Celebrate your nursing staff this week! Every year, May 6th kicks off the start of National Nurses Week which concludes on May 12th, appropriately on nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday.
Nurses impact our lives in so many ways. They are with us when we bring new life into the word, at the end of our lives and the lives of loved ones, at school, in the office and help us all cope with medical issues both large and small our whole life long.
The Impact of Appreciation: Why You Should Celebrate Your Nursing Staff
Nursing can be a stressful and demanding field. American Nurse Today reported in an article about retaining new nurses, new graduate nurses have turnover rates of 30% in the first year of practice and as much a 57% in the second year.
But appreciation has a significant positive impact. Kelly Hancock, Executive Chief Nursing Officer for Cleveland Clinic health system and Chief Nursing Officer at Cleveland Clinic main campus was recently interviewed for a Q & A about the importance of celebrating and recognizing nurses during Nurses Week and beyond:
Studies have shown that meaningful recognition has the ability to renew a nurse’s commitment to their profession, bestow added pride in their work, and deepen their loyalty to both nursing team and healthcare organization. It also fosters an environment of positivity and team building.
Hancock nicely summed up why nurses deserve to be celebrated:
The nursing profession has a long and important legacy in our nation’s history. From the moment a patient walks into a healthcare facility to the moment they leave, nurses are on call, tending to every need, comforting and healing to the best of their abilities and delivering compassionate care. However, for all nurses do each and every day, they don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
Five Easy Ways To Show Your Appreciation During National Nurses Week
Make sure your nursing staff receives the recognition they deserve! It’s important to celebrate your team year-round with sincere, personal appreciation. Nurse’s Week provides an opportunity and reminder to share your gratitude. Here are five easy ways to show you care:
1. A simple Thank You – whether written or spoken, these two words are what this week-long celebration is all about. If you work in HR, consider having the employees in your workplace sign cards destined to the local clinics that are part of your healthcare network. If you do HR a part of a school district pass out cards for teachers to have their students sign in honor of the school nurse at every school.
2. Provide healthy snacks – nurses have busy shifts and often work long hours. Consider delivering special snack items that help them re-energize and feel loved. Be sure to cover all work shifts so no one feels left-out. Don’t underestimate the power of chocolate…since we’re focusing on healthy perhaps dark chocolate offers health benefits while satisfying a sweet tooth. Or Fruit and Vegetable Gift Certificate from gThankYou make a thoughtful and healthy gift.
3. Create a mini spa environment – essential oil diffusors are readily available and a few of lavender or peppermint oil and transform a break room into a calming oasis. Dim the lights, play spa music, serve fruit infused water. Consider hiring a massage therapist or see if a local massage therapy school might be able to send over students who need to satisfy their practicum hour requirements. Offer 5-10 minute chair massages to nurses.
4. Provide candles for nurses to light – by giving nurses a chance to reflect on patients that impacted their lives you honor the relationship between nurses and their patients.
5. Create a gratitude board (on social media or in real life) – Invite patients to share a special memory or a few words of thanks about a nurse that helped them. Make sure management and peers participate too. You can set up a bulletin board or poster board and supply colored markers or ask people to post on social media. Share your appreciation publicly at #NursesWeek or #ThankANurse.
The value of both chocolate and pens was highlighted in an engaging DataFile Technolgies interview with two nurses which explores the Love Languages that resonate most with nurses. One joked:
With enough chocolate and pens, we can rule the world.
We think that’s about right.
Free Toolkit For Celebrating Nursing Staff
Whether you work directly with nurses in a heathcare setting, or you’d like to acknowledge the impact of nurses in your community there are simple and thoughtful ways you can thank nurses. A great place to start is by accessing the free toolkit from the American Nurses Association.
Power of Recognition
Writing for the journal Nursing Management, Editor-in-Chief Richard Harder pointed out in an article about small gestures having the power to change a nurse’s day that both workplace leaders and peers in nursing can play a pivotal role :
Acknowledgement and recognition need to have a trickle-down effect. These gestures begin with management and flow all the way to our patients and their families. Leaders need to encourage staff members to thank one another. It isn’t enough for staff members to hear just from their leader; peers should also verbalize their appreciation for coworkers, especially after a tough shift!
He went on to add this, which applies to every field and industry, not just nursing:
If you don’t consistently demonstrate acknowledgement of achievements, others won’t see the importance of the goal. Appreciation needs to be built into your organization’s culture; don’t limit it to Nurses Week celebrations only. Every day, identify team members who’ve performed at the highest level and call attention to it. Just remember, insincerity is deadly. Your words and actions must be congruent and consistent across the board…Thank you…a simple enough expression. It takes two seconds to say, but has infinite potential. Never underestimate its power.
However you choose to celebrate your nursing staff, your thoughtful and sincere appreciation will make your team feel valued and appreciated. Happy National Nurses Week!
Gratitude Builds Better Workplaces
Your workplace “Thank You’s” aren’t just nice to do. Overtime, sharing sincere, thoughtful and specific appreciation with employees fosters happiness, loyalty and a more successful workplace culture. Learn how to use gratitude to build a better workplace that employees love and where they are more productive.
Download our FREE how-to guide, “Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude” and start today.
About gThankYou, LLC
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