Every May, we celebrate National Nurses Day on May 6 in recognition and appreciation of all that nurses do. National Nurses Week 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, 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.
symplr recognizes and supports the invaluable roles nurses play in healthcare. For Nurses Month 2023, symplr is encouraging our customers and partners to Think Differently about nursing by showing year-round gratitude and using technology to support nurses and attract new nurses to the profession. Read on for five ways to celebrate nurses during National Nurses Month 2023 and beyond.
The nursing profession in 2023
The nursing profession in 2023 is faced with a variety of challenges. Continued strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, 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 recent study by NCSBN, approximately 100,000 RNs left the workforce over the past two years due to stress, burnout, and retirements, and another 610,388 RNs reported an “intent to leave” the workforce by 2077. 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 additional 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.
Think differently: 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 that they play in healthcare and the important work that nurses 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 celebrate Nurses Month and show that you care:
- Host a breakfast or lunch for nurses: Organizing a catered meal for nurses is a simple way to show gratitude and foster community. A Nurses Month breakfast or lunch is also a great time to provide awards to the nurses that have gone above and beyond.
- 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.
- 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 nurses’ family and friends to join in on the celebrations.
- Offer continuing education opportunities: Offering opportunities for continued education and professional development not only keeps nurses at the top of their game, it may help promote higher engagement and retention. Consider hosting seminars for nurses, providing certification courses, or offering funding for outside education.
- Think Differently about nursing roles and 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 technology solutions that alleviate burnout and turnover. symplr’s solutions are used in 9/10 hospitals in the U.S., affecting millions of
symplr partners with the DAISY Foundation to show gratitude
The challenges facing nurses in 2023 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.
“What the pandemic has done will in the long term be good for healthcare, because it has highlighted damaging operational inefficiencies,” said symplr CEO BJ Schaknowski. “There is a mandate and moral imperative to improve things.”
As part of its 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 many customers who honor their nurses with the meaningful recognition the DAISY Award symbolizes.
View a Nurses Month message from Deb Zimmerman, CEO of the DAISY foundation
“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.”
symplr also partners with DAISY and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) Foundation for Beyond Gratitude, an initiative dedicated to providing recognition and support to nurse managers and front-line nurse leaders. Beyond Gratitude was developed to help overcome challenges identified in a longitudinal study of nurse leaders conducted by AONL. The study showed that nurses were dealing with staffing shortages, burnout, stretched resources, and more, with one in three nurse managers describing themselves as “emotionally unhealthy.” Surveyed nurses also reported that meaningful gratitude from their organizations and communities was beneficial to their well-being, prompting the Beyond Gratitude initiative to spread awareness and provide resources for organizations to show their appreciation. As part of the initiative, symplr and AONL are also conducting a study to further understand the impact of meaningful recognition on nurse leaders.