The DAISY Award: Re-energizing the spirit of the academic setting




Cindy Sweeney
Cynthia Sweeney, RN

(Content provided by The DAISY Foundation)

The traditional school year for nursing faculty and students will soon start, and another generation of nurses will begin the journey to licensure or perhaps an advanced degree in nursing. They will need the support of colleagues and the guidance of extraordinary faculty to become clinically astute and compassionate nurses — the kind we wish to have caring for those close to us. The DAISY Foundation’s DAISY Award provides meaningful recognition to nursing students and faculty, which can enhance faculty engagement and helps student nurses understand the meaning of compassionate clinical care. Meaningful recognition is well-documented in the literature as a component of a healthy work environment, which in turn, supports employee engagement. This recognition has become even more important in light of the impending nursing shortage.

Diann Martin, PhD, BSN, RN, program director for healthcare at DeVry University in Wood Dale, Ill., and a faculty member at Chamberlain College of Nursing, addressed the issue in a blog in which she discussed the need for additional faculty to open more seats for nursing candidates. So many are turned away each year because of a lack of faculty to teach them.

What can be done to enhance faculty retention and the academic environment? What can be done to teach nursing students compassionate care? Teaching compassion is not easily taught nor measured, but it is as important to patient care as technical skills.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Faculty provides meaningful recognition of faculty whose technical skills and compassionate care make them role models for others. Faculty who have received the DAISY Award are thrilled to be acknowledged. As one educator stated, “The DAISY Foundation’s inclusion of nurse educators in their programs of highlighting nursing excellence is very much appreciated by faculty who work very hard and impact so many nurses in all phases of their careers.”

Recognizing nursing faculty in a meaningful way engages and re-energizes them, which can create a positive energy for the student experience. Another faculty recipient said, “Receiving this recognition has been very humbling to say the least. It has given me immense encouragement to see through a renewed lens of what it means to provide care.”

The DAISY in Training Award was established at the request of students to recognize those who are clinically competent and compassionate in their care. In bringing the head and the heart together, so to speak, they establish their own extraordinary clinical style.

Recognizing nursing students who provide compassionate care showcases models of care and celebrates their value as desirable behaviors for practice. It validates the recipients’ development of excellent nursing skill sets and elevates examples of care that fellow students should follow. As one student shared, “…to be presented with the DAISY in Training Award at my pinning ceremony was an incredibly special moment. It has pushed me even further to be the kind of nurse who goes above and beyond for my patients as I begin my career. I am so looking forward to my future as a nurse.” As we look to the future of healthcare, the need for extraordinarily skilled and compassionate nurses will increase. The DAISY Award, as a method for meaningful recognition in the academic setting, can help fill that need.

For more information on the student and faculty awards and a list of recipients, visit the foundation’s website. •

Editor’s note: DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The DAISY Foundation was created to thank nurses for the care they provide. The foundation was formed to honor the memory of Patrick Barnes who passed away at age 33 as a result of idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura, an autoimmune disease. The acronym serves as a reminder of Barnes and why the foundation was formed.

To comment, email editor@nurse.com.

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About the author
Cynthia Sweeney, RN

Cynthia Sweeney, RN 

Cynthia Sweeney, MSN, RN, CNOR, NEA-BC, is executive director of The DAISY Foundation.

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