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National Nurse’s Day is quickly approaching, and now is the perfect time to start exploring ways to show appreciation to those who show compassion and integrity all year long.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan designated the sixth of May as Nurse’s Day, but the holiday’s roots stretch much further back. Born in 1820, Florence Nightingale, also sometimes referred to as “The Lady of the Lamp,” is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. A statistician and long-term advocate for worldwide healthcare reform, Florence is perhaps best known for improving the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital during the Crimean War, thereby reducing the death count by two-thirds. She later established a hospital as well as a training school for nurses.

The holiday was intended to raise awareness for nurses, but eventually became a way to celebrate the contribution nurses make to healthcare in general. Every single day, nurses consistently advocate for their patients, and always strive to maintain or improve the level of care their patients receive. While often not recognized for it, nurses not only help to improve overall outcomes in patient care in a variety of ways, they also save lives.

To thank them for their service, we’ve provided a few ways to show appreciation towards nurses this May 6th:

  • Say thanks. Not every gift requires immense preparation. Though it costs nothing, a simple, heartfelt “thank you” can mean the world to your nurses.
  • Host a luncheon. Arrange a luncheon by preparing a variety of healthy meals or desserts, or by hiring a local catering company. Request a speaker to attend the event – perhaps a chief nursing officer or a gift officer – and ask them to speak on topics that are meaningful to them.
  • Offer a service. Nurses have long been considered one of the most ethical professions. While maintaining high ethical standards may come naturally to many nurses, their jobs can be immensely stressful. Show your appreciation for their dedication to integrity by hiring a licensed massage therapist to offer 10-minute massages at your event.
  • Collect cards from patients. Grateful patients are eager to show appreciation, and many may even be motivated to compose notes or cards for the nurses who facilitated their care. Facilitate a process to collect these cards and distribute them to nurses on May 6th.
  • Shoot a video. Honor your community’s nurses this year by producing a video of patients sharing their healing stories or heartwarming encounters with their caregivers. Make sure to send it to the respective nurses in an e-newsletter and post it on your website or social media accounts. If you don’t have the time or resources to create your own video, share this one that we’ve put together instead.
  • Donate, or encourage others to do so. Create a website to recognize the work of nurses and invite readers to celebrate this Nurse’s Day by giving a gift to the specialty of their choice. Be sure to send personalized acknowledgements to each nurse regarding contributions made in his or her name.
  • Launch a new awards program. If you don’t have one already, consider launching a new rewards program for nursing, recognizing nurses for their compassion, their integrity, and their overall dedication to their profession. As a bonus, commit a portion of your website to these prominent nurses, featuring honorees and their respective awards.

At at Gobel Group, we believe in the proven connection between giving and healing. Showing gratitude towards your nurses and acknowledging their role in the healing process, during National Nurse’s Day and every day, will help not only the nurses but ultimately the patients whom they serve.