MANISTIQUE, Mich. (WJMN) – On November 1, night shift nurses at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital got to open their appreciation kit from Western Governors University.
Mary Carney, director of pre-licensure nursing at WGU Indiana, says recognizing night shift nurses is important because they often get overlooked.
“For the 38 years that I was a bedside nurse, I worked primarily the night-shift, and the night-shift doesn’t really ever get any recognition or, you know, everything happens during the day and night-shift tends to get the leftovers,” said Carney.
Carney helped create the idea of sending out packages to night-shift nurses while she was a student at WGU. She says they wanted to reach out to nurses on the longest night of the year.
“Since the night the clocks go back is the worst night of the year to work if you work nights because 2 in the morning is bad, two in the morning twice is just like piling on it’s terrible,” said Carney. “So we chose that night and we went with cookies and we just talked to people about the university, recognized their work on night shift.”
This year was the eighth year in a row that they’ve given appreciation to night shift nurses. Carney says they’ve been expanding the appreciation kit giving because it’s been a hit. The kits included pens, sleep masks, candy and other goodies.
“It also has information about our $3,000 night shift nurse scholarships which are only for nightshift nurses to go back to school for either a bachelors or masters degree with WGU,” said Carney.
Carney says lack of recognition can contribute to burnout and nightshift nurses are often under-recognized.
“If you work in that Monday through Friday, nine to five world it’s not that you intentionally don’t know about it you just don’t think about it until you need it,” said Carney. “It’s the same with law enforcement or firefighters or the guy who pumps gas out by the interstate in the middle of the night when you have an urgent trip that you’re making, you don’t think about those things until you need them so we just kind of want to make people think about it.”
This was the first year that the night shift nurse appreciation campaign expanded outside of Indiana. 1,080 nurses at 62 health centers and hospitals across Michigan received an appreciation kit.