National Nurses Week: Top 10 Ways to Thank Nurses
By Karla Ramberger
Chief Nursing Officer
Methodist Dallas Medical Center
It’s no surprise that Americans voted nurses the most trusted profession in the country for the 13th time in 14 years in a 2012 Gallup poll that ranks professions for their honesty and ethical standards. In fact, the nursing profession has been regarded as one of the most honorable for decades. In 1954, the first national observance of National Nurses Week was established, marking the 100th anniversary of nursing profession pioneer Florence Nightingale’s mission to treat wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
Over the years, the week has become the time to celebrate nurses who give of themselves to care for others. So let’s take time to pause and publicly thank nurses for their dedication and service.
I’ve been thinking about the many ways we thank our terrific team of nurses at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. It’s amazing how easy it is to express thanks, some formal and others more informal. Here’s my list of 10 ways to thank nurses for the unbelievable job they do day in and day out.
- Saying “thank you” is the No. 1 way to appreciate our nurses. Take time to verbally acknowledge the contribution a nurse has made to a patient’s well-being. It’s the simplest way to convey a sense of appreciation.
- Tell families how much their nurse means to you. At Methodist Dallas, our nurse managers write personal notes of praise and send to the nurses’ homes so they can share with their family members.
- Write a thank-you note. Many times, patients and their families take the time to put their feelings of appreciation on paper. These notes are shared during staff meetings to single out recipients for recognition. Reading notes of praise is powerful and meaningful.
- Recognize your peers. At Methodist Health System, employees can formally recognize their co-workers who go above and beyond the call of duty to provide superior care for their patients and support for their co-workers.
- Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate. Department and hospital-wide parties to recognize, thank, and reward nurses for their services are perfect ways to say thank you. Methodist has a long-standing tradition of holding monthly G.R.E.A.T. Award celebrations.
- Create categories of thanks. Methodist thanks nurses for many things including the best patient experience, the best quality, and the best job performance.
- Work with your public relations staff to develop stories about outstanding nurses. These snapshots of excellence provide wonderful ways to thank nurses via internal communications and external publicity through print and broadcast media.
- Provide an opportunity for a nurse to shine as a mentor and preceptor. At Methodist, mentors and preceptors are highly valued for their experience and expertise.
- Create an on-the-spot recognition program. Who wouldn’t want to receive instant recognition from a co-worker, a manager, or someone else in the hospital? A lunch coupon, a pat on the back, and surprise pizza parties for groups of nurses are all great ways to show appreciation.
- Thank others as you would want to be thanked. As we get to know our nurses, we learn which ones appreciate public recognition, while others prefer private recognition.
If you’re ready to join an organization that continually looks for ways to appreciate and thank its nurses, then it’s time to choose Methodist Health System, where careers shine bright. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.
© Methodist Health System