Honoring the Heart of Healthcare: Celebrating National Nurses Week

Posted May 6, 2024 under:

National Nurses Week 2024

National Nurses Week is a time to recognize and honor your nursing staff’s dedication, compassion, and expertise.

5 Ways to Celebrate National Nurses Week and Honor Your Nursing Staff

Celebrate National Nurses Week through gratitude, meaningful gifts, prioritizing well-being, recognizing achievements, and investing in professional development for your nursing staff.

As we approach National Nurses Week, we must reflect on nurses’ vital role in our facilities and communities. The American Nurses Association’s theme for May 2024 is “Nurses Make the Difference,” which highlights nurses’ positive impact on the lives of patients, families, and colleagues. In the face of the ongoing nursing shortage, it’s more important than ever to recognize and celebrate our nursing staff’s dedication, compassion, and expertise.

Please note that the suggestions below are not limited to National Nurses Week – they can be implemented any day of the year!

5 Ways to Celebrate National Nurses Week

1. Express Gratitude

One of the simplest, yet most powerful, ways to show appreciation is through heartfelt gestures. Facility leaders should take time to thank their nurses in person, write personalized emails or notes, and display public messages of thanks, such as an “Acts of Kindness” bulletin board in the breakroom or nurse’s station. These small acts of recognition can go a long way in making your nurses feel valued and appreciated.

2. Give Meaningful Gifts

Leaders can also show appreciation by offering thoughtful gifts to their nursing staff. Consider items that promote self-care and relaxation, such as vouchers for spa services, customized gifts, or care packages filled with snacks and treats to help energize nurses throughout their shifts.

Aside from snacks, some of the most appreciated items in nurse care packages are:

  • Hand cream
  • Candles
  • An insulated travel mug or tumbler
  • Gift cards
  • Compression socks
  • Customized badge reels
  • Coffee

These tokens of gratitude can help show nurses that facility leaders understand the demands of their jobs and actively want to support their well-being.

3. Prioritize Well-being and Self-Care

Facility leaders can ease the physical and emotional demands of nursing by creating a work environment that prioritizes well-being and self-care. Providing access to counseling services or employee assistance programs is an excellent start. Similarly, offering wellness programs such as yoga or meditation classes can significantly improve overall well-being.

Lastly, flexible scheduling has been shown to lessen nurse burnout significantly. Healthcare leaders should recognize the importance of flexible work arrangements – including self-scheduling, job sharing, or compressed workweeks – in supporting their nursing staff’s well-being. Discouraging excessive overtime – while encouraging nursing staff to take their allotted breaks and time off – will also foster a culture that values work-life balance.

4. Celebrate Achievements and Milestones

Acknowledging your nursing staff’s outstanding contributions and milestones is a powerful way to boost morale and show appreciation.

Awards programs, such as “Nurse of the Month” or “Nurse of the Year,” can help encourage the nurses in your facility who consistently go above and beyond. Similarly, sharing individual accomplishments through your organization’s communication channels is a great way to honor your nurses’ hard work publicly.

5. Invest in Professional Development

One of the most effective ways facility leaders show appreciation for nurses is by investing in their professional growth. Providing opportunities for continuing education, workshops, training programs, and conferences enhances their skills and demonstrates a commitment to their long-term success. For example, SCA Health offers a Preop/PACU Nurse Development (PPND) Program designed for nurses at all career stages, as well as a Periop 101 Program focused on developing essential skills for circulating nurse duties in the operating room.

Some facilities have seen excellent results from implementing mentorship programs that pair experienced nurses with newer team members, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing. Ultimately, investing in a nurse’s career demonstrates that facility leaders value nurses’ long-term success and job satisfaction.


National Nurses Week is a time to celebrate the essential contributions of nurses to the healthcare community. However, expressing appreciation for nurses should not be limited to a single week. Healthcare leaders should strive to create a culture of ongoing support and recognition for their nursing staff. This involves actively listening to their feedback, addressing their concerns, and involving them in decision-making processes.

A culture of open communication, collaboration, and a supportive work environment all show a deep commitment to nurses’ well-being and professional growth and can contribute to lasting change.


Hallmark Business: https://www.hallmarkbusiness.com/insights/article/10-unbeatable-nurses-week-ideas-to-help-you-celebrate-recognize-healthcare-professionals/

Nursing Central: https://nursingcecentral.com/nurse-care-package-what-are-the-top-10-must-have-items/

National Library of Medicine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10066500/

Becker’s ASC Review: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/nursing/mentoring-is-miracle-gro-for-nurses-and-key-to-future-success.html; https://www.beckersasc.com/supply-chain/supply-chain-tip-of-the-week-alleviate-nurse-burnout-through-scheduling-flexibility.html

Nurse Journal: https://nursejournal.org/resources/nurse-mental-health-resources/

American Nurses Association: https://www.nursingworld.org/ana-enterprise/nurses-week/

SCA Health: https://insights.sca.health/insight/article/preop-pacu-nurse-development-program; https://insights.sca.health/insight/article/sca-health-periop-101; https://sca.health/

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