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Reddit Nurses Have Spoken . . .22 WORST Nurses Week Gifts EVER! (#5 has to be a joke)

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Can You Top These Nurses Week Gifts….

We asked some of our nursing friends on Reddit for examples of the absolute worst nurses week gifts they ever received (we got over 120 responses. . . all terrible).  The results shocked even us!

We totally expected the standard coffee cup (with the hospital name on it), cheap pen (with the hospital name on it), water-bottle (with the hospital name on it)….you get our point.  But these gifts really took the cake – hey cake would have been nice compared to some of these!  If you are looking for a bigger list of gifts for nurses read this.
We know that the hospital admin mean well during nurses week…but how much thought it really going into some of these gifts?  We mean seriously…some of these are BAD!


1.  donuts


I’m a nurse in the Air Force. The last two months they have been selling us donuts and “highly recommending”(short for its not mandatory but may impact the way leadership influences your career) that we donate our time or unneeded items for a garage sale in order to raise funds for nurses week. They also put out a collection jar at the nurses station so we could donate our change to support nurses week. I’m yet to see what all our efforts will earn us this year, but last year it was a cheap plastic water bottle.


During the donut fundraiser, I made a comment with leadership present about how ridiculous it was that they were asking us to buy a dozen donuts for $10 in order to fund buying us a stupid gift that nobody wanted. Everyone there turned and looked at me like I’d just shut off my patient’s ventilator. – CBRdream21


2.  deserveit

Apparently the manager of the med-surg department at my hospital sent out a email that said “You guys do such a good job. Why don’t you throw yourselves a nice potluck. You deserve it.”- Rawrzimon


3.  timeoff

I’m night shift. This year, they’re having an ‘ice cream social’. At NOON. In order to participate, we have to be present. Thank you, but no… -nurseracht


4.  planner

Non-nurse, I am an RT.

For Respiratory Care week years ago, our manager got the department planners, you know with the dates on them. Good right? If you didn’t know, Respiratory Care week is held on October. -ivan927


5.  winner

Our hospital had a drawing and those 10 nurses won something for nurses week, nothing for anyone else. I won, and won a cheese tray. With the name of my hospital alllllll over the cheese tray. Thanks. Can’t wait to use this at parties.- Palindromeomg


6.  lunchbox

Well, it’s not the worst gift, but I love when they give out lunch bags. Then the break room fridge is full of the exact. same. lunchbox. – sweetbldnjesus


7.  ew

A pair of underwear from the dollar store. Yes, you read that right. It was supposed to be funny……… dies a little inside – ettell


8.  cookie

We used to get a free car wash, which was actually really nice. The new administration nixed that last year, and we got a total of 6 stale sugar cookies to share amongst our whole unit. Gee, thanks.- ThePantsWhisperer


9.  fired

My favorite was a “thank you” card from the higher ups and an FYI that they’d be laying off nurses.



10.  flair

Flair. We got flair. These cheap buttons the size of a quarter with inspirational messages like “team player” and “great job” that we were supposed to wear.- OvertimeRN


RELATED ARTICLE: Nursing School Finals Week in 20 Memes (  your REGULAR friends won’t understand)



11.  diabetus

My diabetic lactose intolerant coworker got ice cream. -mrwhibbley


12.  mine

My friends back at my old hospital just told me they each got ONE chocolate covered strawberry.- noxRN


13.  guy

I, (a guy), got a nice basket of hand lotion and girly sprays. I ask what I was supposed to do with that. I was told I could give it to my wife. – TomTheNurse


Makeup tote bag…I’m male. – SabaBoBaba


14.  fire

Last year we got this all-in-one charger thing. Like for your phone and whatever else. Had like 6 extensions on it. Anyways, we get an e-mail like two weeks later that we have to give them back because they’re been catching on fire (!!!!). Don’t remember what they replaced it with. Thinking it was a beach towel. With the name of the hospital written across… – olive2bone


15.  forget

One year, after Nurse’s week when everyone got something but me, management said they didn’t think I wanted the gift so they didn’t give me one. – firemanxxxphoto


16.  gross

It wasn’t for Nurse’s Week, but for an orientation class my hospital gave out lunchboxes. Mine was dirty inside, complete with a baggie that had obviously previously held some sort of snack. – gin_and_uterotonic


17.  mint

Couple years back we each got little gift bags containing a broken pen, a pack of wintergreen life savers, and a little paper tag that said “Thank you for your commit-MINT.” Ha ha. Get it? – auraseer


18.  broke

They asked us to consider donating to the hospital 😐 – katherine_rf


19.  clown

Last year they bought us red foam clown noses lmao. – PRNmeds


20.   laugh

I got a postcard telling me I can drive to their main office (2 hours away) to receive my special Nurse’s Week gift!!!!! I don’t know what the special gift is, but I doubt it’s worth the time and gas. – courtnutty


RELATED ARTICLE: What Nurses REALLY Do All Day? (12 Hour Shift in 12 Pics)


21.  soup

It was a weeklong event! We got a cheap plastic ladle with the company logo, measuring spoons with logo… Why? Because we are all ingredients to the soup that makes success!

The activity director handed them out as prizes to the residents. Management was not pleased. – kitty_r


22.  dollar

Worse than nothing. We were “given” a dollar, which was “donated” to a hospital charity. Major university hospital. – vasharpshooter


We know they try, but many of these missed the mark big time!

Got a nurses week gift that you think can top this list. …comment below or on social media.  We would love to hear about them.

Happy Nurses Week from NRSNG!

worst nurses week gift ideas

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Date Published - May 1, 2017
Date Modified - Jun 21, 2019

Heather Hawkins

Written by Heather Hawkins

I am a nurse, a wife, and a mom to a sassy little 3 year old girl. I graduated from an accelerated second degree program in 2012 and went straight onto the cardiac/telemetry unit that I did my internship on. I have recently made the transition into wound care – in which I travel all around the Midwest and consult with wound care nurses to help get their patients the supplies that they need.


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    Not only does each unit have to do a project for nurses week (on our off time, there is no time at work to do it), but each unit has to do a basket to donate that administration raffles off. The awards ceremony is done when everyone who is working the unit is at it’s busiest time, so only administration can attend. That is nurses week where I work!

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    I received chocolates !! It might not have been so bad. But when I have a dairy allergy along with being insulin resistance does not mix well. I have let them know about this issues before when they tried giving me chocolates prior.

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    Nicole stinson

    I have been an RN for 7 years and work in large hospitals all of this time. I have only received one gift for nurses day in all this time and it was a lunch box👍🏻

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    Last year, we got this clear plastic bag, couldn’t bring it into work because it didn’t meet prison guidelines.

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    For our new hire orientation “gift” the unit manager gave us a bunch of free samples of different products that she was given to try, and told us to give our reviews of them. I gave a glowing review of an organisational hand held unit, she then told me thank you but it’s too expensive for us to order for everyone and then asked that I give it back so she can return it before she had to pay a late fee.

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    Nurses week last year, we received a apron with a potholder. I declined my gift. I thought it was a sexist gift and a clear message that we are not seen as professionals……. just a bunch of women…. I will take a junkie pen or beach towel before I will take an apron. I bet they would never give a Doctor a apron.

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    I work in a not-so-nice part of town and there had been a few incidents where employees were robbed so for nurses week they gave us all personal safety whistles.

    • Jon Haws RN CCRN

      Jon Haws RN CCRN

      that’s pretty helpful! I remember one night after work we went out to the parking garage and one RT had his tires stolen off his truck!