6 Ways to Make Nurses Feel Appreciated During National Nurses Week

We know it, and you know it: nurses are awesome. And every year from May 6 to May 12, National Nurses Week

reminds us to give the nurses in our lives a little extra love. If you employ nurses or are looking for nurse appreciation ideas in your recruitment strategy, now is a good time to reflect. Thank about how you can reward nurses for everything they do.

You might struggle with how best to make nurses feel appreciated. If you need some ideas, here are ways to remind nurses of their value — now and into the future.

1. Record a Gratitude Video

Words of affirmation are incredibly helpful for nurses, our unsung heroes. Thoughtful notes from patients and their families mean the world, but nurses need to hear from their employers and managers, too.

One unique and thoughtful appreciation idea is to create a short “thank you” video:

  • Get together a small group of managers, doctors, and others who work with nurses regularly.
  • Have each person record a few sentences about what they appreciate most in the nursing staff.
  • Compile the clips into a short video to show your nurses on National Nurses Week (or whenever!).

2. Show Appreciation with Food or Coffee

There’s just something beautiful about providing recognition with food. Nurses work long shifts — often at odd hours — and are on their feet much of that time. Nurses Week is a perfect time to help nurses refuel and self-care.

Surprise your nursing staff with something tasty, such as donuts or other baked goods, fruits, chocolates, or lunch delivery from a favorite restaurant. Bringing in coffee is another simple but thoughtful gesture to help nurses power through their shifts.

If you can’t bring food directly, gift cards to local restaurants and coffee shops are also nice.

3. Gift Some Compression Socks

Nurses spend so much time caring for others, often at the expense of their own bodies’ needs. After a long day or night of walking to-and-fro, tending to patients, leg and foot pain can feel unbearable.

Compression socks can make a lovely gift to help with pain and swelling in the legs and feet. Other gifts related to foot and leg pain include Epsom salts, foot baths, and gift cards to shoe places.

4. Give Them a Few “De-Stress” Moments

There’s no denying that nursing is a stressful profession. Even nurses who love what they do need (and deserve) a downtime for themselves. Companies and managers can help show they care by reminding nurses to take time to de-stress.

During National Nurses Week, you might promote good nurse mental health by:

  • Having an on-site masseuse giving short neck and shoulder massages, free for all nurses
  • Providing a short mental break for nurses to spend quietly meditating, stretching, breathing, praying, etc
  • Gifting download codes for online yoga or meditation classes or mindfulness phone apps

5. Surprise Them with Bonus PTO

Nurse burnout is unfortunately common, and two contributing factors are stress and overwork. Without enough rest, nurses cannot do their best jobs and are even at risk of making critical errors.

Employers need to encourage vacation time for healthcare workers; otherwise, we’ll continue to see rising burnout rates that negatively impact nurses and patients. So, during a special time like National Nurses Week, boost morale with a bonus day of PTO. Also, encourage nurses to use their allotted PTO time.

6. Create a “Good Sleep” Gift Basket

Besides stress and overwork, lack of sleep is another common issue for nurses. You can show appreciation by creating a gift basket of healthy sleep items like:

  • Sleep masks
  • Earplugs
  • A white noise Spotify playlist
  • Lavender pillows
  • Essential oils

Nurse satisfaction is linked to patient satisfaction, so everyone wins when nurses feel valued. Use these ideas on how to make nurses feel appreciated, and come up with something special to celebrate your nursing staff.

This is just one of many ways to provide a healthier work environment, increase retention, and get the attention of your ideal nursing candidates. For help improving your nursing recruitment strategies, contact Alabama Media Group today.