With ONS celebrating Oncology Nursing Month throughout May and recognizing National Nurses Week from May 6–12, it’s a season for nurses everywhere. Celebrate yourself, your colleagues, and the profession by empowering the incredible nurses caring for patients across the globe.

What the Research Tells Us

Having systems in place to recognize and support nurses in a way that is individualized and meaningful can enhance their sense of value and well-deserved honor, leading to greater nurse fulfillment. Meaningful recognition fosters pride in a nurse’s work and creates an environment of positivity and team building.

In addition to team members who may have been in practice for several years, nurses who are new to the specialty need to feel empowered, too. New nurses can often experience challenges when applying their training in the workforce, and graduates may struggle with workload and time management or feel unprepared. Encouraging them at a pivotal time in their career can help support their longevity in the profession.

How to Practice

For Oncology Nursing Month, consider showing your appreciation for the nurses on your unit by giving out a small assortment of power-promoting gift boxes or bags. Think about what tools and resources might be helpful for your nurses to have at their disposal, and do your best to make them as personal as possible. If you were a new nurse, what would make you feel empowered? If you’ve been at your unit for a decade, what would make you feel appreciated? No matter your level of expertise, what helpful tools would you like to have on hand during your shift?

Here are some things you may choose to include:

  • Power snacks to help your nurses get through their shifts, such as energy bars or trail mix
  • Items like water bottles or tumblers that are personalized with power words (Tip: Many small businesses or Etsy stores offer such items.)
  • A meet-the-team printed resource for new nurses so they can familiarize themselves with the healthcare professionals on your unit
  • Additional printed resources that can help new nurses adjust in their new career, such as information on being a team member, ways their leaders will support them, and tips on practicing well-being
  • A heartfelt card signed by your team

Take pride in your occupation and show your fellow nurses how much they mean to you, your organization, and patients. Recognize nursing’s incredible contributions to health care, and particularly the transformation of cancer care. Happy National Nurses Week and Oncology Nursing Month!