By Bill Murray, Company Leader
Spring is just around the corner. Are you getting ready for celebrating Nurses Week yet?
I know we are!
This is always a special time of year for my team and our candidates to focus on the appreciation of this honorable profession.
The American Nurses Association chooses one distinct theme each year, which runs May 6th-12th this year.
This year’s theme is “Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit”.
Let’s celebrate all of you hard-working nurses that aim to be a leader in health and wellness.
It’s likely your place of work will honor you and your colleagues by coming up with unique ideas for celebrating Nurses Week.
Since choosing to become a nurse is perhaps more of a calling than other professions, I’m sharing some inspiring ways you’ll love celebrating Nurses Week for yourself—no matter where you are or who your employer is.
Celebrating Nurses Week in 2017
1. Take action!
Florence Nightingale, the famous British nurse commonly attributed as the founder of modern nursing, once said, “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”
Now, while I don’t believe you should refrain from expressing your feelings, there is definitely something to be said for taking action when possible.
For example, maybe you have been wanting to specialize in cardiac-vascular nursing, but you haven’t gotten around to taking the necessary steps. There is no better time than now to enroll in a certification course.
If a new certification isn’t at the top of your to do list, maybe you have been thinking about contributing to a trade publication instead. Why not take the next step by doing some research and finding out which publication would be interested in your article?
I have always been a strong proponent of action.
Sometimes even I need a little push in the right direction!
Consider celebrating Nurses Week by giving yourself that little push to reach new heights.
2. Stay confident!
It doesn’t matter your desired profession, confidence is always a top quality sought out by employers.
When asking yourself, “Why do we celebrate nurses week?”, know that one of the many answers is to recharge nurses’ confidence levels through genuine appreciation.
New York writer Christian Nestell Bovee wrote the following epigram: “Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.”
In a nurse’s line of work, there can seemingly be many opportunities to doubt the day’s performance.
(I’ve been there, even in my own role in business.)
When you are responsible for the care of multiple patients, one small, often insignificant setback can throw you off balance and cost you your confidence.
A lack of confidence can be crippling for a nurse, but it shouldn’t!
Here’s why you should never doubt yourself.
Let’s say a nervous patient says something unkind to you. You know you are a good nurse, so the patient is likely just projecting his anxiety on you because he’s afraid.
It is only natural to feel insecure for a while afterwards. However, instead of allowing a fearful patient to derail your day, use these opportunities to practice patience and empathy.
In other words, turn a negative situation into an opportunity to become a better nurse. You can maintain and grow your confidence when you use this technique!
If an especially rough day has you feeling down, remember that the best nurses are highly qualified, adaptable and confident.
There’s never a need to doubt yourself, because you were hired based on your outstanding abilities.“Doubt whom you will, but never yourself.” -Christian Nestell BoveeClick To Tweet
3. Be in charge of your time!
Time management may seem a bit underwhelming when it comes to celebrating Nurses Week ideas, but stay with me here.
Famous author, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur Jim Rohn once said, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
Does it strike a chord? I thought so!
Many nurses receive their scheduled shifts for the week or month. However, they wind up working additional hours, pick up extra shifts, and basically work themselves ragged.
Guess what: There’s nothing wrong with working hard.
Yet it is important to understand that your mind and body both need rest and relaxation in order for you to perform at your best.
People in a hiring position are looking for dedicated employees and hard work is the number one way to prove your worth.
Remember, if you are overtired and burnt out, you can make mistakes or hurt yourself.
For national Nurses Week, promise me (and yourself) that you’ll start taking better care of you by being more in control of your time.
How do you accomplish this, you ask?
Make sure you have at least one day a week completely to yourself. This means you should think twice before automatically swapping shifts if it means you’ll be on your feet for too long.
I know this is easier said than done, especially when your time off is full of family obligations and real-world responsibilities.
If you struggle with making time for yourself, try incorporating a simple 15-30 minute fitness routine. It’s a very small commitment with a massive reward.“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” -Jim RohnClick To Tweet
4. Celebrate yourself!
Donna Cardillo, also known as “The Inspiration Nurse,” shared the following beautiful thought:
“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me nor I them, but I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them and they to me and those threads make up the beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.”
When celebrating Nurses Week, take a moment to think about the people you’ve helped during your years as a nurse.
- People have you comforted when they were scared and in pain?
- Family members did you console?
- Patients did you help nurse back to health so they could go back to their lives?
- Colleagues did you support during difficult times?
Do something special to commemorate your own hard work and accomplishments. In my opinion, there is no greater and more beloved profession than nursing.
Treat yourself to a massage, lose yourself in a good book or buy that item you’ve been eyeing.
If it were up to me, you’d do all three because you deserve it.
5. Celebrate your colleagues!
There is something to be said for those who give their time to lift others up. If that isn’t a spot on description of a nurse, I don’t know what is.
The thought applies to celebrating Nurses Week ten fold, when we get an opportunity to celebrate our colleagues formally.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush stated, “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat people—your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”
Any nurse knows the truth in this statement.
We depend on our coworkers not just to fulfill their specific responsibilities, but also to support us, teach us, and even stand up for us on occasion.
Nurses Week is an excellent opportunity to reach out to former colleagues with a message of gratitude.
Plus, you can show your current colleagues you care by doing something special for them, such as organizing a dinner for everyone, or surprising everyone with delicious cupcakes.
I think that handwritten notes remain an impactful and timeless way to show gratitude. It’s one of my favorite things to do for candidates as a gesture of appreciation.
No matter what you do, just make sure that you express your appreciation of those around you.
6. Sign up for a conference!
British statistician Sir Claus Moser shared the following insightful thought: “Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.”
If the only thing you have been doing to expand your knowledge is keeping up with your certifications, why not take advantage of Nurses Week to sign up for an interesting conference?
I find that conferences provide unmatched opportunity for learning. The speakers are nearly always excellent and time spent with peers and colleagues is always informative.
Attending a conference is the perfect way to acquire a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time. Plus, it’s a great networking opportunity.“Education costs money. But then so does ignorance.” -Sir Claus MoserClick To Tweet
7. Make a career plan!
“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear,” civil rights activist Rosa Parks once said.
After landing our first job, most of us don’t have a realistic, well-considered career plan.
I can be honest and say that I didn’t forecast my own growth with this company, but I did have goals for becoming a manager.
Making a plan that outlines where you want to be a year, five years, 10 and even 20 years down the line is a critical aspect of proactively managing your career.
By researching your options, you’ll learn more about what you want and don’t want. Plus, by familiarizing yourself with your career plan, you’ll become less intimidated and more resolute.“I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.' -Rosa ParksClick To Tweet
These are just a few of the many inspirational ways for celebrating Nurses Week.
- Take action
- Stay confident
- Be in charge of your time
- Celebrate yourself
- Celebrate your colleagues
- Sign up for a conference
- Make a career plan
I hope you’ll try the ideas out, and find they increase your enjoyment of work, as well as your career potential!
How are you celebrating Nurses Week this year?
Share with me in the comments below!