Personalized retirement gifts. A mundane retirement gift can become special if you take the time to personalize it. Best-selling retirement gifts at Zazzle.com include T-shirts, mugs, hats, Christmas ornaments, wall clocks and golf balls that can be customized with the retiree's name, retirement date, occupation or a quote, according to Zazzle spokesperson Nicole Sargent.
Hobby retirement gifts. If you know what the retiree plans to do after leaving the workforce, you can tailor your gift to the retiree's hobbies or travel plans. "Subscriptions to publications, or to wine or gourmet food clubs, organization memberships, cultural events, lessons or activities in which the retiree has expressed interest, i.e. becoming more tech-savvy, learning a new language, painting, sculpting – even skydiving or rock climbing," says Rosanne Thomas, president of Protocol Advisors. "The person is retiring from work, not from life. Treat him or her to an exciting new experience."
When I was in my first year of practice as an oncology clinical nurse specialist (more than 30 years ago), my patient Lin offered me a personal gift. Sure, I had been the recipient of many gifts— flowers, chocolate candies, homemade food—but all had been shared with the entire staff. This situation was different: She was presenting me with a small, hand-embroidered hankie. No note, no verbal thank-you—just a smile and a bow. I had first met Lin about 10 months before, when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She had worked long, hard hours as a housekeeper; had a devoted husband and 2 beautiful boys, both in elementary school; and barely spoke English. I was the nurse who helped her understand her diagnosis, her access device, and her complex 2-year chemotherapy protocol, with all its adverse effects. She had just finished her initial phase of intense treatment and was transitioning to maintenance therapy. ">
For many years the newly retired nurse will have dedicated her life to caring for others. It’s about time she enjoyed a spot of pampering herself. Give her a gift voucher that can be exchanged for a massage, manicure, pedicure, or hair style. She could use it for a reflexology session, day at her local spa, Reiki session, or a makeover. If there are a few people that are willing to pool finances, you might be able to treat her to a weekend away.
Nurses play an important part in many people’s lives. And that goes for family and friends, as well as for patients. The work that a nurse does is admirable, and they can always be relied on for compassion and respect. When it comes time for a nurse to retire there will be a lot of people queuing up to wish them all the best. Co-workers, current and former patients, as well as friends and family, will all want to mark the event in a special way.

Nurses are on the front line for patient care. Show appreciation to the nurses that you know, and the ones who endeavor to provide you with comfort and care. Made for sharing, these are 51 – 2 sided, playing card size, inspirational messages in a box. Give all at once to draw from for a ‘lift’, or keep a box to hand out and pass around. Your small gift will be received with smiles and gratitude for your thoughtfulness.
Consider championing a proactive approach at your facility to clearly communicate that staff are not allowed to receive monetary gifts or the equivalent. Create a statement—e.g., “It is our policy that staff may not accept gifts of any kind”— that can be shared with new patients in their information packet about the facility, parking, visitors, etc, and suggest alternatives for redirecting gifts. ">
Last year I had a preceptor for a new job that I took, and I didn’t know what thank you gift to get her. So I just started observing more intentionally what she liked to chat about, and what activities she enjoyed outside of work. My thank you gift at the end of our time together was a bag of gourmet hot cocoa and a big pack of diet coke along with a thank you note. She was so touched and to this day still raves about how much she loved that hot chocolate.
Group retirement gifts. The most economical way to give a gift is as a group. Consider taking up a collection at the office in order to give a significant gift without busting your budget. "There is a benefit by going in as a group," says Cassie Mogilner Holmes, an associate professor of marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. "Some experiences are quite costly, and a really great extraordinary experience is sort of better than the single bottle of wine you could buy by yourself." Remember to include a card or item that everyone in the office signs.
Industry retirement gifts. A retirement gift can relate to the field you worked in. The gift might reference things the retiree created, bought or sold on the job or the many people he or she helped at work. "Different fields of employment could be taken into consideration, making the gift more related to their career. For example, if in aerospace, the gift might be a model of the aircraft you helped build. In construction, it could be a new toolbox with an engraving for their garage," says Pamela Eyring, president of The Protocol School of Washington. "The company culture and industry will help guide your selection." ">
Group retirement gifts. The most economical way to give a gift is as a group. Consider taking up a collection at the office in order to give a significant gift without busting your budget. "There is a benefit by going in as a group," says Cassie Mogilner Holmes, an associate professor of marketing at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. "Some experiences are quite costly, and a really great extraordinary experience is sort of better than the single bottle of wine you could buy by yourself." Remember to include a card or item that everyone in the office signs.
If finding gifts for nurses leaves you scratching your head every time, this is the gift list for you. No tacky mugs, no tween cartoon “theme” memorabilia – this list is comprised of the unabashedly stylish, the unquestionably pragmatic, and some surprisingly affordable kinds of gifts that you can not only be proud to give, but that you might actually be happy to receive as well.
Sentimental retirement gifts. Scrapbooks, photo albums and collections of notes from customers, clients or colleagues are often the most meaningful retirement gifts. While sentimental gifts take some effort to compile, they are likely to be cherished by the retiree. "Gift recipients of all kinds love sentimental gifts, ones that remind them of the gift giver and the relationship the gift giver has with the recipient," says Jeff Galak, an associate professor of marketing at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh. "Givers should focus on gifts that exemplify the relationship they had and will hopefully continue to have with the person who is retiring. Research shows that this will not only be well liked by the recipient, but could also strengthen the relationship between gift giver and gift recipient." ">
It’s gift-giving season again—although for oncology nurses, managing material expressions of gratitude happens all year long, not just during the holidays. This can be a complex issue for all healthcare providers but especially oncology nurses, who develop a special, unique bond with patients and their families, who often want to show tangible appreciation for their care. ">
And we could go on, but you should get the idea. Leading up to the day of her retirement when you can give her a bouquet of twelve red roses. Add a note containing a message, favorite quote, or special words, with each of the gifts, and keep your identity secret until the last day. Alternatively, all her co-workers could take it in turns providing a range of different gifts. One for each day leading up to her last day at work. ">
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Some people may think gift cards are a “lazy option”, but I think they’re just fabulous. Does your preceptor enjoy reading? What about a magazine subscription? Or better yet…a nursing magazine subscription! Nurses need to stay up-to-date with healthcare trends, and the magazines that are out there now are really enjoyable to read as well as informative. Or, you could get him/her a gift card to the local scrub shop (we always need new scrubs…those things take a beating!). 
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