Giving gifts to instructor?


Hi. I'm an older student in the 2nd Degree BSN program here locally, and I wanted an opinion about giving your instructor a Christmas gift after the grades have already been turned in. Now, mind you I have an 18 month old and I'm married, and I've worked a few years rather unsuccessfully as a food inspector, and I've been accused of not really knowing how to play politics. My parents baby-sit for my daughter when I'm in classes and my husband is at work, and they're forcing me to give some candles to some of my instructors "in the spirit of Christmas, " and of course due to the fact that they believe you need to play politics, and get the upper hand. Mind you, I told my parents respectfully that I feel like I'm blackmailing my instructors by giving them gifts (in this case nice quality candles). Also, I feel kind of awkward doing this especially since some of these instructors...4 of them to be exact will be my instructor for my next and hopefully next to last semester.

Mind you, I passed two of my classes by a hair, so I'm glad about the grade that I received and wouldn't ask for any higher, but still... I understand giving donuts to brown-nose your co-workers, but candles to your instructor?

What do you think? Do you think I would be setting my self up for failure by doing this?



510 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Cardiac. Has 4 years experience.

Our school recently instituted a policy banning gift giving between students and faculty. I'm really glad because it takes a lot of pressure off of us to match the gift that somebody else gave their prof.

Cards or notes of thanks are acceptable.


542 Posts

Specializes in Transplant/Surgical ICU. Has 3 years experience.

Yes I have given instructors gifts, even when I did not want to and even when I did not feel like had received the best teaching from the instructor. So why you may ask? Because there is always a student that decides she wants to go shopping for instructor gifts, she hands you a card to sign and there you go, you owe her $5. I have always felt obligated to sign those cards because I dont want to appear as if I dont like the instructor. Okay so I am going off... But yeah, my class is big on doing that every quarter I spend about $15-20 on instructor gifts!! I love my instructors but...

Side note: To those students that like to do things without informing your classmates, please STOP IT!


167 Posts

what love-d-OR said! hey, they're getting $ and taking it relatively easy, so why should unemployed students have to cough up just because it's the "tradition?"

I think cards are great. Personally, I don't mind the gifts, but there's single mom's in my class who are scraping's got to be tough on them shelling out every semester, especially when some of our books are "optional," but I don't want to rant on that subject.


140 Posts

Specializes in ED.

Ok here we go.... At the end of the clinical rotation the nursing instructor was kind enough to go the day before our clinicals to get the assignment, grade all our papers, run around like a chicken so we all can get more med expierence. so tell me, is $10 going to make you brankrupt? maybe you will have to bring your lunch like I do every day instead of buying it in the cafeteria at $7 a pop and then complain that you can not afford it. MOST of the clinical instructors that I have had have gone out of their way to make sure we get the most of our time. My only gripe is bringing treats to the nurses on the floor that we worked on all semester. 99% treat us like crap as we smile and take it. Just a thank you for the few who remember what it was like to be a student and took the time and went out of their way to help us.:balloons:


510 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Cardiac. Has 4 years experience.

But the instructor should be required to get your assignments before the clinical, grade your papers, and work hard to enhance your experience as part of the job. Even so that's not why I have a problem with gift giving. The problem I have is that if your group collects $10 each, it looks bad if another group collected only $5 each for their instructor. What if they decide $15 each next semester, then you'll have to up your ante. There have been instructors I wished I could give a gift to, but all in all I think the no gift rule is wise.

I haven't had a problem with buying treats for the floor nurses on most of our floors since we weren't treated badly, and we were often underfoot for them. On the couple floors where we didn't have much help from the nurses, the topic of treats never came up and it just didn't happen.

I too felt an obligation to donate 10 dollars towards a gift for an instructor. One person in the class that really liked our instructor started the collection. *I* personally had an incident with her that left me feeling intimidated and frankly disgusted with her. I did contribute to the gift for fear of some sort of retaliation, or just plain underhanded rotten-ness (which is her M.O.) I NEVER got a thankyou, verbally or otherwise!

Is this "playing the game"? Cuz it sucks...:o

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.
Our school recently instituted a policy banning gift giving between students and faculty. I'm really glad because it takes a lot of pressure off of us to match the gift that somebody else gave their prof.

Cards or notes of thanks are acceptable.

Good for your school! I've been on both sides of the relationship and feel that gifts should be banned. In some cultures, the students insist on buying gifts even though the instructor asks them not to! The students seem to feel it is a "tradition" that they want to continue. (Just do a search here on this topic and you'll see what I mean.) I've always thought it was just plain wrong.

A card expressing your thanks for the learning experience and any special help you may have received is always welcome.

The best way to thank an instructor is to give him/her a great eval on the school's official evaluation form. That information will bolster the instructor's career -- and is a professionally appropriate way to reward someone for a job well done.


2,016 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry & Obs.

Hmmmmm, raising my hand as that student that always shopped for gifts for instructors. Mainly because everybody else *talked* about it, but never got around to actually *doing* it.

Along with the gift was a group card, and each person signed their name whether or not they contributed to the gift. I knew the circumstances of some of my fellow students and knew they weren't in the position to give. Never had any hard feelings.

Some instructors, especially my last semester clinical instructor, absolutely made nursing school worthwhile!! Not only did she geniunely care about each of her students, she did her best to help us find our "niche" in nursing...allowing us to spend clinical time in different departments to get a feel for them. To this day I count her as a very special friend! I think I can speak for all her clinical students: We all love her!! There was no gift special enough for Ms A.

vashtee, RN

1,065 Posts

Specializes in DOU.

Our school prohibits giving gifts to the instructors, but of course there is always one or two students who insist on doing it anyway. :nono:

My issue with the gift giving is this: I liked the tough instructor that was so unpopular with so many of you. She was smart, and I learned a lot. No one took up a collection for a gift for her.

The instructor you insisted we buy a gift for was merely adequate. Although I knew how to reach her if I needed to, I think I only actually saw her during clinicals for a total of maybe 15 minutes. Yes, she was nice, but when she wrote my review, I wasn't sure she even knew who I was because the person she described was so unlike me.

If YOU want to buy a gift for an instuctor, then do it, but please! Leave the rest of us alone. We don't necessarily share your enthusiasm, and of course, we look bad if we don't want to participate.

To the original poster - I think you should NOT give the gift to your instructor. How would giving a candle to a teacher make you a better nurse? You should give gifts because you want to - not for political reasons. Study more, and improve your grades. That is how you pass nursing school.

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