I am a new DON. Do you know any way I could recognize some staff who go above and beyond for our residents? We do recognizer them in the building, but I want everyone to know how long-term care has wonderful angels who work here!

That is wonderful that you are seeking ways to recognize those staff members who go above your expectations. Certainly, there are many ways to recognize them. Many of the state healthcare associations have a conference where they recognize staff members at those conferences. 

National associations such as Leading Age and the American Health Care Association also have conferences where staff are recognized. Check all of your respective state chapters. Nursing associations also have honors. NADONA, for example, has a nurse leader of the year and region awarded at their annual conference.

For RNs, you may want to try to nominate them for the Daisy Award (www.daisyfoundation.org).

An acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem, The DAISY Foundation was formed in November, 1999, by the family of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at 33 of complications of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. The  care Patrick received when hospitalized profoundly touched his family.  

On the DAISY website, administrators call the award “inspirational,” “a great morale booster,” “an excellent tool for nurse retention” and “a way to develop role models.” 

Efforts to express personal, heartfelt appreciation to nurses for the important difference they make in all the lives they touch is having a powerful effect, especially amid a nursing shortage.

I have nominated many nurses, and they are truly humbled and honored by receiving this award. I recommend you nominate your nurses now.