1. Davis, Charlotte BSN, RN, CCRN

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As Nurses Week approaches, we're reminded of the sacrifices that nurses continue to make for the benefit of our patients and communities, as well as our healthcare teams and organizational mission. We often work long hours to alleviate the physical illness and pain of our patients. In the 2014 Gallup poll of U.S. professions, we were rated America's most honest and ethical profession for the 13th year in a row. Our profession is rooted in compassion and altruistic dedication to our patient population, and also to each other. That's why the theme of this year's Nurses Week is "ethical practice, quality care."

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In our fast-paced healthcare environment, we must slow down and show our genuine respect for all that our nursing peers give to our profession each day. Sincere appreciation for our colleagues can be expressed in many ways.


Start by acknowledging that you value the skill sets, wisdom, and experience of your team members. Simple acknowledgment of hard work and dedication can dramatically increase workplace satisfaction. Another way to show respect is to recognize your team members' abilities by recommending that they be appointed as committee members or assigned to a taskforce within your healthcare facility so that they can share their clinical insight.


Convey your appreciation for your peers year-round with words and actions. Words can inspire, motivate, and be used to express how you truly value peers' clinical insight, skills, and assistance. Letting a peer who routinely offers a helping hand know how important he or she is to your team is a common way we can show how thankful we are for our fellow nurses. In turn, offer to lighten a team member's workload. Consider writing a thank you note to valued team members or send your manager an e-mail expressing how your peer is beneficial to your healthcare team. Many healthcare organizations have employee recognition programs. Why not nominate a colleague?


Our management teams must also get involved, demonstrating that they value their nurses' hard work and dedication to the organization. It's vital that nursing administration team members and the clinical unit manager convey that they recognize the efforts of their nursing team to ensure that all nurses within the organization feel supported and truly recognized. This can range from a simple "thank you" to providing an unexpected surprise such as small gift certificates for valued nursing team members. The organization can show its gratitude to nurses year-round by providing ongoing continuing-education opportunities and training to help our peers continue building their skill sets.


You'll find several articles in this special issue related to Nurses Week from columns on obtaining your MSN (page 6), working with nursing students (page 10), and fostering team building (page 51) to our feature on patient-centered care (page 20). Are you looking for ways to destress? Then you don't want to miss our Nurses Week bonus online exclusive "Take a Time-out from Stress," which suggests laughter as an avenue to address our stress.


This Nurses Week, show your thankfulness to your fellow nurses. We're there to hear a baby's first cry and hold a patient's hand as he takes his last breath. Celebrate Nurses Week by honestly acknowledging your colleagues' selfless acts and the immense value that they bring to your team. Happy Nurses Week!