Chief Nurse Blog: Nursing Matters October 2022

27 October 2022

The COVID-19 effect and health workforce pandemic realities continue to stress and challenge health and social systems, locally to globally. The ICN-CGFNS Sustain & Retain Report acknowledges the pandemic’s disruption of nurse retention and increased nurse turnover. Pre-existing understaffing and resource limitations have amplified nurses’ stress and workload. Employers and organisations must take responsibility and provide supportive policy interventions focused on improved work environments; ensuring adequate staffing levels; and providing attractive working conditions, pay and career opportunities.

It is also time to invest and leverage recognition of best practices, moving beyond applause to action for nursing. Transforming cultures with sustained respect to nurses across all sectors and nursing roles is essential.

The DAISY Foundation was founded in 1999 by the family of Patrick Barnes who died at age 33 of the auto-immune disease ITP following an eight-week hospitalisation. DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System. The Barnes family experienced excellent nursing care for Patrick. They expected the level of clinical skill, but they did not expect the way the care was delivered – with compassion and sensitivity, not only to Patrick but also to his family. The DAISY Award was established to say thank you to nurses for what they do every day – things nurses take for granted, but that make a significant difference to patients and families. It gives patients, families and co-workers a way to share their gratitude to nurses by nominating stories of extraordinary compassionate care.

ICN proudly partners with the DAISY Foundation, which has recognised the global contributions of over two million nurses and more than 5,400 healthcare facilities and nursing schools’ partners, who honour extraordinary compassionate care. Over 189,000 nurses have been honoured and their stories are shared within organisations and on their website. Meaningful recognition is evidence-based and gives a strong reminder to nurses of why they became nurses. Literature demonstrates recognition and its impact on a healthy work environment, nurse engagement, and patient/family experience.

It was fantastic attending the ANCC DAISY breakfast earlier this month and meeting the Cofounders, Bonnie and Mark Barnes, and CEO Deb Zimmerman in person. Their genuine dedication, scale and scope of nurse gratitude and recognition continues to amplify and spread, with amazing and impactful nurses honoured. The breakfast highlighted unyielding nurse efforts and compassion for Ukrainian children and family support to obtain cancer care.

Thank you all for your valued donations to the ICN Humanitarian Fund. Together, we continue to advance the #NursesforPeace campaign - and nurses supporting nurses when disasters occur, whether natural or man-made. National Nursing Associations and individual nurses are helping to support their colleagues.

Chief Nurse Action Challenge:

  • Reassess how you invest in sustained, authentic, and meaningful nurse recognition and gratitude culture and leverage resources such as DAISY.
  • Remember to submit your abstracts for the ICN Congress in Montreal by 31 October and register for the early bird rate by 31 January 2023

I am grateful and express deep gratitude to the 28 million nurses around the work for your valued nursing service contributions, compassion and commitment to enhancing respectful caring.

You are vital, visible and valued. Do not forget to take time to care and invest in yourselves, so we all can continue to deliver care for others. Let us practice what we preach!.

Yours in nursing and health,


Dr Michelle Acorn ICN Chief Nurse, DNP NP PHC/Adult, FCAN, FAAN, CGNC