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Why We Recognize Nurses in May
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Older woman with a nurse

Celebrating National Nurses Day and More This May

Ideas for Recognizing Nurses in Your Organization 

Nurses deserve to be recognized and celebrated every single day of the year. They give of themselves so willingly and often go above and beyond to meet the needs of their patients and residents. However, when the calendar turns to May, we have many “official” opportunities to recognize our skilled nursing professionals.

Mark your calendars for the following:

  • National Nurses Day - May 6, 2021
  • National Nurses Week - May 6–12, 2021
  • International Nurses Day - May 12, 2021
  • National Skilled Nursing Care Week - May 9–15, 2021

You might wonder why so much recognition for nurses occurs during the month of May. Florence Nightingale, thought to be the founder of modern nursing for her care of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, was born on May 12, 1820. That became the date for International Nurses Day—a global celebration of the contributions nurses make to society—and it is always the final day of National Nurses Week in the United States.


Why We Owe Our Nurses This Recognition

Consider the responsibilities of a nurse: Among the tasks they perform every day are correctly administering medications, monitoring patient vitals, and guiding pain management. But beyond their list of responsibilities on paper, they are also called to do so much more. Nurses are patient advocates, communicators, and problem solvers. They must be caring and empathetic. They need serious stamina, a sense of humor, and a great deal of compassion. The work they do is so important and it can also be draining. One of the best ways to show our appreciation is simply to acknowledge the critical role they play in our organizations and to recognize them for their service.

Ideas for Nurse Recognition

How can you celebrate and recognize the nurses in your organization? We have just a few ideas for you to put into practice this month.

  • Pay attention to patient satisfaction. Who consistently goes above and beyond to better the lives of their patients or residents? Recognize these individuals.
  • Acknowledge years of service. Employee retention is critical in this industry. Recognize nurses who have remained loyal to your organization.
  • Provide personalized feedback. A handwritten note or letter can have a great impact and can often be more meaningful than generalized group feedback. Let a nurse know that you see how he or she made a difference.
  • Create a sense of community. Give nursing staff a forum or opportunity to engage with each other and recognize their own peers.

McGregor PACE is grateful for the contributions of nursing staff in our organization and across the country, particularly during the past year. We hope you now have some ideas for recognizing and celebrating these special individuals throughout the month of May.