The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the selfless care that nurses provide day in and day out. How can employers make these essential workers feel valued? Individuals in professions such as healthcare often choose their work because they want to have a positive impact on others. This outlook means that symbolic awards – handwritten notes, public recognition, etc. – can significantly increase motivation, performance, and retention rates among nurses. (1) We’ve gathered some simple and meaningful ways to make these caregivers feel appreciated during Nurses Week (May 6 – 12) and all year round.

Say Thanks

Take a page out of your grandmother’s playbook and write a thank-you card. In one study involving social workers, managers wrote a two-sentence note to employees and sent it to their homes. One month later, the social workers who received the personal message reported feeling more valued and supported by their organization than their counterparts who did not receive a card. (2)

BIC® Intensity® Clic™ Gel Pen Item # ICLGEL
The ultra-smooth gel roller on this modern retractable pen makes it a joy to write with.

Nurses impact lives every day in small and large ways. Set up a large area in the lobby for patients to leave notes of thanks or encouragement. If you use a whiteboard, you can erase the messages once it’s full and start all over again. Or, make it more personal, and provide custom Souvenir® Sticky Note™ pads that have a spot for the patient to write the name of a special caregiver. After displaying the messages for a while, the notes can be delivered so that nurses have a reminder of how much good their work does.

Shower Them with Gifts

If you’re incorporating a gift into your Nurses Week celebration, be sure to pay attention to the details. Employees report feeling more valued when they can see that their employer took time to choose, purchase, and wrap a present. (3) Depending on the size of your staff, it might be possible to individually wrap gifts. If sheer numbers make that hard to do, look for items that come in a gift box, like these slick SCX Design® tech accessories.

Peerless Umbrella® Thank You Item #26160
Brighten any rainy day with this umbrella that features the word “Thank You” written in seven different languages. It’s a fun way to remind nurses how much they are appreciated.

When selecting a gift, keep in mind that a growing number of people rank sustainability as important when making their own buying decisions. Globally, there has been a 71% rise in online searches for sustainable goods. (4) Products made from eco-conscious materials or useful products that lessen environmental impact are good choices to show you care and to reflect your organization’s own commitment to sustainability.  

Give ‘em a Shout-out

People whose hard work is recognized publicly are more positive, productive, and innovative. (5) So don’t just tell nurses that you appreciate them. Tell their unique stories to local media through press releases and feature their actual photos on appreciation posters, blog posts, and social media.

Triumph® Calendars Small-Quantity Custom Item #350
Use custom calendars to highlight the accomplishments of nurses who go the extra mile. You can order as few as 50, which makes them a great choice for both small and large organizations.  

Nurses Week is an ideal time to host an awards ceremony that honors nursing staff for longevity and excellence. Some organizations even take the chance to recognize non-nursing employees who go above and beyond in supporting nurses. You can tailor the event to fit your budget, from big bashes with catered meals and entertainment to more low-key affairs with simple hors d’oeuvres.    

Are you ready to help your clients create a memorable National Nurses Week in May? Visit for meaningful promos that are sure to show nursing professionals how much they are appreciated.  

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