Among the countless things learned through the COVID-19 pandemic is the significance of meaningful recognition for nurses for their outstanding skills and the compassion they show patients and families every day.
Meaningful recognition is not a pat on the back, saying “good job” in passing, or a pizza sent to a unit for dinner. It’s not to say that those kinds of things are not appreciated by nurses. But truly meaningful recognition often comes from a patient or family member whose nurses made a significant difference in their healthcare experience. Or it comes from a leader who observes a nurse going above and beyond and delivering outstanding patient and family-centered care.
Meaningful recognition is descriptive and specific about the nurse’s attitude and behaviors that affected a patient or family member. It is relevant to the nurse and to the contributions they make. This kind of positive feedback — delivered consistently and through a structured, high-integrity program that engages clinicians and leaders — is culture-changing. It elevates and motivates the individual nurse being recognized and their entire team or unit.
By having a recognition program like this in place, chief nursing officers (CNOs) ensure that patients and family members know how easy it is to express their gratitude.
After about 23 years of partnering with healthcare organizations to honor nurses with The DAISY Award, the CNO’s vital importance as a champion of meaningful recognition is evident. It is said that what’s important to the CNO is important to the whole team, and we see that axiom lived out every day in the nearly 5,500 healthcare facilities and nursing schools with which we partner.
When the CNO spearheads the organization’s commitment to ensuring that nurses know they are valued and appreciated by their patients and colleagues, DAISY is embedded in organizational culture.
The CNO does not have to do all the work, of course. That’s the role of a strong committee to which the CNO gives the resources needed to assure a truly successful meaningful recognition program that is both impactful and sustaining. In choosing their DAISY coordinators, CNOs select nurses or administrative staff members who are passionate about recognition for nurses, well-organized, and generally great team members.
The DAISY Award program is part of their job descriptions. While serving as a DAISY coordinator is not a full-time job, it should be an integral part of someone’s work because meaningful recognition is an evidence-based practice to support nurses’ well-being in a positive, healthy work environment. One more facet of being a recognition champion is staying up to date on new opportunities for recognition being offered by The DAISY Foundation. The experiences of organizations that participate in the DAISY Award program drive innovation every year, and CNOs should stay current with new ways to express their organizations’ gratitude and respect for nurses’ contributions.
In addition to establishing a foundation of recognition based on patient and family gratitude, the CNO gets to experience what the DAISY Award program is all about throughout the year — celebrating the art of nursing, reminding nurses why they chose this profession, and reinforcing joy in the work environment.
They get a means to demonstrate to the organization’s board, executive leadership, and the community at large the extraordinary work being done by nurses every day that’s reflected in the DAISY nomination stories.
The post-pandemic challenges nurse leaders face are tremendous. A high priority for CNOs is supporting nurses’ well-being which ultimately supports retention. Reminding them why they became nurses in the first place through positive feedback from their patients, family members, and colleagues is a proven strategy that CNOs can champion and one that will bring them great personal fulfillment as well.
For more information about The DAISY Award, an evidence-based solution for meaningful recognition, visit The DAISY Foundation’s website.
Learn more about the importance of nurse recognition and retention efforts:
(1 contact hr.)
Nurses are under a tremendous amount of pressure in the workplace. They work in a high-stress, high-stakes profession, and perform work that is physically and emotionally demanding for long hours. Researchers have found that a healthy work environment, along with finding meaning and joy in one’s work, is fundamental to decreasing nurse burnout and traumatic stress and preventing nurses from leaving their jobs. Creating a healthy workplace and ensuring that nurses derive pleasure from their jobs require showing them appreciation for who they are and meaningful recognition for a job well done. This course provides nurses with definitions of appreciation and meaningful recognition, examples of both, and explanations of how they can best be provided for professional nurses.