Celebrate Your CNAs During National Nursing Assistants Week 2023

Since 1977, we’ve been celebrating National Nursing Assistants Week annually during the second week of June. This year marks the 46th annual National Nursing Assistants Week – June 15 to 21. More than 825,000 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) work in the United States in assisted living communities, skilled nursing centers, and staffing and home healthcare agencies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

CNAs provide direct care and assist patients and residents with activities of daily living  (ADLs) under the supervision of licensed nurses or other licensed medical personnel.

Nursing assistants are the eyes and ears of the healthcare industry - especially in long-term care and senior living. They get to know residents on a personal level, and sometimes, they're all that residents have due to lack of family or loved ones in the area. 

Take the time to celebrate and honor nursing assistants during their special week. If you're not sure what to do, we've put together seven ideas to make the week one to remember:

1. Organize games. Light-hearted fun outdoor and indoor games can liven up the workday. If you can access outdoor space, line up some races between CNAs and RNs or doctors for friendly competition. Outdoor game suggestions include wheelchair races, three-legged races, and egg spoon (carrying a raw egg on a spoon) relays.

If weather or space constraints make outdoor activities impossible, add indoor games to the celebration, such as “Which step is missing?” quizzes or CNA bingo (with the squares as job tasks) with $5 gift cards as prizes.

2. Schedule spirit days. For the week, come up with a list of dress-up theme days to allow your CNAs the opportunity to ditch the scrubs. Examples include Western, Superhero, Hawaiian, the Eighties, and Formal. Add a photo op area to encourage social media posts. 

3. Order special T-Shirts . Get customized T-shirts printed with the facility name and mission statement or values. Have the CNAs wear their shirts when participating in games or other celebratory events. Don't forget to include your agency or Travel CNAs

4. Give gifts. Nothing says “We celebrate and appreciate you” better than gifts. If your budget allows, organize gift cards for your CNAs:

  • Massages
  • Spa days
  • Amazon
  •  Coffee
  • Gas cards
  • Cookie/Cupcake shops
  • Restaurant delivery companies like DoorDash or UberEats.

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You also can ask vendors or partners for donations of gift cards or items for thank you-themed baskets, such as Spa Day (lotions, scrubs, scented candles), Movie Night (popcorn, theater candies, movie gift cards), and Hello Summer (beach blanket, beach bag, flip flops).

5. Schedule a group meal. If your schedule doesn’t allow for taking everyone to a restaurant, bring the restaurant to your facility with a full-catered meal. Set up in a conference room and have someone keep the items fresh for CNAs to rotate through during their breaks.

6. Make a "Thank You" board. Have residents, families, and co-workers write cards of appreciation for your CNAs and post those on a decorated bulletin board. Provide notecards and colorful pens for the notes.

7. Offer career counseling. Many CNAs want to advance professionally, so schedule opportunities to discuss career growth with your HR department or training facilitator. Consider having a motivational speaker come talk to your CNAs. Or, chat with them about the possibility of advancing their careers by becoming Certified Medication Aides.

Download the 2023 CNA Toolkit
The National Association of Health Care Assistants (NACHA) has put together a CNA Week Toolkit
with social media images. This year's theme is "We're Unstoppable." 

Looking for a CNA contract close to home? We have 100+ openings! Click below to view  a complete list across hospital and long-term care settings. 


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