How to Celebrate National Nurses Day
Registered nurses are the lifeblood of any medical facility. The nurse is often the first person a patient sees when they come in and the last person they see when they leave. May 6 is National Nurses Day and the first day of National Nurses Week. With registered nurse staffing always a priority in any hospital, it is important to make sure your nurses feel loved and appreciated. Here are 10 ways to celebrate your registered nurses on May 6, and throughout the year.
Be a “nurse for a day”
The best way to fully appreciate what your registered nurses do day in and day out is to walk a day in their shoes. Whether you are a hospital administrator or a doctor, shadowing a nurse can be a great team-building exercise and show that you’re present. You don’t need to do all of the procedures (especially without the license to do it), but you can partake in some of the other responsibilities including customer service and paperwork. This can also be a great public relations/media opportunity for your hospital, and also a wonderful way to celebrate National Nurses Day!
Throw a party
An easy way to show your appreciation is to throw a Nurses Day party at your hospital or medical facility. Make sure to be inclusive of all shifts. You can decorate using the Nurses Week theme of the year. This can be organized by the techs/assistants, but really should be organized by the administration and/or physicians. Keep it casual and fun. Include food as well as fun games and activities.
Highlight nurses on social media
Every registered nurse has a story, both on and off the floor. It is important to take the time to research these stories and showcase them whenever possible. Find a specific success story or a patient testimonial and post it on Facebook and/or Instagram with a photo of the nurse (with their permission). This will then be shared by their peers and the public which will in turn make them feel appreciated and noticed. This is something that should be done year-round on social media. Audiences engage the best with authentic human interest stories.
Write personal notes of appreciation
A personal (handwritten) note still goes a long way. This is especially true in the current digital age. Write personal thank you notes for every registered nurse on the staff. Make sure to include one specific thing for each nurse. It can be an inside joke or special story, as long as it appears sincere; it will go a long way with your registered nurses. These should come from direct supervisors. They can come from hospital executives, but they probably do not know all of the nurses on a personal level.
Give a gift
Everyone loves a gift. These do not need to be high end, just a little something to show that you appreciate their hard work. It can be a $10 Starbucks gift card or an entire day at the spa. It would be even more appreciated if each gift could be customized for each nurse. These can even be joke gifts with the sole intention of getting a laugh or smile. Giving a gift is a great way to celebrate National Nurses Day!
Have an award ceremony
Showing appreciation through awards will let your registered nurses know how they are truly are the rock stars of the hospital. These can either be funny superlatives or serious achievements. An example of a funny award can be “Most likely to wear cartoon scrubs.” A more serious award can be “Registered Nurse of the year.” You can also do a combination of both. The point is to make your nurses feel appreciated and increase morale. Hospitals with happy nurses are less likely to have a registered nurse staffing problem.
Host an off-site event
Parties at the hospital are great, but it is even better when you can have an off-site event. This can be a team-building exercise like an escape room or ropes course, or just a nurse appreciation lunch. Be respectful of their time, so this would be an optional event, but give them the opportunity to unwind with their peers on someone else’s dime.
Bring in a masseuse
Nurses are either on their feet all day or sitting behind a counter all day. Either way, their backs are probably sore. A simple gesture of appreciation would be to bring in a masseuse with a table or chair and offer free massages for the nursing staff. We recommend hosting this event in break room or back area so the patients don’t hear the inevitable moans of the nursing staff.
Get the doctors/patients involved
However you decide to celebrate your nurses, it should be a team effort. Prior to the celebrations, collaborate with the doctors and any long-term patients to make sure they are on board with the appreciation. Doctors and patients are the two top beneficiaries of the incredible work done by registered nurses. Make sure they are on the front lines of all of the thank yous!
Host a listening session
Sometimes the best thing to do is just listen. For any organization, it is always a great idea to host listening or question/answer sessions. Individual nurses may feel scared or embarrassed to bring up certain topics about their working environment. By establishing an “open door” policy and hosting specific “town halls” your staff will feel more comfortable to share what is bothering them. This can prevent nurses from feeling overwhelmed or burnt out. Provide a safe space for your registered nurses to be open and honest about how they feel and what changes they think needs to be. Then you can empower them to have working groups to come up with solutions. None of this is possible without the important first step, listening.
Need more registered nurses to celebrate?
Need registered nurses to join your team? Contact MedPro Healthcare Staffing! We work with our clients to find and place highly qualified registered nurses who match with your hospital culture and job qualifications. To learn more, contact one of our experienced recruiters today!