This is not my original idea -- I read it a few years ago in Nursing Management (I think). But I thought it was such a good idea, I'll pass it along here.
Instead of GIVING the nurses some little trinket (it's always something you really don't need, a cup, a bag, a pen, etc.) this hospital picked a charity that the NURSES CONTRIBUTED TO!!
They happened to select a women's shelter. Each nurse and unit put together the sorts of supplies that women need -- toiletries, cosmetics, pantihose, sox, pajamas, etc. and on Flo's birthday (the focus of Nurses' Week) they sent a delegation over to the shelter with cartons of supplies at their way of celebrating the week!!
I thought it made a great statement about the generosity of nurses. I always wished I could have been working at that facility when they made that loving gesture.
No matter what you buy for your nurses (cookies, dinner, trinkets, etc.) it will not have anywhere near the impact as what you invite them to DO as a demonstration of all that nursing is and can be in our communities!
Why not invite the enitre nursing staff to come in and work one day that week. It would be the first, last, and only day with adequate staffing. I think it would give the nurses the opportunity to spend some quality time with their patients and maybe redicover why they chose nursing as a career. The job can be quite stressfull with overwhelming patient loads and it is easy to loose site of all the "little things" you can do for people that really make a difference. It would be a great change of pace (and a wonderful nursing week gift)to have one day out of the year be a pleasant day at work.