Let's see...I am by no means saying you should spend 100 bucks on this, but it is awfully kind of you to get her a gift! If she was a REALLY GOOD preceptor, 40 bucks seems good to me, but I'd never turn down a present! I need to add you to my Christmas list...need a new best friend? LOL
Okay. Hmm. I am a big proponent of gift certificates- even a 20$ one is wonderful, IMO.
Because nurses don't pamper themselves enough, I'm always veering to Spa certificates (not necessarily for something specific, like a service, but one that can be used however they wish). For Christmas I did this for three of my closest co-workers, and went to a very nice spa (not a salon, but the hoity-toity kind) and found out how much a spa pedi cost. Then I bought three gc's for the exact amount and gave them as presents. We all ended up going together, and it was wonderful (and a great way to bond...yes, I'm officially buying my friends now!). If she doesn't want to get a mani/pedi, she could use it for a massage or wrap or even buy products with it. Something to pamper herself, anf you've relieved the "burden" of picking out the "wrong" ting (ie, a line she doesn't like, or a scent she's not fond of).
If you want to keep it more...official, how about a GC to the uniform shop? She could always use something like that.
If you want to keep it less personal, how about a GC to a nice restaurant? To be polite, you'd have to make it big enough for two, IMO; no one likes to eat alone!
Or a bottle of wine and a really nice card with a message (that should be a given) thanking her and telling her how much her help has meant to you.
Or a bouquet of beautiful flowers sent to her home? Or an invite to dinner, your treat, if she's become a friend.
Or, since she's into gardening, you could make her a beautiful basket with a big, cascading bow, with some gardening-type gifts (gloves, Crabtree and Evelyn gardener's soap and lotion, etc.) with a pretty flower potted in a painted pot? Something like that.
I'm big on baskets, too. ;>) If she likes coffee, what about some five buck Starbucks gift certificates along with some delicious coffee and accoutrements and maybe a good travel mug (with a lid) so she can bring it to work?
How about those? If you know more about her, lemme know and we'll brainstorm.
I know some people say gift certificates are sucky presents, because you sort of avoid having to buy a really personal type of thing, but in my opinion, they're a Godsend because let's face it, people are really picky!
Or you could check some place like Nurses Station (www.nursesstation.com
) for a nursing related gift, though I'm not a big one on that kind of thing. To me, you end up with knickknacks you don't necessarily need or want, although the thought is sweet and the gesture is what's really important.
I'm going to book a pedicure right now...'scuse me...inspiration has struck!
Edited to add: I just told hubster what I was doing, and he got jealous and insisted that he get a massage if I get a pedi and foot massage. Hmpf. Men.