Recognition and Appreciation this Nurses Week

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Theodore Roosevelt

This Nurses’ Week is all about recognition – recognizing the many contributions nurses make daily. I would like to add appreciation. Each are important yet different. Recognition is about what people do; appreciation is about who they are.

Honoring nurse heroes

The American Nurses Association (ANA) states, “now more than ever, it is important to raise the visibility of the critical work nurses do by honoring nurse heroes, innovators and leaders”.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have definitely demonstrated their skill, dedication, adaptability and may I add, superheroes! The public has responded by recognizing nurses and the healthcare team and demonstrating their appreciation through a variety of ways.

Recognizing your contributions

Recognition involves genuinely acknowledging what a person does and how their actions made a difference in the lives of others. Recognizing one’s contributions in a meaningful way can lead to increasing one’s self-awareness of the impact made, reconnecting nurses with why they chose nursing as their profession and building and elevating one’s sense of pride regarding their work.

Inspiring others

Through meaningful recognition, we are able to describe the impact of nursing by learning from our patients, their family members, and our colleagues how nurses inspire, comfort, erase fear, and elevate joy.

On the other hand, appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s innate value. It is not about their performance. It is their worth as a colleague and a human being. When we show appreciation, we build trust and connect to our colleagues, customers, managers, and partners.

All of us benefit when we focus on and cultivate both appreciation and recognition. Recognition is appropriate and necessary when it is earned and deserved. Appreciation, however, is important all the time.

In a recent article, Bonnie and Mark Barnes, co-founders of The DAISY Foundation shared their  insights.

“We are in touch with numerous nurse leaders these days, and each one tells us of pride in their nurses’ courage, dedication to patients and the teamwork nurses so naturally bring to caring for patients and each other. We hear that even during this time of social distancing, nurses are still providing the human connection patients need to help them heal as they navigate illness and pandemic fear.”

Bonnie and Mark Barnes

When you think about recognition and appreciation, what comes to mind?

Is it a pat on the back, a kind word, a thank you card, an appreciation certificate, PIZZA?!?

All of these are simple examples of how people show appreciation for one another. I am sure you could add a million other examples. Take a moment and savor how you have been recognized and appreciated throughout your nursing career. Now think about you can recognize and appreciateothers.

I hope that each of you know how much you are appreciated. Not only this week, but all of the time!

Happy Nurses’ Week!


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