How Does a Nurse Get a Daisy Award?
Nurses don’t become nurses for recognition. More often than not it is a thankless job but ultimately can be more fulfilling than any other career. The hug of a patient’s loved one, the solidarity during an organ donation procession, or the comforting words of a patient are all the thanks most nurses will ever need. But in those rare moments of praise and recognition, the Daisy Award honors exceptional nurses, nursing faculty, and nursing students for their hard work, dedication, and the difference they make in someone’s life.
History of the Daisy Award
Founded in 1993 by Mark and Bonnie Barnes, the parents of J. Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), Daisy is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune SYstem. According to the Foundation’s website, the mission and value of the Daisy Award is to “express gratitude to nurses with programs that recognize them for the extraordinary skillful, compassionate care they provide patients and families.”
While the main focus of the Foundation is the annual Daisy Awards, the Daisy Foundation also provides several grants including evidence-based practice research grants and medical mission grants. Individual grant requirements can be found on the website but generally speaking, individuals must be Daisy Award Nominees and be registered with the Daisy Foundation.
The Daisy Award was started as a way for the Barnes family to thank the exceptional nursing staff that cared for their loved one during a very difficult time. Currently, over 4,900 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states and 31 other countries and territories, are committed to honoring nurses with The DAISY Award.
Nurses can be nominated by anyone in the organization including patients, family members, other nurses, physicians, other clinicians, and staff. Essentially, anyone who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse. More often than not - the nominations come from families or patients themselves. It truly is a tremendous honor for any nurse to even be nominated for the Daisy Award.
Honoring the Founders
While The Daisy Foundation has been focused on the exceptional care of nurses, the founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes were most recently honored with honorary doctorates from Chamberlain University. Mark and Bonnie received their honorary degrees of Doctor of Humane Letters during the school’s virtual commencement ceremony on October 10th.
According to a Chamberlain University press release, Chamberlain University president Karen Cox, PhD, RN, FACHE, FAAN said, “We can’t think of two people who deserve this honorary doctorate more than Bonnie and Mark Barnes.”
“Bonnie and Mark Barnes have devoted more than 20 years to ensuring nurses are honored and recognized for their compassionate care, extraordinary clinical skills and patient advocacy. The Barnes’s tireless efforts to support and humanize the nursing profession is inspiring and humbling.”
According to the Barnes’, nurses are the world’s humble heroes: “Every day you will be someone’s hero,” said Mark Barnes during the commencement speech. “Every day you will have the opportunity to make your patient’s life better in some way, and every day you will make the world a better place because of what you do.”
The Daisy Award recognizes both national and international nurses for their accomplishments. There are several different types of nurses that are recognized by the Foundation including:
- Direct Care Nurses
- Health Equity
- Lifetime Achievement
- Nurse Leaders
- Nursing Faculty
- Nursing Student
In creating The DAISY Award, there were three elements the Foundation wanted to ensure the recognition program included:
- A partnership with healthcare organizations to provide on-going recognition of the clinical skill and especially the compassion nurses provide to patients and families all year long.
- Flexibility so that The DAISY Award may be tailored to each hospital’s unique culture and values.
- A turn-key program with The DAISY Foundation providing most everything you need to implement The DAISY Award.
The Foundation allows the hospital, healthcare system, nursing program, etc. to determine how many times per year there are award presentations. Some have presentations once a year and larger healthcare institutions hold monthly celebrations.
While there may be countless Daisy Award nominees, there is only one “winner”. This individual is recognized on the Foundation’s webpage. The “winner” is determined by the institution based on the mission and values. Furthermore, as this award is meant to celebrate the extraordinary compassion of nurses it is not meant to be a merit-based award and is highly discouraged by the Foundation as such.
The Daisy Award is supported by many key nursing organizations including The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) who helped expand the program when it was first developed as well as The American Nurse Credentialing Center who supports The DAISY Award for all Magnet and Pathway to Excellence organizations and those “on the journey.” Additionally, the DAISY Award was honored with ANCC’s President’s Special Recognition Award at the National Magnet Conference in October, 2010 and with a 20th Anniversary Tribute at the 2019 conference. Currently, there are over 40 professional organizations that work directly with the Daisy Foundation to spread the word.
The Daisy Award is the perfect opportunity to share the amazing contributions, compassion, dedication, and hard work of your co-workers. There are not enough “thank you’s” for the endless work of nurses, nursing professors, and students but the Daisy Award helps highlight the everyday work of the true heroes.
To find out more information about the Daisy Award check out their social media!
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