Every year I hear more and more nurses grumble because nothing was done for them! I've been there myself, and it's indeed very disappointing. Simple gestures go a long way to make people feel appreciated.
I know way too many managers who have no idea how to make staff feel appreciated, and have no idea how to plan any sort of celebration. Even the simple gesture of bringing in a box of bagels or donuts just because it's Friday is beyond their ability and comprehension.
So what I learned was that if you want something done, you have to do it yourself and not sit back and be passive aggressive about it!! There are tons of simple things that can be done and a good leader needs to be able to pull a team together and delegate! You don't have to do it all yourself. You just need to prioritize and organize. Use those critical thinking skills and lead your staff!
Raises and Expensive Gifts are NOT Going to Happen
Nurses Week is NOT about sending everyone on an all expenses paid vacation to the Caribbean. It's NOT about giving everyone a substantial raise. It's NOT about "using that money for something significant." It's simply NOT possible, and anyone who feels butt hurt that their employer didn't do this for them is simply in the WRONG profession. Perhaps Wall Street is calling your name?
On the other (realistic) hand, being appreciated is something everyone needs to feel! It's not rocket science and it's not difficult to pull it off!!! There are tons of creative, talented nurses out there waiting to be asked.
Step Up and Help Plan
Nurses usually have to find their own rewards out of the difference they make for their patients, but it's important to be recognized by management and told you DO matter. So don't sit back and let managers rest on incompetence at planning celebrations. It really is a problem, but they can't be expected to be great at everything! So jump in and help out!!! Bring a sample of your skills and share at a staff meeting or just with your manager.
- A potluck meal can work miracles to bring staff together to share cultures and recipes and downright great food! A signup sheet is easy to make. You can spread it across the whole week so everyone is included despite their days off. Set a theme for each day or mix it all up. Have fun and enjoy the great foods you're bound to have. Everyone gets to participate -- even if they buy the food they bring, or supply the drinks, napkins or utensils.
- Ask a local bagel or donut shop to donate or discount the product to honor nurses and bring in a BUNCH to share. A few balloons, streamers and banners can help set a festive mood and alert patients and family members to the celebration of nursing.
Nurses Survival Kits
A few years back, one of our nurse leaders handed out small bags packed with little goodies and a great note to make us all feel loved and appreciated. These take a little effort to create and fill the bags, but again organizing a team to work together can make quick work. Search Etsy or Pinterest for additional ideas on Nurses Survival Kits.
Utilize some of the History of Nurses Week and the ideas I have shared on the Nursing Site for more suggestions on making your Nurses Week a big success. Don't forget to include the Florence Nightingale Pledge in some fashion. It reminds us of our roots and keeps us grounded.
Check back here too. We have some really terrific Give Aways planned for Nurses Week 2018. If you have something to donate, it's not too late.
Enjoy Nurses Week!