5 Small Ways Hospitals & Health Systems Can Celebrate Nurses Week

Every May, we celebrate National Nurses Day on May 6 in recognition and appreciation of all that nurses do. National Nurses Week 2024 follows from May 6-12, ending on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, widely considered the founder of modern nursing. In recent years, the American Nurses Association expanded Nurses Week to National Nurses Month because the impact nurses have on healthcare is unparalleled.  

Whether it’s an RN at a hospital ICU, an LPN at a wound care clinic, a nurse leader, or a nurse informaticist bridging clinical work and technology, nurses are the backbone of healthcare, comprising the largest component of the healthcare workforce. Yet, despite their critical role in providing patient care, nurses are often underappreciated. National Nurses Month is an opportunity to recognize the hard work and dedication of nurses and highlight the importance of their role in our healthcare system.

The nursing profession in 2024

The nursing profession in 2024 is faced with a variety of challenges. Continued economic pressures, workforce shortages, tense nurse-physician dynamics, and changing technology are contributing to unhealthy amounts of stress and burnout in nurses of all types, leading to increasing numbers of nurses leaving the profession. This, in turn, only exacerbates workforce shortages and puts additional pressure on the nurses who remain. According to a 2023 study by NCSBN, approximately 100,000 RNs left the workforce in the two years prior due to stress, burnout, and retirements, and another 610,388 RNs reported an “intent to leave” the workforce by 2027. A significant shortage of RNs and APRNs is predicted in America by 2030, with approximately 1.2 million new RNs needed to address the shortage.

In addition to burnout caused by understaffing and stressful work environments, the constant implementation of new technologies and learning different workflows adds to the administrative burden for nurses. The need to master and use multiple complex technologies and systems simultaneously negatively affects workforce efficiency and takes away time from patient care. By implementing streamlined, consolidated operational technologies for scheduling, patient data management, and more, healthcare organizations can reduce the burden on nurses and enable them to spend more time on the most meaningful and gratifying part of their job—providing patient care.

Recognizing nurses for the difference they make 

Celebrating Nurses Month can help to increase staff morale and have a positive impact on recruitment and retention. Nurses who feel recognized and appreciated are more likely to feel motivated and engaged in their work. They may also be more likely to stay in their jobs, reducing turnover and ensuring continuity of care for patients. Recognizing nurses also helps to raise awareness of the critical role they play in healthcare and the important work they do, helping to attract more people to the profession.

Looking for ways to celebrate nurses during National Nurses Month and beyond? Here are five simple ways to show that you care:

  1. Host a breakfast or lunch for nurses: Organizing a catered meal for nurses, such as a DAISY recognition breakfast, is a simple way to show gratitude and foster community. It's also a great time to provide awards to nurses who have gone above and beyond.
  1. Provide resources for emotional and physical health: Supporting nurses’ mental and physical health is a must and should not be limited to National Nurses Day, Week, or Month. Healthcare organizations can help support nurses’ wellbeing by offering mental health, fitness, and time-off benefits, hosting fun group events and bonding activities, and implementing solutions to reduce nurses’ workloads and promote healthy work-life balance.
  1. Involve management, community, and families: A strong support system both inside and outside of the organization is key to preventing burnout and promoting wellbeing. Encourage management and executives to express their gratitude to nurses, and invite their family and friends to join in on the celebrations.
  1. Offer continuing education opportunities: Offering opportunities for continued education and professional development not only keeps nurses at the top of their game, it helps promote higher engagement and retention. Consider hosting seminars for nurses, providing certification courses, and/or offering funding for outside education.
  1. Simplify nurses' lives through technology: The right technology can make a big difference in nurses’ job satisfaction and wellbeing. symplr is committed to supporting nurses and improving patient care through nurse friendly technology solutions, such as self-scheduling and mobile apps for scheduling, that alleviate burnout and turnover. 

symplr partners with the DAISY Foundation to show gratitude

The challenges facing nurses in 2024 make it even more critical to recognize nurses for the valuable work they do and increase our efforts to address burnout and workforce shortages by supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of nurses.

As part of our efforts to support nurses and recognize their extraordinary impact across the care continuum, symplr is proud to be a longtime partner of The DAISY Foundation. Patients, clinicians, staff, and others can nominate nurses for The DAISY Award in recognition of their impact and compassionate care. symplr is proud to have worked with many customers who honor their nurses with the meaningful recognition the DAISY Award symbolizes.

“We are very careful about the companies we choose to partner with,” said Bonnie Barnes, cofounder of the DAISY Foundation. “symplr’s passion for nurses, respect for nurses’ role in patient care, and understanding of the impact of meaningful recognition make them a perfect fit with DAISY’s mission.”

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