Retirement Party Ideas for Nurses

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

  • The most important aspect of a retirement party is celebrating the career and accomplishment of the retiree.
  • This is no different for a retirement party for nurses. Nurses play a vital role in our society and any retirement party in their honor must have this as its focus.
  • Great retirement party ideas for nurses will be the right balance between fun, hip, and at the same time mature and this article gives you all the down-low on striking this right balance and having an awesome nursing retirement party.
  • To have any of the great retirement party ideas for nurses we will be giving you, be sure to follow the important checklist listed in this article.

Nurses play a critical and important role in our society – they work tirelessly with doctors and other healthcare professionals to save and keep human lives. According to a recent report by MinorityNurse, registered nurses in America are more than 2 million, while the American Nurses Association puts the number at 4 Million. That’s a sizable number of the American population.

Total US Nursing Population (2020). Source: MinorityNurse

Total US Nursing Population (2020)

And of that number, more than 500,000 have been anticipated to retire by 2022. And that would be a lot of nursing retirement parties to plan and organize. And that makes this article all the more important. We don’t want you to give these important men and women just about any retirement party. We want your retirement party to be The Retirement Party of all times – hip, funk, exciting, and at the same time very appropriate. And for that to happen you need to be armed with the right type of information to know exactly what you need to do. And that’s precisely what this article does for you. It is packed with helpful tips and information on organizing The Best Nursing Retirement Party, and importantly retirement party ideas for nurses.

And if you are a nurse looking for just the right type of ideas for planning your retirement party and that of your colleagues, you are in the right place. You will find all that you need in this article.


In planning a retirement party for nurses, you should be aware of the following important statistics, and what they mean in terms of planning for a nursing retirement party.

1. The full retirement age in America is 66, with 62 years being the minimum age to start collecting Social Security.

Average Retirement Age in America (2017) Source: DQYDJ

Average Retirement Age in America (2017)

On average, people start retiring between the ages of 59 and 62. Although there may be one or two exceptions to this for people who decide to retire early, it is highly unlikely that this would be the case for the nurse that you are planning the retirement party for. This is important because it gives you an idea of the age group for which you are planning the party. It provides important guidance on what sort of theme to be going for, and what is appropriate to have at such a party. This will be like planning a party for your 60-year-old mom (or dad) and you know there are do’s and don’ts for such parties.

2. Registered nurses work a minimum of 40 hours a week, and in cases where they are required to work overtime, they would exceed these number of hours.

Multiply 40 hours a week by the number of weeks in a month, and that comes to at least 160 hours every month. 160 multiplied by 12 months gives you a minimum of 1,920 hours in a year given by each nurse to the cause of humanity and saving lives. Such major contributions must be reflected in any retirement party. The retirement party should go all out in showing that they are cared for and valued and also that we want them to take care of themselves as they move on to the next phase of their lives.

3. According to MinorityNurse, job satisfaction among nurses is at a low of 30% who find their jobs very satisfying and 50% finding it moderately satisfying.

Job Satisfaction among US Nurses. Source: MInorityNurse

Job Satisfaction among US Nurses.

This is not too encouraging considering how generous with their time nurses are. This means we need to give them a very memorable retirement party that would at least make them remember their workplace with a bit more excitement and fond memories on their way out. It also means the party has to show them that their generosity is appreciated.

4. 63% of all registered nurses can be found in hospitals, with the rest scattered across other sectors in the economy.

Registered Nurse Employment Setting. Source: MinorityNurse

Registered Nurse Employment Setting

This is important as it assists in planning the finer nuances of the party such as the party theme, decorations, games, and food ideas.

5. Most retirees (nurses included), will not stop working completely after retirement.

According to a report by Gallup, about 61% indicated that even after retirement, they will continue to work part-time doing other things.

Do you think you will continue working when you reach retirement age, or stop working altogether? (U.S. 2013) Source: Gallup

Do you think you will continue working when you reach retirement age, or stop working altogether (U.S. 2013)

This will be important in knowing what to add to the party program as regards the continuity of important work relationships even after the nurse retiree has left their workplace. It may also assist in knowing some party themes to consider more carefully than others.

6. According to a 2020 Report, about 69% of US retirees are somewhat confident of having enough money when they retire.

Retiree confidence about having enough money in retirement in the United States in 2020. Source: EBRI

Retiree confidence about having enough money in retirement in the United States in 2020

And this means we have one less thing to worry about in planning the party. You can go ahead and plan the party without worrying if your retiring nurse friend would have enough to get by on when retired. This does not mean you should splurge on the party without reason. It is also important to remember that as this is the send forth as it were of the retiree, everything needs to be balanced, including the extravagance of the party.


The focus of any retirement party is the career life and accomplishments of the retiree, and this is no different for a nursing retirement party. And this is what the party should be all about – celebrating their life and accomplishment(s) and contributing to saving the lives of humanity. Without the long hours put in by nurses in helping doctors, there would be more human casualties than they already are. Your party must be all about this.


retirement gifts for nurses

Source Link: https://whattogetmy.com/retirement-party-ideas-for-nurses/

To be able to excellently execute the party ideas that are in this article, there are a couple of important things you need to do to be able to do it right:

  • Speak with the retiree (or someone who knows them very well) before you start planning. 

This is important because we don’t want you throwing a retirement party that bears little relationship, connection, and relevance to the retiree. Since you will be celebrating their life and accomplishment, it’s obvious that the only way you can know what they are is by asking them (or someone who knows them very well).

In speaking with them, these are the important questions you need to ask them:

  • Their career timeline.

When they started working first and places they worked after that until their present work. This would be useful information for planning and executing the party since the party is all about them and their accomplishments.

  • The guest list.

While it is obvious that the retirees’ coworkers will be at the party, it is not so obvious and easy when it comes to persons outside the workplace. A great retirement party is one that has not just the coworkers but is also mixed with family and friends of the retiree.

But you don’t want to be inviting just about anyone because you may end up inviting someone who the retiree would much rather not have at such a memorable event. To err on the side of caution, therefore, it is important to ask the retiree for who to invite among the external family members and other friends or acquaintances outside the workplace.

  • What their hobbies and interests are.

This would help in planning the type of party and the party program.

  • Whether they have a particular party theme in mind.

Since the party is about them and their accomplishments and giving them one last memorable blast before they get off into the proverbial sunset, it has to be all about them and what they want. You never know, maybe there is a party theme they have been dying to try out. This affords them the perfect opportunity to try it out.

  • If they want gifts and what their gift preferences would be.

You may be surprised to find that some may prefer non-cash gifts or may even prefer no gift at all but perhaps a donation to charity in their honor. Or if you don’t want to ask them directly, check out our earlier article on Questions to ask someone for gift ideas for helpful tips on how to ask them indirectly and specific questions to ask. And if they have indicated that they want a donation to charity, check out our article on How to Give Charity Donation as a Gift for very useful and helpful tips on how to go about doing it in honor of the retiree.

  • Food preferences.

You would also want to know what their food preferences are, such as whether they are vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or have allergies and what these might be. The last thing you want is to have food that the retiree would not be able to eat or enjoy.

  • What their retirement plans are if they are comfortable with sharing such.

You can start by telling them that you are considering making the party themed and would like the theme to reflect all aspects of their life including the next steps. If they are comfortable with sharing this then that would be great and if they are not, then don’t push it. You can still have a great retirement party without the information.

And if you are the one planning your own retirement party (although it is best to leave it to someone else to plan, so that it feels extra special), you also need to tick off the answers to these questions.

  • Speak with the coworkers and other colleagues and acquaintances of the retiree.

Since you would have spoken to the retiree (or someone close to them) earlier about the guest list and who should be on it, these are the people you should speak with. The aim is to get useful anecdotes about their time with the retiree which you can use to create games and add to the accomplishment list at the party. And to also get a feel of who amongst the guests you want to ask to give toasts and speeches about the retiree.

  • Decide on your budget upfront.

This is the next important item on your pre-preparation checklist. Since you are the one planning the party, chances are that this is not the same as any retirement party which the Human Resource office of their workplace may be planning. And so unless you have unlimited resources or are thinking of asking people to contribute, you would need to decide first how much you are spending. And even if you have unlimited resources or want to ask people to contribute, you still need a budget.

Your budget will determine the theme of the party and everything else that goes into having a successful retirement party such as the decorations and the likes.

  • Decide on the theme.

The theme of the party will be the heart and soul of the party. The theme of the party is what determines what decorations to go for, what the cake should look like, what type of food you want to serve, the games you will incorporate, and how the guests should dress for the occasion.

Once you’ve decided on your budget, you can now work around a theme that is suited to your budget. If you’re wondering what kind of themes make for great retirement party themes for nurses, worry not, we will give you some ideas in the next section.

  • Decide on the venue, date, and time for the event.

It would be ideal to have the retirement party not too long after the retiree’s last day at work. Putting the event before their last day of work would make it odd and awkward for them to return to work after the party. And putting the event too long after their last day of work would also make it a little awkward with the coworkers. A perfect date for the retirement party should be the week immediately after their last day at work. Since their profession is a very busy one, it would be a good idea to find out from the coworker invitees on the guestlist which day of that week their schedule would allow for a party.

For the venue, it is preferable to choose any other place outside their workplace. Since nurses spend almost all their time at their workplace, the workplace may not be the best place to have a retirement party. And here are two reasons why – they have spent a good deal of their lives in this environment and may feel like a change of scenery for a change. Secondly, remember that given the nature of their profession, a hospital environment which is where 63% of nurses work according to the above statistics, would not be a conducive environment for a party. It would be disruptive and a distraction to the treatment of patients to have a retirement party. Also bear in mind that as we said earlier, their workplace may be organizing a retirement party for them and so it would be boring for them to have two retirement parties in the same setting/place.

And finally, when it comes to the time, you need to remember the age group of the retiree. Having the party too late in the evening may interfere with their rest and sleeping time and at their age, it is also not advisable to keep them up too late into the night. A perfect time should therefore be between late afternoon and early evening, and it should not take too long a time as well. If you decide to stretch the party for too long, people start to get jaded and start to lose interest.

  • Draw up your guest list.

Since you have the guest list from the retiree, this should make this easier. Your budget will obviously also have an impact on how many people you can host at the party. But rather than leave out anyone who the retiree would want to be present, rather cut back on other aspects of the party like decorations and the likes.

If you want to have specific numbers maybe for catering purposes, you can on your invitation ask the guests to RSVP within a certain time.

Now that you have your important armory – information, budget, venue, date, and time and guest list all ready, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the retirement party ideas for nurses for a retirement party of the century.


The beauty about retirement is that the retiree no longer has to worry about things like having to work extra long hours the day before and still having to wake up early the next morning for work, or always worrying about other coworkers liking them or not or going for after-work get-togethers with coworkers they may not feel up to or having to buy gifts for coworkers even when they may be hard-pressed to do so. Now they can have as much of a holiday as they want and sleep as much as they want. And you want to make that last interaction with their workplace memorable.

The best nursing retirement party to have should be a themed party. A themed party is fun and always for more creativity. And these two things are what would make a killer retirement party. The key is to keep it simple but cool remembering that first, the party is more about their accomplishments than anything, and secondly, the age of the retiree means you have to be somewhat conservative with themes and decorations and the likes.

Here are 5 hit retirement theme parties that would work wonders for your nursing retirement party:

1. A Bucket List Themed Nurse Retirement Party.

With retirement comes the chance to do a lot of things since the retiree will have a lot of free time on their hands. Since they would be staying home most of the time (for those who will not carry on working after retirement), it would be nice to give them great ideas on fun things to do while at home. And what better way to do this than have a party where this is the theme. That way, they get a wide range of suggestions from their guests.

To make this party more memorable, have a Guest Book prepared before the party. Have the guests send you their favorite pictures with the retiree with a beautiful message and a suggestion or two of what the retiree can do after retirement beforehand. You can purchase this really cool genuine leather photo album scrapbook from Amazon that comes with 100 pages for pictures with messages. Once you have designed and put in the pictures with the messages beautifully as desired, you can then have the scrapbook placed at the door during the party and have the guests sign against their pictures and note for a more personal feel. You can also have the guests include their contact details so that when the retiree ticks off any of their suggestions, they can call them up to reconnect and have a good laugh about how trying out that particular suggestion went.

The beauty of this theme is the fact that not only does it celebrate the life and accomplishments of the retiree, it also motivates and inspires them for the road of rest ahead. And with the added touch of having friends and family help them compile this bucket list, it helps keep them connected with their loved ones and colleagues at work.

To make this theme more exciting, you can have the guests dress up in the suggestions they made. So for example, if one guest suggested taking a vacation to Hawaii, you can suggest that they dress up in a beach/holiday outfit for the party. Be sure to make this clear in the invitation cards so that your guests are informed well in advance for them to prepare adequately.

In addition to the nurse retirement party decorations you have bought, you can also buy bucket-list themed decorations like this cute bucket list wine holder from Amazon, and cute small hanging chalkboards from Amazon that can be displayed in strategic areas at the venue with items from the bucket list written on them. If you don’t have any ideas about what nurse retirement party decorations to purchase, check out this helpful list of items from Amazon for a variety of nurse retirement party decorations to pick from.

2. The Year They Were Hired Themed Party.

This theme is one that has as its focus the year they were hired in their first job. Once you know the year they started working, look for the popular culture themes around that year and make that the theme of the party. So for instance, if they were hired in the ’70s, you can make the theme a retro 70’s party. The decorations and the way the guests are to dress up should reflect this theme, as well as the music and other aspects of the party.

To make this theme come to life, have the retiree or someone close to them, give you all the details about their career. From where they schooled and some pictures as a student; graduation pictures; pictures from that first job; pictures with coworkers from that time and friends. Then neatly organize these into a short video that can be played at the party. Also, consider printing off some of these pictures and having them pinned up strategically around the venue.

If some of these friends and colleagues from that time are also present you can make trivia off the pictures to see who remembers what about the retiree. You can also ask these friends and colleagues to give a speech or toast at an appropriate time.

3. Career Themed Party.

If they’ve been a career nurse or had to change careers along the way to end up as a nurse, this theme allows you to showcase the career of the retiree. Put together all the pictures of the various stages of their career in a short video and have this played at the party. Also print some or all of the pictures and have them pinned strategically in the venue.

You can make the theme more exciting by having the guests dress up in attires that represent the different career paths the retiree had taken.

4. Future Plans Themed Party.

This one works perfectly whether the retiree is choosing to continue working part-time or to retire and take a vacation. If their future plans involve for instance still working as a registered nurse, you can have a nurse custom for the guests to blend with the theme. If their future plans involve taking a vacation on a beach somewhere then you can have the guests dress up in beach vacation costumes. And to make it even more exciting, you can have the party by the beachside if their future plans include travel to an exotic beach location. Or you can create the beach feeling with the right decor and ambiance.

5. Hobbies Themed Party.

This is another cool one. All you need do is find out their hobbies and create a party that is themed along the lines of their hobby. If they enjoy playing golf, you can have mini-golf courses all around the venue with pictures of the retiree and his life and career all around the venue. Here’s a link to a really cool and bargain set of 5 Golf Hole Set on Amazon to get you started, should golf be your theme.


So you’ve gone through the initial pre-planning stages and you have all the information that you need. You also now have all the ideas you should be working with for your hip, funk, and appropriate nurse retirement party. Let’s do a final checklist to be 100% certain that you are good to go. Once this final checklist is in place, you can send out your invitations and have The Best Retirement Party of all time.

1. The invitation card.

The invitation card and its contents are very important for the party. You don’t want guests coming unprepared. And so it is important to prepare them adequately through the invitation card. Your invitation card should have the following details:

  • The theme and dress-code around the theme must come out clearly on the invitation.
  • If the guest in question is expected to give a speech, this should also come out clearly on the invitation.
  • If no gifts are allowed, or the retiree would prefer non-cash gifts or other preference(s) these should also be included in the invitation. It would be important to have the gift-giving and receiving etiquette at the back of your mind so that it guides how you word the giving of gifts on the invitation. To know more about this etiquette read our very helpful article on gift-giving and receiving etiquette before writing the gift aspect on your invitation. If you want to set If you don’t want to outrightly ask for gifts but give hints, read our article on how to give hints for gifts for very useful tips on how to go about it. If you feel you want to suggest gifts for your guests and want to have ideas on what type of gifts to suggest, you can read our articles on Gifts for retired dad with no hobbies and Retirement gift for dad from daughter for very good suggestions to include in your invitation card.
  • If you want people to have RSVPed by a certain date, this also needs to be on the invitation card.
  • If you want pictures and messages sent in advance, give details of where these should be sent to and by when.
  • And finally the date, time, and venue of the auspicious occasion. 

2. Venue and its decoration.

The choice of venue is very important. As we have said earlier, having a nurse retirement party at their workplace is not advisable or feasible. Choose a venue that would go very well with the theme you have chosen. Also, choose decorations that go well with your theme. If you decide to use the house for the party, our article on Things you need for a House Party would be very useful in getting great ideas on how to make the house an amazing retirement party venue.

3. Party program.

This is what would make or mar the retirement party. A boring and not so exciting party program will get your guests bored and turned off from the event, and this is not good for the party. A good program should include the following:

  • Fun retirement party games for nurses such as a dance competition, a roast of the retiree (if they do not mind wicked humor); trivia competition such as how well do you know the retiree;
  • A guest book of memories that has the name and contact details and pictures of each guest. The pictures should preferably be one that they have with the retiree. And they should have a short message of well-wishes;
  • A trip down the retiree’s career memory lane that celebrates their career life and accomplishments; 
  • A toast from all or some of the guests to the retiree;
  • A toast by the retiree which should come last.

4. Music.

The music is as important as the program. Choose a music appropriate with the theme.

5. Cake.

The party cake is the highlight of every party, and this is no less in a retirement party. Indeed, the cutting of the cake is the highpoint of the occasion. You need a cake that resonates well with the theme. If for instance, you chose the Bucket List Theme, then a cake in the shape of a bucket with some items sticking out of the bucket and a retirement message would be appropriate. If you chose a career theme for instance then a cake shaped in the form of a nurses’ uniform would be more appropriate. You get the idea – the cake should also reflect the theme of the party.

6. The food.

The theme, venue, and time of the party as well the guest list would determine what type of food to go with. Finger foods may be preferable if you are dealing with a big guest list.

Now that you have all these in place, go out and give those nurses a nurse retirement party that they would not forget in a heartbeat. The best of luck and wishing your retiree nurses a fun and exciting life of retirement ahead.


  • How do you organize a nursing retirement party and what good nurse retirement party ideas that you can give?

Follow the important pre-planning and final checklist in this article to organize the best nurse retirement party of all time. The 5 retirement party ideas listed in this article are the best for a good nurse retirement party.

  • How do I find good nurse retirement party decorations?

Amazon has a great selection of really cool nurse retirement party decorations. You can access it here and make your pick.

  • What are nurse party centerpieces? 

These are usually nurse themed decorations used to decorate the party venue.


Nurses play a vital role in our society, and any retirement party to celebrate them has to have their accomplishments as the main focus of the party.

Trying out any of our 5 Hip and Funk yet Appropriate Retirement Party Ideas for Nurses would give your nurse a retirement party to always remember.

Don’t forget to follow the important pre-planning checklist and final checklist for an unforgettable and truly awesome nurse retirement party.





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