Remember last week? It might be a blur but try to picture it for a minute. You’re a nurse leader and it’s Nurses’ Week again. A whole week of activities to appreciate nurses on your floor or in your facility has been planned. In fact, you and your team planned and organized most of those activities- the food, the fun activities and most importantly the nursing excellence award ceremonies.
And of course, like the excellent nurse leader you are, you spent hours of your day (evening and night) last week personally thanking and celebrating one of the hardest working groups of people: nurses. Now it’s the last day of Nurses’ Week and all you wanted to do was to go home, take a shower, put on your pajamas and recover from a rewarding by totally exhausting week that just happened.
It’s not that you didn’t love doing it. It’s just the reality of pouring praise, recognition and thanks unto others every day and especially during Nurses Week. Now the question might be, Who has been pouring into you?
I speak to thousands of nurse leaders every year. I am surprised at how many nurse leaders feel that they are not the focus of much, if any, meaningful recognition at their organizations. In fact they often feel that they are held to a standard of recognizing others but are somehow lost in the mix themselves.
In this time of much needed nurse resilience building organizations have a great opportunity to do a pulse check by ensuring that the leaders of the largest segment of their hospital workforce feel valued, supported and recognized.
Having a week or even a day that appreciates nurse leaders provides us with the opportunity to educate our colleagues and the public of the unique work we do and the contributions we make:
Are nurse leaders highlighted for their large span of control, their mastery of a broad array of competencies and their contribution to patient and team outcomes?
Don’t assume you know how they want to be recognized. Ask them what is meaningful to them. Is it a luncheon, leadership development support or perhaps a full day/weekend off without 24/7 responsibilities?
You can’t delegate this one. Get personally involved in recognizing your leaders. This does not require a lot of money and planning. Just being present is powerful and makes a difference.
All nurses deserve recognition for their dedication, expertise, and resilience. However, I want to extend a special ‘thank you’ to NURSE LEADERS who bring a unique combination of clinical expertise, business acumen and compassion to all you do. Keep on leading us to a healthy nation.
DNP, RN NEA-BC
CEO & Chief Clinical Officer