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10 Creative Ways To Say Thank You To A NICU Nurse

Amanda Turner
February 13, 2022

There’s no doubt about it—nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit work tirelessly to provide care for babies in need. Parents who have had to go through the stress and struggle of having a newborn in the NICU know just how hard nurses work, caring for tiny babies as if they were their own. 

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Many babies in the NICU, like Rosie, are working to overcome necrotizing enterocolitis and other difficult health conditions related to premature birth. NICU nurses work around the clock to ensure that babies battling health issues are as comfortable as possible while getting the treatment they need to stay strong and get healthy. 

Parents who have experienced the difficulty of having a baby in the NICU often look for special ways to thank the nurses who took the time to treat their babies with love. Here, we’ve developed a list of ten ways parents can show their appreciation for NICU nurses.

1. Coffee

If you’ve had a baby in the NICU, you’ve watched nurses work long, trying, emotional shifts to care for little ones who are struggling. When you buy coffee for your nursing team, you’re showing them that you understand how hard they’re working—and that you know they’re putting your baby’s well-being above their own need for rest. 

A few different ways to help caffeinate your NICU team: 

  • Order a traveler of coffee and have it delivered to the nursing station
  • Purchase a monthly coffee subscription box and have it delivered to your nursing team for the following year
  • Pick up gift cards to your favorite local coffee shop and deliver them to the nursing staff

2. Photos and Letters

Parents get to see their babies who have spent time in the NICU grow into strong children, but many nurses never get to see the fruits of their labor. Sending your favorite nurse or nursing team photos of your child as they grow and letters of thanks can help NICU nurses feel appreciated and provides an important reminder that their hard work has made a difference in the life of a child.

3. Takeout

Your NICU team works around the clock, and delivering food can be a fun way to show your appreciation. Whether you choose your local pizza place or a high-scale takeout experience, ordering dinner for the NICU staff shows them that you see all the hard work they’re putting into caring for your little one. 

Fun bonus: order dinner from one restaurant, and dessert from another. Usually, your NICU nurses grab whatever they can on the fly, so it can be extra exciting to get to sample great stuff from multiple eateries. 

4. Lotion and Moisturizing Soap

NICU nurses wash their hands constantly in an effort to keep little ones safe, and all the hot water and soap they use can take a serious toll on their skin. Purchasing high-end soaps and lotions can help provide your NICU team with the relief that they need from constantly scrubbing in to stay germ-free. 

5. Nurse-Specific Novelty Items

Nurses love what they do, and it can be fun to provide your NICU team with fun nursing-themed items to brighten their days. Syringe-shaped pens, fun badge holders, and cool face masks can all add some fun to a nursing shift. 

If you notice that one of your nurses has a fun interest (like a sports team or type of animal) keep an eye out for nursing gear that lets them express themselves during their shift.

6. Compression Socks

Spending most of a shift walking around is an inevitable part of a nurse’s job. Many nurses use compression socks to help them stay comfortable as they rush from case to case, often without the chance to take a break for their entire shift. 

Swelling of the feet and lower legs is a common problem for nurses and others who spend lots of time on their feet, and compression socks can help to keep the blood flowing. Compression socks don’t have to be boring. Keep an eye out for fun colors and patterns that can inject a little bit of fun into your favorite nurse’s day.

7. Personalized Tumbler

Whether you decide to go the DIY route or have a tumbler professionally made, getting your favorite nurse a personalized tumbler can help them stay hydrated (and caffeinated) on the go. Take the time to learn a little bit about your nursing staff and hobbies, and create or order tumblers that reflect their personality. 

Fun bonus: send your favorite NICU nurse a tumbler with a photo of your growing child who they helped through some of the toughest moments. They’ll smile and feel appreciated every time they stop to take a drink.

8. Massage Gift Card

Nurses spend most of their days taking care of others, often at the expense of taking care of themselves. Buying a NICU nurse a massage gift card gives them a chance to take a step back and focus on self-care. 

Many spas offer massage gift cards that can be used for multiple spa services, such as pedicures and aromatherapy treatments. Leaving the gift card open to whatever the nurse chooses (instead of choosing the spa service for them) can be a nice way to provide some time for pampering. 

9. Baked Goods

Baking cookies, a pie, or a cake for your nursing staff can be a fun way to show them your appreciation. If you decide to go this route, be sure to avoid allergens (like peanuts). Provide plates, forks, and napkins, and deliver your baked goods in a disposable container so the nursing team doesn’t have anything to stress about returning after they’re finished. 

10. Artwork From Little Ones

If your child spent time in the NICU, your nursing team will be overjoyed to receive artwork or a handmade card from your child. If your little one isn’t yet old enough to write their own message, talk to them about all the hard work the NICU team did to help them stay strong, and write down their response in the card or on the back of the artwork. The NICU nursing team will love hearing directly from your little one. 

Did Your Baby Spend Time In The NICU With NEC?

If your baby was diagnosed with NEC after using Neocate formula, you’re not alone. Many babies who develop this condition have complications that require time in the NICU. Reach out to us today to discuss your situation and learn whether you may have a case that could entitle you to financial compensation.

Free Case Evaluation

If your child was diagnosed with NEC, Select Justice can help you fight for your rights and compensation.


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