National Nurses Week- Special Thanks To All Nurses!

Hayden Parker

This week is National Nurses Week!  More than three million strong in America, registered nurses are leaders in healthcare. They are working on multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals to elevate patient care, advancing their education, serving in key leadership roles and providing individualized care to improve healthcare outcomes for patients. National Nurses Week is a time to recognize and celebrate the incredible contributions of nurses and nurse educators to advance patient care and transform healthcare. There are many ways employers can say “thank you.” Here are just a few:

1. Workplace awards: Present special awards at hospital events and ceremonies. Peers and leaders offering recognition for a job well done can be highly motivating and a concrete way to show appreciation.

2. Extra assignments: Yes, really! Extraordinary nurses feel valued when given assignments that bring them outside of their daily routine and help them grow. Offering nurses special assignments in their areas of interest illustrates an employer’s awareness of their nurses’ potential and ability to meet their professional needs.

3. Development opportunities: Providing education and career options, such as tuition reimbursement and group tuition rates for certifications and advanced degree programs, will help demonstrate the appreciation you have for your nurses and their future leadership in healthcare. Some employers may offer “career ladders”—educational cohorts with online and other convenient educational options. These present opportunities for advancement based on work experience, certifications and advanced degrees.

4. Provide independence: Give nurses the authority to fulfill their responsibilities in ways they deem best for their patients and themselves. Trust they are committed to high quality work and provide them with the necessary resources to accomplish it.

5. Listen: Honor nurses by listening to them. Allow nurses a voice and a seat at the table where decisions are made. One way to provide nurses a voice in your hospital is through shared governance structures where nurses are governed by their own committees and by having nurse representatives on all policy-making decision boards. For example, create nurse-led committees and task forces to make decisions about processes and policies. Additionally, don’t forget to ask nurses for their opinions in workplace and industry surveys.

National Nurses Week is a time for all of us to show our appreciation for nurses, the care they provide and the passion for others they exhibit every day. Please join me in honoring nurses everywhere—our heroes of health care—and celebrating their extraordinary contributions during National Nurses Week.