Why Nurses Week Should Be Important in Your Healthcare

As frontline healthcare professionals, nurses play a critical role in our society, providing essential care and support to patients in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. Every year, National Nurses Week begins May 6th in the United States. This week is an opportunity for healthcare organizations and the general public to recognize the contributions of nurses and their vital role in our healthcare system. In this edition of “Plain Talk,” we’ll discuss the importance of recognizing National Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting.

Why does National Nurses Week always start on May 6th?

Great question! And the answer is simple. Just Like Independence Day is always July 4, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, is always May 12. Her birthday has been recognized as International Nurses Day since 1965 and concludes the week.

Nurses Week is a time to celebrate and honor the contributions of nurses to the healthcare system. It is an opportunity to show appreciation for their hard work, dedication, and commitment to patient care. It is also a time to reflect on the challenges that nurses face in their profession and to support them in their efforts to provide the best possible care to patients, especially as we come out of the pandemic.

Florence Nightingale Picture

Incorporating National Nurses Week into your recruiting and retention strategies

One of the most important reasons to recognize Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is to attract and retain top nursing talent. Nurses are in high demand, and the competition for qualified candidates is intense. By recognizing the contributions of nurses and demonstrating a commitment to their professional development and well-being, healthcare organizations can differentiate themselves from their competitors and attract the best nursing talent.

The average turnover for RNs in 2021 was 27.1%, and the average cost per turned-over RN to an employer was a staggering $46,100! So, another reason to recognize National Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is to improve employee engagement and job satisfaction, thus significantly lowering staffing costs. Nurses who feel valued and appreciated are more likely to be engaged in their work and more satisfied with their jobs. This can lead to higher retention rates and better patient outcomes. When nurses feel supported and recognized, they are more likely to provide high-quality care to their patients and to work collaboratively with their colleagues.

According to a 2018 Payscale survey, appreciation was second only to “a bright future for an employer” in nurse retention, proving to be far more important than pay.

Effective Engagement Variables on Nurse Turnover Graph from Payscale

Recognizing Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is also an opportunity to promote the nursing profession and encourage young people to consider nursing as a career. Nursing is a rewarding and challenging profession that offers a wide range of career opportunities. By highlighting the contributions of nurses and the importance of their work, healthcare organizations can inspire the next generation of nurses and help to address the growing nursing shortage.

Elmira College celebrates Nurses Week - Instagram post

In addition to attracting and retaining top nursing talent, recognizing Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting can also help improve the overall reputation of a healthcare organization. Nurses are often the first point of contact for patients, and their interactions with patients can have a significant impact on their perceptions of the healthcare organization. By demonstrating a commitment to nursing excellence and recognizing the contributions of nurses, healthcare organizations can improve their reputation and enhance their brand.

Recognizing Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is also an opportunity to showcase the culture of an organization. Nurses want to work for organizations committed to providing high-quality care, supporting their professional development, and promoting a positive work-life balance. By recognizing Nurses Week and demonstrating a commitment to these values, healthcare organizations can attract top nursing talent and create a positive work environment for their current employees.

How to get local press for your efforts

To get local press for your efforts, you need to do something newsworthy! Many large chains like Chipotle and Dunkin’ Donuts give away food and drink on their own because they recognize the important work nurses do as frontline workers and thus receive media recognition for their efforts.

Recognizing this trend, Joyce University partnered with local Swig locations to offer all area nurses a free drink and cookie. At $46,100 per vacancy, your organization might want to consider getting recognized by your nurses and other local nurses in your market as a place that appreciates nurses.

“SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) – To kick off National Nurses Week, Joyce University is partnering with Swig to offer a free 24 oz. drink or a cookie on Saturday, May 6, to all nurses and nursing students in Utah. Hooray for Nurses!”

Get social media mileage out National Nurses Week

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is now recommending that May be recognized as Nursing Month, with four distinct weeks:

1. May 1-7 – This week is dedicated to cultivating and maintaining optimal mental health and physical well-being.

2. May 8-14 – Honor the work of nurses who lead, excel, and innovate in our healthcare systems and our communities, making them vital to transforming the future of healthcare.

3. May 15-21 – Access resources and insights to guide you in your professional development. Focus on how you can excel and lead in your nursing career or inspire and help others in their professional nursing journey.

4. May 22-31 – Focus on Engaging with your community this week, whether virtually or in person. Educate members of your community on what nurses do beyond the bedside — advocacy, shaping public policy, or serving as an organization board.

By embracing the monthly model, your organization can develop unique, compelling content each week. It allows your organization to work with the nursing staff, allowing them to focus on self-care, self-improvement, and community.

Bigger than just healthcare providers

Finally, recognizing Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is simply the right thing to do. Nurses are essential members of the healthcare team, and their contributions should be celebrated and recognized. Nurses work long hours, often under stressful conditions, to provide the best possible care to their patients. Recognizing Nurses Week is a small but meaningful way to show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication. That’s why organizations that don’t hire nurses like Chipotle recognize Nurses Week. They are part and parcel to our communities.

Chipolte Nurses Week Article in USA Today

In conclusion, Nurses Week or Month is an important opportunity to recognize and celebrate the contributions of nurses to the healthcare system. Recognizing Nurses Week in healthcare recruiting is an effective way to attract and retain top nursing talent, improve employee engagement and job satisfaction, promote the nursing profession, enhance the reputation of healthcare organizations, showcase their culture, and demonstrate our appreciation for the hard work and dedication of nurses. By recognizing Nurses Week and supporting the nursing profession, we can improve the quality of care provided to patients and ensure the continued success of our healthcare system.

If you need guidance on how to best appreciate, retain and recruit nurses, drop us a note or call us at 502-499-4209.

Michelle Stevens, Account Director PriceWeber Marketing, Louisville KY
Michelle Stevens Account Director