It’s working day in and day out for years and years; you forget what impact you make on people you work with and the patients—it’s special to be recognized.

—Staff Nurse, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

When the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) published AACN Standards for Establishing and Sustaining Healthy Work Environments in 2005, Standard 5 was Meaningful Recognition: Nurses must be recognized and must recognize others for the value each brings to the work of the organization. At the time, The DAISY (an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System) Foundation was just starting. Our family had created this not-for-profit organization to express our gratitude to nurses for the extraordinary compassion and skill they bring to patients and families every day. Although we were not aware of AACN’s and the nursing profession’s evidence-based understanding of the importance of a formal recognition process in ensuring an environment...

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