You can never go wrong with the following: a nice stethoscope, pretty earrings (studs!), or a beautiful (water-resistant!) watch. Classic. I would include a fancy pen (black ink!) except that they disappear faster than you can ask “Who took my pen?” *
I’m really into giving people useful items. Here are a few more ideas:
Love this. Nursing students have to be careful that the papers they use and bring home do not have any patient identifiers on them. I used to carry a black marker with me just for the purpose of marking out that data. It was that or cutting it off the page. It would have been great to have this stamp handy.
A cute lunch bag. A friend gave me this one for my birthday, and I use it all the time. It’s small yet large enough to hold my breakfast and lunch. Once empty, it takes up very little space in my tiny locker. No more searching in the fridge for my food that has gotten pushed around.
Clinicals start early. Those heavy sleepers might find this alarm clock useful. There are also alarm clocks that roll away, fly, and test your math skills. I personally love my light alarm clock. There are many pricey models out there ($100+), but I use the Homedics SoundSpa Sunrise Gradual Light Alarm Clock Radio. It uses your own bedside lamp instead of a built-in light.
We have a lot to carry. This bag is large and has plenty of pockets.
Of course, these are things that I would have wanted as a student nurse (and still do). Any more ideas?
*My favorite pen is the Pilot EasyTouch Retractable Ballpoint pen. (Gel pens are not your friend.) It is refillable, but I almost always break the clip by the time I use up the ink so I keep a pack in my locker. I wish I could get them personalized. That would make it a bit harder for the thieves to feign innocence. I avoid letting people (nurses/doctors/patients) use them by keeping cheap free pens to give away in my clipboard. (This clipboard holds everything!)