Gift for BFF attaining BSN as second career?
May 3, 2012 4:15 PM   Subscribe

Gift for BFF since childhood to celebrate attainment of nursing degree and job offer? Almost no expense spared.

My best friend and I are 40 and have been fast friends since...infancy, I guess; I never remember not being friends. She is like my sister. She has two toddler/elementary age children. Her husband left her recently for another woman and pays no child support. She rallied, got herself together, and is getting "pinned" as a BSN! Yay! Awesome friend overcomes adversity and triumphs! She also got a great job offer.

I know nothing about nursing. I want to get her the BEST gift ever, preferably something she can use daily/regularly and feel the love. Is there any nursing "thing" like this? I can fall back on a luxury purse or something like that if necessary, but thought I'd see if there is anything I'm missing. I'm thinking around $500 but willing to spend more for the right gift.

Thank you for your insight.
posted by Punctual to Human Relations (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You could do a combination of a luxury purse filled with nursing stuff, like energy bars, a couple nice pen lights, and a gift certificate for a pair of really comfortable shoes. Or instead of a luxury purse, you could do a practical but cute tote with lots of pockets and a cute lunch container, like a bento box.

Would she be interested in money toward a professional development course, if her employer will not cover these costs? Sometimes starting a new job requires continuing education (even though she has just graduated, nursing is so broad and she might run into something new that she feels uncomfortable working with).

Does she have a babysitter for her children? You could arrange to pay the babysitter for a night out and treat her to a day at the spa or movies, whatever her style may be.
posted by shortyJBot at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does she have a nice stethoscope? Do you know what kind of nursing she will be doing?

If she already has a decent stethoscope I would be inclined to get her a luxury purse.
posted by Fairchild at 4:27 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nursing is hard on your body. I can't say that enough--even when you're in good condition and work safely. Set up a year of massage therapy with a well-recommended LMT. Alternately, if you know that's not her kind of thing, set up a year of awesome girls' nights out with you--with babysitting and the nice places to go out with tentative dates and everything (as a RN you get into this thing where you take care of everyone but yourself, particularly if you're a mom). On the floor, other assessment gadgets that approach your budget can be cumbersome or are targeted for stealing. You are such a good friend, truly--you're right to understand what a very big deal this is.
posted by rumposinc at 4:32 PM on May 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Does she have a nursing watch yet? I'm sure a jeweler would engrave it for you, and it would definitely be used daily. Same goes for some Dansko clogs -- not glamorous, but potentially a huge quality-of-life booster. Huge congratulations to your friend!
posted by argonauta at 4:35 PM on May 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

This is very sweet of you. A high-quality stethoscope is a great idea, as others have mentioned. But I wouldn't spent a ton of money on something for her to use on the job, because as a nurse all your nursing stuff gets covered in sick people funk and becomes gross.

So I'd go with one nice job-related thing for her to start out with, and spend the rest on personal life things (books/spa day/dinners out/whatever she's into).
posted by tetralix at 5:30 PM on May 3, 2012

I've been working as an RN for just over a year now, and a "subscription" massage thing where I could go once a month or whatever is seriously the most amazing thing I could imagine. Legs and feet get sore from being on our feet so much, backs get sore from helping support people who can't hold their own weight or turn in bed, necks get sore from I'm-stressed-so-my-shoulders-keep-scrunching-up-further-and-further syndrome, and relaxation gets ignored because we're too busy helping other people. Regularly scheduled massages would be amazing. But our work schedules are unpredictable, so having something where I could pick a day once a month to go, would be even more amazing.

Regarding stethoscopes... We just need one we can hear with. I know RNs who are happy to use the crappy disposable ones we keep on the unit for patients with resistant infections. A nicer one is sort of nicer, but probably not nicer enough to warrant the expense.

Danskos, or shoes in general, are a very personal thing. I know a couple nurses who wear them every shift. I bought a pair that I like for wearing around town, but they make my feet hurt if I wear them for an 8-hour shift in the hospital. If you go for an awesome shoes gift certificate, make it for a store that sells lots of varieties of awesome shoes, so she can pick what feels best on her feet.

So, I'd totally recommend the massage idea, unless she's opposed to that sort of thing. Perhaps you could also volunteer to babysit once a month for whenever she chooses to go get her massages?

If you're looking for something especially nurse related and kind of sentimental, you could get a beautifully printed and framed copy of this poem Just a Nurse, by Suzanne Gordon. I find it inspiring on days when nursing gets stressful.
posted by vytae at 5:58 PM on May 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

My mom was a nurse for eons and was very particular about her watches and always on the lookout for a really nice one, especially as digital ones took over the analog watches with the second hand. She had several really beautiful antique wind-up watches and I'm sure if someone had given her one as a gift, she absolutely would have treasured it.
posted by sonika at 6:29 PM on May 3, 2012

Depending on her scheduling and her home decor, how about some REALLY good light blocking curtains? If she needs to do night or swing shifts at all it would help her out, but it's more for her home and self rather than specifically the job. It's definitely more adult than my friends who cover their windows with tin foil.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:33 PM on May 3, 2012

All of these suggestions are good. I'm thinking one thing more: Will you be taking photos at her graduation? How about a picture of the occasion, in an frame engraved with her name, the degree, and the date? This need not be expensive but will make a lifelong keepsake. If you know Photoshop, you could also make a "colored pencil sketch" of the photo, or a "graphic pen", or some other treatment that would please her, and put that into a simple frame...Since you are friends since earliest days, how about a picture of her at her graduation with you, arms around each other?
posted by ragtimepiano at 9:53 PM on May 3, 2012

In any job where you're on your feet a lot good shoes are critical. Comfortable shoes that also look good are often really expensive, so maybe a voucher to a shoe shop that makes these. Or even one to one that will make bespoke shoes, the ultimate luxury item.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 3:43 AM on May 4, 2012

A lovely gift would be a watch with a second-hand. Old fashioned, and many of the newer medical devices have out-moded it, but it would be a lovely, symbolic gesture.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:02 AM on May 4, 2012

How about a year of gift certificates? Scout around where she will be working and purchase 12 gift certificates that will cover lunch or dinner. At $15.00 a piece, that's $180.00.
Split the rest of the $500 between massage therapy and something special she can do with her children.
posted by myselfasme at 7:49 AM on May 4, 2012

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