With this week's celebration of National Nurses Week, organizations across the country are honoring their nurses and nursing students to thank them for putting their hearts and souls into their profession.
Germielynn Melendez, DNP, MSN, RNC-OB, and a national associate professor of International Studies at Chamberlain College of Nursing, says the importance of saying thank you cannot be understated. Chamberlain campuses nationwide are celebrating nurses with special activities and events this week.
“I know our 13 campuses across the nation are each celebrating in their own way,” she says. “It's a great way to show their appreciation for us. All of us want recognition as important members of a health care team both at work and in the media,” she says.
At Chamberlain, showing a true appreciation for nurses' efforts is rewarding for nurses. “They need to hear that, and they need that pat on the back,” she says. “Getting students involved gives them something to look forward to.”
What do nurses want from the week? Even the most energetic nurse can get burned out after back-to-back 12-hour shifts. “A note washes away tiredness sometimes,” says Melendez, and gives nurses a refreshing boost so they remember why they sought out the career in the first place.
Fun events are always welcome on campus, and Melendez says the goofy events help let off steam and bring nurses closer. In the past, students have run relay races through the nursing lab to gather items for prizes. A “name this hospital item” game is a fun way to reinforce learning and celebrate nurses' precise knowledge. And celebrations involving food are always appreciated and enjoyed, says Melendez, as are special outings.
Being the typical caretakers and givers that make them so good at their jobs, nurses often schedule some kind of community service project to give back to the community where they live and study. “Each campus is different,” says Melendez. “It's very interesting to see how creative they are.”
“A thank you or someone saying, 'I'm grateful for what you do' is all we need or what we want,” says Melendez. “National Nurses Week is something we look forward to every year.”