The Importance of Celebrating and Recognizing Nurses

Our care teams work tirelessly to deliver high-quality care for their patients, acting as the backbone of most health care organizations. Effectively celebrating and recognizing nurses and their contributions on an ongoing basis is incredibly important for fostering a positive work environment. At BAYADA, celebrating nurses is part of our DNA. We know that our nursing staff members are part of the heart of home health care. We are built to attract and retain the best nurses by making their job satisfaction a priority and supporting them at every step with training, technology, and teamwork. Throughout the year, we practice The BAYADA Way philosophy by recognizing and rewarding those who set and maintain the highest standards of excellence—with Hero awards, Years of Service awards, and scholarship programs.

Overall it is important to encourage organizations across the nation to recognize their nursing caregivers by displaying how much they are valued. Nurses Week is a wonderful opportunity for health care leaders to collectively express nurse appreciation. Studies show that meaningful recognition renews an employee's commitment to their job while deepening their loyalty to their company. Nurses Week is a time of year that we get to honor the work our caregivers do, while educating others about the significant role our staff has in making the health care setting a better place. Here are six ways to make sure your caregivers are recognized in a meaningful and memorable way.

6 Tips to Show Genuine Appreciation for Nurses

 1. Give something useful.

Balloons and statuettes can be cute, but a busy nurse doesn’t have time to gaze at them or carry them around. A more thoughtful gift is something nurses can use. Think about their challenges and how you can make their day better. Creatively, a useful gift could be an object, a service, or an experience.

Whatever you choose, it should be special enough that it feels like an “extra” or a little luxury—not so basic or practical that it might be expected as an ordinary employee supply.

 2. Give something they want. 

This requires true understanding, not assumptions. If you work with a small nursing team, you may know each individual on a personal level well enough. You may know they all love chocolate, or the local baseball team, for example. But for larger care teams, it’s best to ask them. If you’ve never asked, consider using this year’s Nurses Week as an opportunity to survey your nurses for next year’s ideas.

What do your individual nurses like? What do they value? What would they enjoy?

3. Express your thanks and appreciation.

Whatever you do to honor your nurses, don’t forget to express how much you value and appreciate their work and talents, and say “thank you.” Even if you think your appreciation goes without saying, say it, write it, shout it from the rooftops. Create a thank you board—in a common area your care team uses, either in the workplace or digitally—where you can post photos and notes of appreciation written by colleagues, patients, and their families.

For nurses who entered this selfless profession to help people, appreciation matters.

4. Acknowledge their contributions.

Beyond speaking in broad generalities when you give thanks, take the time to name your nurses’ recent, specific contributions and the outcomes they produced—for your clients, for your colleagues, and for your organization.

To get your thought process going, fill in these blanks: Without nurses, our clients would not have ________ or be able to ________. If we lost our nurses tomorrow, our colleagues/organization would lose ________. Our team’s/organization’s recent successes, ________, were made possible by our nurses doing ________. A recent crisis was solved by our nurses knowing ________ and doing ________. Our nurses’ ________ improves client satisfaction.

If specific stories or examples come to mind, give them a shout-out. Your nurses will notice that you’re paying attention.

5. Respect their time. 

Nurses are busy people who, in addition to their personal responsibilities, often have to work unusually early or late hours and weekends. Please keep this in mind if you’re planning Nurses Week events. Can you host more than one event, during different shifts? Can you have an alternative for individuals who miss it?

After all, this week is all about nurses. Ask yourself if the time and location of your special events are convenient, and will the experience be worth their time?

6. Build morale and team spirit.

When celebrating nurses this year, try making it fun and enjoyable. Nurses Week is a great opportunity for team building. It’s the one time a year we get to celebrate the profession collectively and each other—together—for being the rock stars nurses are.

There’s no better time to build team spirit and camaraderie with special memories, group photos, and funny stories you can share for years to come.

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