These 5 Nurse "Appreciation" Gifts Will Make You Feel Insulted

3 Min Read Published May 8, 2023
worst nurse appreciation gifts

Nurses reveal the worst nurse appreciation “gifts” from their employers. And, these are pretty bad. But WAIT - it gets worse! Many hospitals actually had the audacity to cancel Nurses Week and rename it "Hospital Week" - wait, what?!

It’s that time of year again when nurses everywhere are honored for the heroic acts they perform night and day...with rocks? 

Yup, it’s (unfortunately) not a joke. Real-life RNs are sharing some of the less-than-awesome Nurses’ Week gifts they have received and sadly, some of them you have to see to believe. From actual rocks to terrifying handmade fuzzy creations to expired food, here’s a sampling of what nurses are sharing.

Oh, and if you want an actual way to honor yourself or a nurse in your life, be sure to check out the awesome deals, discounts, and giveaways on our Nurses’ Week round-up–we promise there are no rocks. 

But First, Enter To Win a Giveaway (You Actually Want)

Want to win a prize you actually want? Enter to win our Nurse's Month Giveaway - where you can win hundreds of prizes including $3,000 cash, Fabletics scrubs, win subscriptions, and more. Enter to win now!

Ok, back to the "insulting" gifts...don't just take our word for it - check out our Instagram account for even more ridiculous stories of what management did (or didn't do) for Nurses Week. 

1. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

One nurse revealed that her facility came up with an innovative idea for Nurses’ Week: they placed a “mirror in the breakroom to see ‘what a perfect nurse looks like’”. And yes, she assures us that she is serious. 

2. Literally Just a Rock

Because everyone knows nurses “rock” and in celebration, they most definitely deserve to carry an actual rock around in their pockets for the rest of their shift. Thanks, management! 

3. Peanuts in a Pandemic

This for sure looks completely safe and sanitary. 


4. Ice Cream, You Scream

“The same kind of ice cream that comes in the individual packing that we give our patients.”


5. Whatever this Thing Is?


I honestly have no words. Like even a granola bar or a pack of gum would be better than the time and effort spent into making this?!

The Good: 

Of course, not all hospitals and healthcare facilities underperformed for Nurses’ Week. Some really delivered and sent the message that nurses deserve that they are loved and appreciated. For instance, a nurse at Mosaic Life Care in Saint Joseph, Missouri said that her hospital provided nurses with some pretty sweet goodies: “Scooters coffee, Bluetooth speaker, pancake breakfast and succulent is what I know of so hospital ever !” 

And nurse Linda shared that she appreciated her hospital’s gift of hand cream, a face mask, and a Starbucks card. “Thought it was nice as this past year was tough on our business [because it was] nonessential, closed for 6 weeks and lots of cases canceled etc.,” she noted. 

Aya Healthcare, a travel nurse staffing agency gifted their nurses their choice of Figs scrubs - pretty nice if you ask me! 

What Nurses REALLY Want

Other nurses chimed in with suggestions for tokens of appreciation in the future, so management, if you’re reading, take note, as some of the biggest requests were: 

  • Parking passes (if you’re a nurse who has to pay to park to go to work, this is a big deal)
  • Food that’s NOT expired/leftover from the holiday party. 
  • Pay and bonuses that are worthy of a hero
  • Safe staffing ratios
  • PPE you don’t have to continue to reuse long after its recommended limit
  • Hazard pay
  • Actual breaks

Hospitals travel nursing agencies, and all other healthcare employers - if you gave nurses any of these gifts, do better next time. In the meantime,  check out our list of over 45 gifts that nurse's actually deserved.

Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie Contributor

Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

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