Respect Your RNs: 7 Tips for Celebrating Nurse's Week


Respect Your RNs: 7 Tips for Celebrating Nurse's Week

By Alana Luna, Contributor

As hard as nurses work, one study suggests feeling undervalued and underappreciated may be even more damaging than on-the-job stress. As you’re celebrating nurse’s week, use these seven tips to show your respect for nurses and all the passion, dedication and sacrifices they make on a daily basis.

1. Say thank you

A quick “thank you” is the most basic form of appreciation. It’s also monstrously underrated. From cleaning up bodily fluids to running themselves ragged when census is at max capacity, nursing is a largely thankless task. Pause for a moment and acknowledge your team’s dedication with a heartfelt, meaningful thanks. You may be surprised how far that goes.

2. Make your appreciation public

Take your gratitude one step further and put your nurses in the spotlight. A private thank you is wonderful; a public one creates the kind of far-reaching recognition nurses rarely get. Post a photo on your facility’s social media page or a big banner in the lobby that reminds patients and visitors to hug their nurses — or at least give them some chocolate.

3. Celebrating nurse’s week with breakfast

It’s never fun going to work hungry, but filling up on a healthy breakfast offers a range of perks far beyond a happy belly:

  1. Faster metabolism
  2. More energy
  3. Better memory and concentration
  4. Lower levels of LDL cholesterol
  5. Lower risk of diabetes and heart disease

Power up your nursing staff with a surprise breakfast spread including both sit-down dishes and portable items. Hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt and fruit bowls, a DIY oatmeal bar, protein-packed chia pudding, whole-grain toast with peanut butter and veggie-stuffed breakfast burritos are all popular ideas that provide a nutritional boost.

4. Bring in a yoga teacher or meditation expert

A staggering 70 percent of nurses say they’re suffering from burnout at work. It’s a scary statistic but not necessarily a surprising one considering the long shifts and incredible stress healthcare professionals operate under almost constantly. Help your nurses recenter themselves courtesy of a free yoga class or meditation session during shift change. It may be a temporary gift just for Nurse’s Week, but it could lead to new habits beneficial to all involved.

5. Show respect for nurses’ individuality

Individualism tends to get lost in the hubbub of a busy hospital unit, but you can recognize each team member’s unique quirks in a playful, memorable way. Create certificates (you can design and print them on your home computer) celebrating a particular characteristic that makes that nurse such a valuable asset. Perhaps you have a nurse who is Most Likely to Make Patients Smile or one who Makes the Most Mouthwatering Cookies. It’s a small gesture that doubles as a reminder so your employees know you’re paying attention and you care.

6. Caffeinate the whole crew

Install a new coffeemaker in the break room and you’ll be a hero for years to come. Choose one that takes pods and you can stock the pantry with all different flavors of coffee and even hot chocolate and tea — plus drinks will always be hot and fresh. Pair your gift with new mugs for all your nurses and you’ll also help eliminate needless waste (no more disposable cups).

There are also major health benefits that come with a daily dose of coffee:

  1. It may help you burn fat.
  2. It can improve physical performance.
  3. It contains key nutrients such as riboflavin, manganese, potassium, magnesium and niacin.
  4. It may lower your risk of diabetes.
  5. It may offer protection for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

7. Organize an on-site farmer’s market

Everyone knows fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you, but the hectic pace of modern life leaves little time for grocery shopping and maintaining a healthy diet. Bring the produce to your nurses with a farmer’s market in your lobby or parking lot. Use Nurse’s Week as your kickoff date and keep the momentum going year-round. You can even give out branded totes to help your team carry home their haul.

Bringing home a paycheck is important, but there’s no substitute for being appreciated. To find a job where you’re respected each and every shift, check out the job opportunities at

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