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The Best and Worst Gifts Nurses Received for Nurses Week


Nurses’ Week is all about showing providers some much-needed love and appreciation for their work, and for many nurses, that means getting a gift from a patient, colleague, employer, or loved one. But not all gifts are made equally. We asked our community of nurses to share their best and worst gifts from Nurses’ Week and, oh boy, did they deliver. Some are incredibly thoughtful and touching, while others are downright strange, and maybe even a little insulting.

I always worked evening or overnight shifts, so I got leftovers from the day shift, i.e., gift baskets of bagels, pizza, cake, ice cream.


Apparently, Nurses’ Week doesn’t extend to the nightshift.

A union I used to be a part of gave me a travel mug that I still use as well as a jacket with the logo on it. The worst gift was either a painted rock, or a pen that worked for like a week and fell apart.


I used to work for a huge corporation in healthcare. We all got a 3 inch plastic flashlight.


I heard of a place that paid for all RNs license renewals. THAT is awesome.


A few years ago, we got a sticker (yes, a sticker) and a certificate they made at home (on REAL special paper) that recognized us as nurses. Yeah, it was super cool. (That’s sarcasm) 😁


I got an email today about celebrating nurses by sending links to other company discounts for nurses. 😂


Our surgeons gave us 9 bottles of champagne one year for all the staff on three shifts on a 60-bed unit. We had to draw names.


I got a fully cooked rotisserie chicken once! Best gift ever! I was at work and my mom thought I should not cook that night!!!!


I was happiest with a $10 gift card for the cafeteria. One nursing home actually gave us very nice gifts. One year it was a bracelet with an RN symbol on, which I absolutely despised, and another year it was one of those metal wine cups which was of no use to me. Both items were immediately donated to a thrift shop.


I got a cake that said, “Thanks for all you do Sandy.” My name is not Sandy. 🙃


A cheap umbrella with the hospital’s name on it. It broke the first time I used it. And a bottle of cell phone cleaner spray with a squeegee wiper attached.


A Ziplock baggie with a dill pickle and a message that read, “You are a big dill.”


I work at a VA, so do not have a budget, but as a committee member for Nurses’ Week, we have to come up with ideas to celebrate us for free and we are forbidden to ask for donations. Fun times 😳


Someone once gave me a clear pen, and inside it was a mother giving birth. Every time you clicked the pen, the baby would come out. I’m not sure what this person was thinking.


The best was a tote that said, “Coffee, scrubs, and rubber gloves – Nurse Life,” with a tumbler, candle, and pens. The worst was a packet of seeds sent in the mail with a card. The best part? I live in an apartment, and I have nowhere to plant anything. 🤦🏻‍♀️


Last year there was a food truck carnival. But you had to buy your own lunch and who has time for that?


Thank you notes written on paper towels by ICU patients after a laryngectomy. ❤️


Leadership once left an ice cream sundae at my workstation. Four trauma patients later needless to say it was soup. Almost as bad as the forever stale “thank you” pizza in the break room. 😂


I heard a rumor that nurses get their rewards after they die.



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