And I think to myself, 'What a wonderful week'

Nurse Leader Insider, May 7, 2007

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Every year, when National Nurses Week is observed from May 6--also known as National Nurses Day--through May 12 (the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing), healthcare facilities around the country take the time to recognize and pamper their hard-working nurses. Below, staff from two different facilities dish out the specifics of their week-long celebrations.

Keynote speaker and new scrubs
At Salem (OR) Hospital, activities vary from year to year. "We always have a keynote speaker on the Wednesday of Nurses Week," says Debbie Buchwach, RN, BSN, core nurse educator. This year, Michele Deck will be visiting the hospital to speak on the topic Finding the Hero Within.

During the event, the CEO greets the staff and wishes them a happy Nurses Week, thanking them for the care they provide every day. Then, the CNO greets the nurses and review highlights and achievements from the past year. The hospital's Specialty Practice Team members and preceptors are also recognized.

This year, says Buchwach, the facility is changing to a standardized scrub color, and the nursing administration is buying everyone their first pair of the new scrubs. The chaplain's office also offers blessing of the hands for interested nurses.

Calendar of events and awards
So many events take place at the Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children in Falls Church, VA, that a calendar is posted throughout the hospital with all the week's events.

For example, a poster contest, display and reception take place, says Jill Duncan, RN, MS, MPH, clinical nurse specialist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The winner is usually placed on the cover of the annual nursing report.

Snacks and massages are often treats for each unit, says Duncan, and in the past, the hospital's chaplain department offered blessing of the hands.

Physicians may buy the nurses breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the hospital often gives each nurse a gift.

Additionally, says Duncan, there are Nurse of the Year award nominations and a reception. Categories change a little each year, but tend to include Educator, Innovator, Clinical Leader, Mentor, New Grad, and Leader in the Community awards.

Source: The Staff Educator, April 2007, HCPro, Inc.

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