What to give a nurse when they retire?

Nurses Relations


Hello All,

I have a coworker that is getting ready to retire soon and I am not sure what to give her as a retirement gift. I want to give her something as a keepsake, but I do not want to break the bank. Anyone have any ideas?

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Has she influenced your practice? One of the nurses who precepted me when I came to the ER in 1996 retired shortly after I got off orientation. I sent her a note telling her how much of an influence she had on my practice and I was sure that I wasn't the only one she influenced. I actually ran into her several years later and she said that was the best gift she ever received.

Specializes in OB/GYN, Peds, School Nurse, DD.

My first thought was to give her a Spa Day, or at least a gift certificate for a massage or two. i personally do not like trophies and plaques. When my mother retired at age 62 after 25yrs of nursing at the same hospital, they took up a collection, around $200, and gave her the cash. She bought herself a hammered dulcimer--said she'd always wanted one :clown: (I had no idea!) Long story short, she learned to play that instrument and went on to buy a few more. She's 76 now, still holds her license, and she travels the country in her RV taking hammered dulcimer classes and going to "jams." Yeah, go MOM!

Gift certificate for a massage, or to her favorite place to eat, might be nice.

Knee replacements.

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

My first thought was spa-related, too -- if she is the type of person who would appreciate that sort of thing.

I would also avoid the "knick knack," "dust collector" type of item. By the time most people retire, they have enough "stuff" and are hoping to down-size -- not looking for junk to fill shelves. Give her something she will actually use.

Another thought is a gift certificate at a mall ... or to a favorite restaurant ... etc. Do you know if she has any hobbies or plans for certain types of activity during retirement?

This is totally going to depend on how close you were with this nurse.

If you weren't that close, I think the spa certificates are a great idea.

But, if you were close, and this is someone who you truly look up too and are very grateful for, I would be leaning more towards the sentimental type of gift.

My favorite sentimental gifts are the Willow Tree Figurines at Hallmark. I think one of those, along with a note explaining the significance and what they meant to you, is a great gift. But, I'm just the kind of person who likes to gives sentimental gives over gift cards.

Here are a few examples of ones that may be good

Beautiful Wishes | Willow Tree by Susan Lordi

Someone has actually given this one as a retirement gift. This is a great one to tell express your thanks and also wish them happiness in their next journey in life.

Remember | Willow Tree by Susan Lordi

This is also a good one to explain how that person has impacted your life and you will always remember them.

If she has worked this unit/hospital for a long time, you and your co-workers could make a scrapbook for her. Snapshots of each other (with a personal greeting). Pictures of your workplace with funny or thoughtful notations. Recipes of treats you have all brought in over the years (and have some of these at a retirement celebration for her). Appreciative notes that speak of things you value about her. Little reminders of anything you think will make her smile.

Chipping in for a cash gift is a good idea, too. That way she can buy something meaningful to her, something that might last longer than a meal or a massage. Then again, maybe a meal and a massage are exactly what she would choose.

Giving a scrapbook may help her take you all with her and retain a sense of connection to a big part of her former life. And it could help her remember names and faces a few years down the road when all that stuff starts to blur. I would think such a book would be a treasured keepsake.

Specializes in Critical Care.

I wrote a letter on special stationary telling this nurse how much they meant to me and how they had helped me become a better nurse. She also loved to drink teas, so I did an internet search and got her a special blend of different teas that came in a beautiful box...something she could sit down and enjoy. She said she loved it.

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

A scrapbook with pictures of co-workers,departments or MD's. I worked at a hospital for a long time and when I got married I moved across the country. I still l;ook at it everday. That and a autographed quilt from everyone!

I liked the knee replacements comment though! lol

Specializes in Med/Surg.

I really like the scrap book idea. I am at work so much I think of a lot of them as family. The spa idea is good if they are into that type of thing. My husband got me one of the Vermont Teddy Bears when I was accepted to nursing school and I love it. http://www.vermontteddybear.com/SellGroup/Nurse-Teddy-Bear.aspx. I know several of the administrators at work have them in their office as does Wilson from House.

Does she have a computer? How about a journal that everyone has signed and written a favorite memory in, along with their email addresses & facebook addresses. Now that the retiree has more time on her hands, she may welcome a way to keep in touch with her old friends & coworkers.

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