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Empowering Our Nurses

Why Taking Time to Honor Nurses Is a Critical Part of Healthcare

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses’ expansion around the world is a testimony to the fact that compassionate care knows no borders.

Through this program, a patient, family member, or co-worker has more than 1.3 million times taken the time to express gratitude to a nurse for going “above and beyond” in their care. DAISY honorees are recognized not only for the great, life-saving acts they perform, but also for the little things they do that make a difference in a patient’s experience.  

The importance of recognition

A growing body of evidence shows how important it is to recognize the outstanding care nurses provide.

The DAISY Award’s contributions to organizations’ healthy work environments, to nurse engagement, and to the patient/family experience are well-documented. Each DAISY nominee receives a copy of the nomination letter of gratitude written about them, allowing them to understand what they did to make a significant difference for a patient.  

Making them aware of their impact is shown to boost nurses’ morale and serve as an emotional pick-me-up. At a time when burnout is taking a toll on the profession, making it difficult for healthcare providers to retain great nurses, nurses nominated for The DAISY Award have been shown to have lower compassion fatigue and higher compassion satisfaction.

For patients who have the chance to express their gratitude to their nurses by nominating them for The DAISY Award, there is an impact, too. Their positive healthcare experience is reinforced and they are more likely to recommend the healthcare organization that treated them to others.

Expanding the award

During the nearly 20 years since we started The DAISY Foundation, we have added recognition for nurse leaders who create the environment where compassionate care thrives, for nurse-led teams, for nursing faculty who are molding future nurses, and for students who provide outstanding compassionate care during their clinical rotations. This year, we added a lifetime achievement award for those who have dedicated decades of their lives to serving patients and inspiring their colleagues.

When we read the DAISY stories of gratitude written to nurses around the world — no matter where they work or where they are in their careers — we are struck by the universality of compassion fundamental to this unique profession. As patients and family members, we expect excellent clinical skill when we are in nurses’ care. What we don’t expect — and what moves us — is the art of nursing revealed in these stories of the human connection nurses make with their patients every day.

Bonnie Barnes, F.A.A.N., Co-Founder, CEO, The DAISY Foundation, [email protected]

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