Effective Nurses Week Ideas

January 15, 2019

Saying thanks to a nurse can be a lesson in creativity. Nurses are employed in a variety of venues, from hospitals to doctors offices, schools to nursing homes, with some even making home visits. This dynamic nature of the nursing profession is made even more complicated by the range of shifts manned, with some facilities staffing 24 hours a day. So when an appreciation event such as National Nurses Week comes along, administrators and organizers have to brainstorm in order to cover all members of the staff. Accommodating for different shifts and demanding schedules, saying thanks can come in the form of a group meal, a sentimental billboard or a practical gift, imprinted with a nurse appreciation slogan.

For 2019, we have added over 30 new products and decoration items with all new appreciation themes exclusively for National Nurses Week. "Proud Member of Nurse Nation", "Nurse: Skill, Strength, Dedication" and old favorites like "Nurses On Call With Care" appear on a wide range of products that will not only show off nursing pride, but will also provide great useage for every nurse - both on and off the job.


Share a Meal - With many nurses catching a quick bite to eat when they can fit it into their schedule, a great way to show appreciation is to offer a special meal of appreciation. While some facilities may be able to hold a breakfast, luncheon or dinner event, those with a 24 hour schedule can create an all day buffet, accommodating every shift.

Make Them Feel “Spa”cial - Everyone likes to be pampered, so a visit to a spa or a surprise spa treatment can help relieve some of the stress nurses acquire during the course of their responsibilities. Licensed massage therapists can be made available for the nursing staff at a hospital or nursing home, providing on demand stress relief to staff members. For visiting nurses, a gift certificate for a massage at a local establishment can be distributed along with a spa themed gift or stress ball to remind them how much they are appreciated.

Ready, Set...Bake - Getting the entire staff involved in an appreciation event is as easy as holding a bake off. When its time to honor nurses, invite the rest of the staff to participate in a baking competition. The nursing staff can be designated as the judges, voting for the best donated baked treat. Nurses will appreciate the involvement of their peers, understanding how they are an integral part of a much larger team. They also will enjoy the wonderful homemade specialties as part of their recognition event, having them cafe style with gourmet coffee and tea to accompany them.

Care to Show Flair - A popular comedy pokes fun at the forced practice of wearing “flair” by chain restaurant staff. Nurses tend to take pride in wearing lapel pins and buttons that show off their dedication and commitment to caring. An appreciation gift that is sure to be worn throughout the year is a lapel pin or badge holder that carries a sentimental message of thanks. Organizers will find that the small adornments will last on beyond the point of gifting, reinforcing the message that the nurse is appreciated for their efforts.

Meat & Greet - A barbecue or picnic is a perfect way to host a nurse appreciation event. The festivities and culinary offerings of a cookout will provide a venue where all members of a nursing staff can interact, sometimes meeting peers that work opposing shifts to thiers for the first time. Coworkers who may be only know as signatures on charts or names on schedules can become friends over a burger or hot dog. Administrators can create a special schedule to ensure that all members of staff can participate.

Create Awareness - Making sure the office or facility is aware that there is a celebration honoring nursing staff is a strong foundation for any format event. Proper signage and communication can be used to let everyone know that they should take the opportunity to reach out and say thanks to a nurse. Coworkers, patients and their families can participate on the most basic level, simply telling a nurse how much they mean to those they care for. Organizers can encourage this outreach by inviting everyone to make comments on a signup book, bulletin board or even post onto a Facebook page.

Award Diversity - With so many different specializations, unique awards can be given to each nursing department. Putting a fun twist on the task, organizers can find uniquely humorous elements to honor from each of the different specializations, coming up with awards to highlight these pet peeve standouts. Creating certificates for the Nurse Most Likely to Attack a Faulty Monitor, Nurse Most Likely to Become a Proofreader or some other comedic twist on situations nursed face in their daily lives can be used to lighten the mood. Legitimate awards can be distributed as well, honoring major contributors and stand out staff members.

Enhance Their Commute - No matter how nurses find their way to work, there are ways of improving a commute for everyone. Gift ideas can be focused on making the long haul not seem so, giving the nursing staff a little relief as they make their way to and from their shift. Travel mugs, umbrellas, ice scrapers, backpacks and lunch bags can all be custom printed with a slogan of appreciation, a display of recognition as they are put to use during rainy days, early morning drives or to tote necessities on a bus or train.

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, it does provide a range of ideas that can be applied either in part or in whole to variety of facilities. Each administrator, department head or doctor can use these ideas to spark a brainstorming session or creative thought process for how best to say thanks to their nursing staff. With budgets being tight, the most basic and simple way to celebrate Nurses Week or any other staff appreciation event is to verbally say thank you. But if financials allow for it, a larger production can provide a fun annual event.