Written by Tena Barnes Carraher, Co-founder, Vice President Marketing & Communications

Nearly two million nurses have be nominated for the DAISY Award. This number astounds all of us at the DAISY Foundation but especially the family members who started this movement in 1999 after Patrick Barnes, a son, husband, new father and friend to so many passed away from complications of the auto immune disease ITP.

The award was a way to thank nurses for the extraordinary care and compassion they gave to him and his family during his 8-week illness and untimely, shocking death. Additionally, the hope was for an outlet to others to be able to express gratitude based on their experience.

When DAISY was “born,” we thought 10 hospitals having the program would be great. The “DAISY 100” was a dream. Today more than 4,800 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing recognize, honor and celebrate their nurses with DAISY recognition. We never imagined!

Each month, thousands of awards are given out around the world – All originating with a person who wanted to say thank you to a nurse, nurse-led team or nurse leader. Award nominations are written by anyone – a patient, family member, co-worker, student, member of the leadership team – ANYONE who had an experience or witnessed the impact a nurse made and then felt compelled to share it via a DAISY nomination.

We often react or want our voices heard when something bad happens: poor customer service, a rude employee, a long wait, the list goes on. It is a true testament to nurses that in this day and age, so many want to sit down and tell their story to share their gratitude towards a nurse…to focus on the positive, even when the end result was not what they had planned. There are numerous joyful stories that are captured, too.

We think every day should be Nurses Day – but we know a big light shines on nurses during the annual Nurses Week that starts every year on May 6th and ends on Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12th.

In 2020, Nurses Week activities were understandably reduced, modified or practically non-existent due to COVID. Now, as many parts of the world are getting closer to recovery, we have seen a spark in planned Nurses Week events for 2021.

To celebrate, we’d like to spotlight 7 DAISY stories to represent the 7 days in May dedicated to nurses for Nurses Week. With thousands of nominations coming in each month, there was no easy way to choose, so we looked inward at which themes were amplified during the past year of the pandemic. Compassion, efficiency, collaboration, innovation, creativity, unity and connection rose to the top.

We have selected these to share:

Compassion: “Toni stayed at her bedside singing an old gospel hymn. Never once did she stop holding her hands while she gained her wings, and her soul flew away to be at rest.

Collaboration: “True collaboration and teamwork are the hallmarks of authentic leadership are key to a productive, engaged and healthy working environment.”

Innovation: “During a challenging time, Toni demonstrated the ability to create an environment where relationships were built, and mutual respect was established.

Creativity:Through some creativity, Sarah decided to try using Microsoft Word with the computer in the room and increased the font size for the patient to read and understand what was being said.”

Unity: “Beau continued to engage the family in conversation that allowed the family to express their gratitude for the patient, invited stories to be told and validated their expression of love for the patient.”

Connection: “Alison went far and above the call of duty. She was truly that family’s lifeline.”  

Efficiency: “A few of the outstanding behaviors that readily come to mind are her reassuring manner, full of grace and good humor, efficiency and nursing knowledge. Michelle never failed to provide appropriate comfort and care for my well-being.

We encourage you to visit our website to read many, many more inspiring stories just like these!

About The Daisy Corner

The mission of The DAISY Foundation is to honor the extraordinary compassionate care nurses provide patients and families every day. It was established in 1999 in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.) The care Patrick and his family received from Nurses while he was ill inspired the creation of The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses, an evidenced-based means of providing Nurse recognition and thanking Nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. In addition to the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses, the Foundation expresses gratitude to the nursing profession internationally in over 4,700 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing with recognition of direct care Nurses, Nurse-led Teams, Nurse Leaders, Nurses Advancing Health Equity, Nursing Faculty, Nursing Students, Lifetime Achievement in Nursing and through the J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, Health Equity Grants and Medical Mission Grants. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org.