16 Practical or Fun Nursing Instructor Gift Ideas


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Lots of nursing students can look to a primary influence in their education that made everything really sink in. Usually, it was a top-notch nursing instructor. A lot of these instructors provide academic and continuing education opportunities for nurses, serving as teacher and role model all in one. 

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Useful Gift Ideas for a Nursing Instructor

Fun, Funny, or De-Stressing Nursing Instructor Gift Ideas

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They might have years of experience and education under their belt. Passing it on to future nurses is their everyday job, but sometimes it’s good to share your support and admiration for teaching generations of new nurses. Finding a nice token of your thoughts and appreciation, a little gift that says “I appreciate you” is enough to brighten anyone’s day. Here are some suggestions:

Useful Gift Ideas for a Nursing Instructor

Finding gifts for doctors is easy if you know what they need. The same principle applies to nursing instructors in your life.

1. Custom scrapbook 

Depending on how long they’ve been in the business, some nursing instructors have taught dozens of classes. Over the years, they’ve accumulated mementos, such as thank-you gifts from students, photos, old papers, touching notes...the list can go on.

What about the opportunity to display it all in a scrapbook? If this nursing instructor is a loved one, you might be able to create the scrapbook for them. If not, finding a blank one and pairing it with crafting supplies could make a great gift. 

2. Gym shoes

Gym shoes are becoming more modernized and available for all social situations, and the plus side is that they’re comfortable. If your nursing instructor spends most of the day on their feet, you might hear about the fatigue they have come the end of their shift. You might want to find a pair of high-quality shoes for a loved one, but are unsure where to start.

One of the best things you can do is research your brands. Are there brands that other nurses love? Or do they have a pair of old shoes they’ve already worn to death? If so, take them on a shopping excursion! If you’re not that close with your nursing instructor, consider giving a gift card to the shoe store instead. 

3. Memoirs

Lots of other nursing instructors have walked this path before. Others have done so with strength, grace, and humor—and what’s more, they’ve written books about their experiences.

There are lots of fictional narratives starring nurses, but reading a book about a real person might be more touching, depending on your instructor’s tastes. Depending on their experiences and tastes, you can make your choice based on reviews and what you think they’ll like.

4. Syringe highlighters

Most good students end up taking lots of notes, and the same likely goes for nursing instructors. No matter what they’re doing, they probably need to take notes or find new bits of research to share. Even if they’re still practicing or instructing full-time, they need to pull out quick and relevant information — and it might be nicer to have something that reminds you of your work.

Lots of companies offer syringe-style highlighters, crafted to look like a syringe administering medication. Maybe it’ll be something fun to give an instructor for a really great tip you applied while on rotation.

5. Make a donation 

Sometimes, you can’t think of the perfect gift. No matter how much you brainstorm, nothing seems to work—some people are simply difficult to buy gifts for! If you can’t think of anything, consider organizations that might be close to their heart. 

St. Jude’s, the ASPCA, and the American Heart Association are just some of the largest medical organizations that accept donations to support their cause, assist patients, and further the research they’re doing. You can either make a personal donation or donating on behalf of your nursing instructor, which are both nice to consider. 

6. Brain-themed computer sleeves

Patterned laptop sleeves depicting either side of the brain can really show people what’s on your mind. These sleeves are thick enough to shield a standard laptop from wear and tear.

For any instructor looking for additional protection for a new laptop or device, this might be a fun themed gift to send along.

7. Band-aid sticky notes

Sticky notes are a lifesaver for some people trying to stay organized. Going analog for some people just works best, and sticky notes can be a great addition. Add them to some of the gifts above, and they can provide more help in a sticky situation.

These band-aid illustrated sticky notes can mark places in books, help remember grades and grocery lists, and remind your nursing instructor of their to-do list.

8. Foldable clipboard

If your nursing instructor is still practicing, they’ll definitely make use of a clipboard. They’re a handy tool to record patient symptoms, pain levels, allergies, and more.

Perhaps your instructor is on the go and needs to keep notes handy while working with individual students, and don’t want a large clipboard to carry around. These clipboards fold down into a small square that can easily be tucked into the pocket of a lab coat or scrubs.

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Fun, Funny, or De-Stressing Nursing Instructor Gift Ideas

At certain points, it can be better just to give an instructor a good laugh or a smile especially when working lots of long hours.

9. Nursing-themed chocolate mold 

Maybe after a long day, you might want to give your instructor a fun reminder about their job. A lot of folks enjoy a good piece of chocolate for example. Turn it up a notch by providing your nursing instructor a themed set of molds to have them create their own sweets.

Think common nursing tools, like a tongue depressor, thermometer, and a stethoscope. These molds are typically versatile, good for everything from chocolate, popsicles, and even to ice. 

10. Prescription coffee mug

For some people, coffee might be the most important medicine they need to start their day. And when it’s prescribed by the doctor, it’s even more important. These coffee mugs are usually designed to look like an orange prescription bottle, with coffee as the drug of choice. 

You can find these in all different sizes. And in keeping with the prescription bottle theme, some are designed with a flip-top lid. If they’re prone to leaving their coffee everywhere, this might help keep some of that heat in.

11. Microbe plushies

There’s a saying that goes “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Flip the script on that saying and consider giving your favorite nursing instructor a microbe plushie to keep them comfortable or simply for a good laugh and smile.

These plushies serve as perfect pillows or just cute sofa cushions. They’re often shaped to look like different microbes and when on display, they can make some great conversation starters.

12. Pain scale wine glass 

What’s your pain level, on a scale of 1 to 10? This question usually features on most lists, indicated by levels of smiley or frowning faces. A similar scale marks off the wine levels on this large glass.

Depending on their ‘pain level,’ your instructor can fill it up appropriately and drink. If they love testing out different brands of wine, this glass might be just what their wine-tasting hobby needs. 

13. Gray’s Anatomy purse

Even if you haven’t watched it, you’ve likely heard of the popular show Grey’s Anatomy. But the book it’s based on is even more famous, as “Gray’s Anatomy” is one of the most comprehensive medical texts available.

Most medical students lug it around at some point during their careers. And if your nursing instructor loves carrying a purse around, she’ll definitely get the joke. This purse is shaped to look like a book, and it opens up just like one to store keys or phone inside! 

14. Brain ice mold

Like other molds, this one can be used for ice, chocolate, and popsicles, depending on the baking concoction your loved one may want to make.

Depending on the company, you can get a few different brain molds, or even get a favorite section like the pre-frontal cortex or cerebellum. If your nursing instructor specializes in teaching about the brain, they will probably love this gift. 

15. Pandemic board game 

Board games can be a great way to break the ice, bond with others, and pass the time. Why not get a collaborative game to get everyone to fight against a microbe?

In this popular game, you play to win with all your fellow “experts” or players to help find cures and eradicate these diseases before its too late. Pandemic comes in a few different forms, like a card game or a board version.

16. Chocolate syringes

If your nursing instructor has a sweet tooth, this could be the perfect gift. With shaped chocolate syringes offering some sweet doses, this might provide a good bit of sugar “to help the medicine go down.” Companies can sell them in ‘kits’, as part of the tools that your nursing instructor is familiar with, but others offer huge chocolate ‘syringes.’

Depending on the size, this might well be a gift for your instructor’s entire family! But if you find the right size, these are perfect for an individual’s sweet tooth. 

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Saying 'Thanks' to the Educators

Nursing instructors like many others try to give the best of themselves. From how to administer a flu shot to how to counsel a patient to start end-of-life planning, they try their best to teach nurses how to support their patients and also help them recover. This takes grace, strength, and intelligence.

Showing your appreciation with a small gift is a great way to go, and may put a bright spot in their day. You can also check out our guide on gifts for nurses if you're looking for more.

Want to learn more about celebrating those working in healthcare? Read our guides on Pediatric Nurses Week and Social Work Month.

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