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AARP, DAISY Foundation Encourage Americans to Recognize Nurses

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En Español | AARP is collaborating with The DAISY Foundation to encourage caregivers and others to show gratitude for the nurses in their lives — an effort we hope will boost job satisfaction and keep more nurses from leaving the profession.

The nation’s 4 million nurses are the largest part of the health care workforce. Yet more than 100,000 registered nurses left the profession during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 900,000 — about a fifth of all registered nurses in the country — intend to leave by 2027, according to a 2022 National Nursing Workforce survey.

Roughly half of the nurses responding to that survey reported feeling “emotionally drained” daily or a few times a week; 45 percent reported feeling “burned out” and 29 percent felt “at the end of their rope.”

By helping nurses feel appreciated and valued, AARP hopes to reverse those statistics, so Americans can continue to “get the care they need when they need it,” said Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute, who is also a registered nurse.

“For too long, we have seen nurses exhausted and discouraged and leaving their roles or the profession, worsening the nursing shortage crisis,” Reinhard said.

AARP and DAISY will kick off a public awareness effort at the American Organization of Nursing Leadership annual conference in New Orleans next week. We’ll also encourage people on social media to thank a nurse by nominating them for a DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. Nominations can come from patients, caregivers, coworkers or anyone who receives or witnesses exceptional care from a registered or licensed practical nurse.

Winners are honored at celebrations attended by their coworkers, family and friends, and will receive a DAISY certificate, an honoree pin, a congratulations banner for their unit and more. They are also eligible for professional development, education and wellness benefits through DAISY.

A new AARP survey of adults 50 and older underscores the need to bolster the profession. The vast majority of those surveyed think the country’s nursing shortage is at a critical level (97 percent) and that more should be done to retain nurses (96 percent) and recognize their value (98 percent). Nearly all (99 percent) consider nurses very important to the health and well-being of the nation.

AARP has a long history of advocating for nursing. In 2007, we joined the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to launch the Center to Champion Nursing in America, which aims to ensure every American has access to a highly skilled nurse when and where they need one. In 2010, we teamed up with those organizations again for the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action in hopes of strengthening the profession.

In 2021, we launched the AARP Center for Health Equity through Nursing to improve access to care for people most impacted by health disparities and provide grants for projects to improve health equity through nursing.

Learn more about our collaboration with DAISY. To nominate a nurse for a DAISY AWARD, visit The DAISY Foundation website.

Natalie Missakian covers federal and state policy and writes AARP’s Fighting for You Every Day blog. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Haven Register and daily newspapers in Ohio. She has also written for the AARP Bulletin, the Hartford Business Journal and other publications.

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