties they’re having at work, just like they would after coming home from a hard day’s work.

In addition to showing appreciation for the nurse’s efforts, this is a great time to offer positive reinforcement.

Photo by cottonbro studio on

Calls can be scheduled in advance to ensure that the traveling nurse is available to take them, and can be set up from any location with cellular network or internet access.

A phone call, while not a physical present, can still provide a meaningful emotional connection and serve as a reminder of the love and support that are waiting back at home.

While regular phone calls are great, video calls take things to the next level by allowing your beloved traveling nurse to see friends and family members face-to-face even if they are hundreds or thousands of miles away. For travel nurses who might be employed in more remote areas, this can be enormously beneficial.

While away from home, friends, and family, video calls can help fill the void left by physical distance and restore a sense of belonging. Additionally, a lot of platforms provide tools like virtual backgrounds and screen sharing, which can add interest and interaction to video calls.

You can even play Zoom games or Game Pigeon games (if you use iPhones; I am guessing other cell phones might have their versions of this app) to make these calls more homey.

lady on phone call
Photo by RODNAE Productions on

If you’re looking to give a travel nurse a gift that will truly make a lasting impression on them and definitely touch their heart, consider giving them one of the best gifts of all… the gift of communication.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to send some encouraging text messages every once in a while too.

Wrapping Things Up (Pun Intended)

The good news is that you don’t always have to buy a gift or spend a lot of money on a gift for your travel nurse friend or loved one. The list above gives you some options that range from free, well, free’ish, to more expensive, so you can pick a price point that suits you.

Some of the best ways to express your love and appreciation are through simple gestures, so use this list as a jumping off point and don’t be afraid to get creative with your gift-giving.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: