It’s that time of year again, when the healthcare community bands together to celebrate the contributions made by medicine’s angels in scrubs. In essence, every week ought to be National Nurses Week, and every day, National Nurses Day. Instead, we’ve chosen to designate one week a year, which fittingly coincides with Florence Nightingale’s birthday, as the week where we go out of our way to show our incredible nurses how much we appreciate all that they do. Yes, handing out small nurse themed trinkets is nice, but what do nurses really want? Read on to find out!
Everyone can use a little recognition. So how about making it a thing? An official ceremony or hospital event is a great way to present exceptional nurses with awards for outstanding service. It’s a tangible stamp of approval and the presence of colleagues and higher ups can be incredibly satisfying and motivating. An even better idea; aside for awarding those nurses that have gone above and beyond, single out each and every nurse on staff and acknowledge their dedication and commitment to their patients with a small individualized plaque. Throw in a free stethoscope or some other piece of equipment for good measure, and you’ll have some very happy nurses!
Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare system and it is integral that they continue advancing their medical knowledge and expertise. And they want to! It all boils down to the dollar, though. Advanced degree programs cost money. Certification programs cost money. In fact, whichever way nurses go about furthering their education, they must factor in monetary cost. So in appreciation for all that nurses do, employers ought to consider options such as tuition reimbursement, or group tuition rates for advanced degree programs. Nurses would jump at such opportunities.
Give Nurses a Voice:
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Let nurses be a part of the decision making process by allowing them to voice their thoughts and opinions. This can be done either through detailed surveys which collect data that is actually used, or by creating nurse led committees which then send a representative to sit through important policy making boards. Input from nurses can be incredibly valuable. They’re the ones that spend time with patients, listen to patients, and can really get a feel of what works and what simply doesn’t.
Nurses Week isn’t just about honoring nurses from May 6th through May 12th. Yes, the sweet gestures do make a difference, and they do make our amazing nurses feel appreciated. However, by designating a specific week to express our gratitude to our nurses, we remind ourselves that they really deserve thanks every single day of the year! Happy National Nurses Week!