If you want to give individual gifts to your nursing friends, how about pedometers? Everyone is trying to lose weight for the new year. And as a hint, they are supposed to clip onto your shoe and not your waist. Clipping onto the shoe gives a more accurate reading.
You could also go into Burlington Coat, they sell Christmas Lipglosses 6 to a pack for $3.99. You could buy a couple of packages and throw them into a bowl, along with pedometers, and some other misc. things from the dollar store. Then everyone could get what they want. Make sure you put a sign on it saying, "TAKE ONE ITEM ONLY PLEASE."
An alternative to the usual foods might be a basket full of assorted teabags - try some specialty teas and some herbal or fruit teas, maybe some gourmet hot chocolate packages. Even when there's no time to eat it's nice to have a good drink to sip while charting. (When JCAHO isn't looking of course)
You might consider an appliance such as a new coffee maker, coffee grinder, a smoothie maker, or even a new cd player for the unit as a whole. This might be something to get several cowrkers to go in on with you.
On a small unit you can buy inexpensive mugs at the dollar store and use a (food dish safe) paint pen to personalize each one.
Even though it's sort of food related. I love it when people get us COFFEE... Like a big basket of different coffees, creamers etc...
I also really like the idea of lotions, it's something that's always needed. One of our patients got us mini manicure sets one year, I think they were from mary kay? Chapstick is something that we always need in the winter months where we work.
In our dept we really need a new coffee pot but no one's offered us one of those LOL...
Someone at our hospital always buys about 10 cases of microwave popcorn to stock the cupboards in the break room. We eat it throughout the whole year! Great for those busy shifts when you don't have time to eat a real meal!