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Not all heroes wear capes—some wear scrubs and a face mask. We are thankful for the nurses in our lives now more than ever, after a long year of standing on the front lines against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Every day, they put their own safety and health on the line to protect the rest of us—and for that, they definitely deserve more than a simple "thank you."
National Nurses Week 2021: Free Dunkin' coffee, Chipotle burritos, and more to the nation's most trusted profession
While no single gift can truly equate to how much we appreciate and value all of their hard work, it's still worth treating your nurse friends to something special during National Nurses Week (May 6-12). Below are 12 of the best gifts for nurses, including the most popular scrubs, grocery delivery, and our favorite weighted blanket.
1. A new pair of scrubs
"I have too many scrubs," said no nurse ever. Especially if they're working all day every day, they'll need a bunch of pairs to rotate through so they aren't doing laundry 20 times a week. If you know their size, you can snag a few pairs or, even better, give them a gift card to a popular scrubs retailer. Some favorites of nurses? Figs, Dickie's, or Work 'n Gear for starters.
2. A gift card for food delivery
The only thing worse than a long day of work is a long day of work followed by hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. Give your nurse friends a night off with a gift card to a food delivery service like GrubHub or DoorDash. They can order takeout from their favorite local restaurant (and even a cocktail to match!) and kick back and relax.
3. A moisturizing lotion for dry hands
Nurses have to wash their hands a lot. And all that hand washing means less germs, yes, but also more dryness and cracking. To help them keep their hands moisturized, give them a super hydrating lotion. According to real nurses, the best options are those that are heavy-duty and unscented, like Aquaphor or Cetaphil.
4. Grocery delivery to make their lives easier
Nurses rarely have the time—or the energy—to get to the grocery store. I.e. they'll love having their groceries delivered right to their house. You can ask for their specific list to order for them or just give a gift card to one of the popular grocery delivery services like Instacart, Shipt, or Amazon Fresh.
5. The boozy subscription service everyone loves: Firstleaf
Let's be honest: Sometimes the best way to unwind after a stressful day is with a glass (or maybe even a bottle) of wine. So your nurse friends are sure to appreciate a subscription to Firstleaf, the wine delivery service our editors love for its quality and customization options. Each month, your giftee will get a box of six bottles of vino curated to their preferences from red to white to rose. Salut!
6. A pair of compression socks to wear at work
Being on your feet all day can be exhausting, painful, and swell-inducing all at the same time. That's why so many nurses wear—and swear by—compression socks. Opt for our experts' favorite pair from Figs or this pair from popular sock company Bombas, which has rave reviews for being comfortable, durable, and tight-fitting enough to relieve pressure. Bonus: For every pair of Bombas socks purchased, another is donated to someone in need.
7. A coffee gift card
A 12+ hour shift without caffeine? Yeah. Right. Your nurse friends will be incredibly grateful for a Starbucks gift card that they can use at the hospital shop when they need a pick-me-up in the middle of a shift. Tip: You can also Venmo them money for coffee that they can use at the hospital coffee bar or cafeteria, too.
8. The most comfortable sneakers
Allbirds are a favorite among nurses for a lot of reasons—not only are the cult-favorite sneakers lightweight and comfortable to walk around in all day, but they're also machine-washable (perfect for when you're dealing with messes and bodily fluids on a daily basis). Even better, when you snag a pair of the wool sneakers, you can choose to donate a second pair of Allbirds to another healthcare worker. Win-win.
9. A subscription to Kindle Unlimited
One of the best ways to escape from all the chaos and stress of our current world is to dive into a good book. And if anyone needs said escape right now, it's nurses. With a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, they'll get just that: access to thousands of e-books, audiobooks, and podcasts right at their fingertips. They don't even need a Kindle—the app can be used on almost any device including phones, tablets, and laptops.
10. Our favorite meal kit delivery service: Home Chef
Everyone—nurses included—love coming home to a delicious homemade dinner after work. But that's hard to do right now when you're exhausted after a long shift. Enter a meal kit delivery service like Home Chef. It's the best one we've tested because it has high-quality, fresh ingredients and recipes that are so simple even a beginner can follow them. I.e. it's exactly what your nurse friend needs to cook at home without all the extra effort.
11. A cozy weighted blanket to help them sleep
Whether they're a night shift nurse trying to catch a few Z's during the day or simply having trouble drifting off after a stressful shift, sleep can be hard to come by for nurses. A weighted blanket—with its gentle pressure that calms your nervous system—can help with that. We recommend the Gravity blanket because it's super soft to the touch and provides just the right amount of pressure (not too heavy, not too light).
12. A Disney+ subscription for their nights off
In the rare moments that they're not at the hospital, your nurse friends likely just want to zone out in front of the TV and snuggle up with a cozy blanket (see above weighted blanket suggestion!). Give them something good to watch (rather than endlessly browsing Netflix) with a subscription to Disney+. The popular streaming service has every Disney show and movie imaginable—including Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and National Geographic—and is completely family-friendly for any nurses with little ones.
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This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 12 thank-you gifts to send nurses for National Nurses Week