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By Melissa Barnes  
The DAISY Foundation’s mission to say “thank you” to nurses who provide extraordinary, compassionate care with
The DAISY Award®
has spread throughout the world because nursing is truly a global profession. Nurses are honored, not only for their skillful care, but also for the subtleties in their treatment that make such a big difference — things like touch, kindness and speaking gently.  
Hospitals in the Middle East, Asia, South America and the UK are now celebrating the extraordinary difference nurses make for patients and their families not only for what nurses do but for the way they do it.
Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Big dreams turn into reality

The DAISY Foundation
was created in 1999, no one could have imagined its impact around the world. DAISY was established in memory of Patrick Barnes by his family who are not only founders, but also my in-laws. Patrick died of complications from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. Since then, we have been honoring nurses as an expression of gratitude for the excellent care Patrick received from his nurses. But the Barnes family never imagined that today, we would be celebrating nurses in 18 countries — more than 3,000 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing around the world. Before I joined DAISY, I had no experience with nursing in other countries, but the more I interact with our international partners, the more I learn that compassionate nursing has no borders. Nurse leaders everywhere share best practices with their colleagues, said Bonnie Barnes, FAAN, co-founder and president of The DAISY Foundation. “We are very fortunate to be a program that nurse leaders love to talk about with each other,” she said. “The beauty of the program is its flexibility to adapt to diverse cultures and nursing roles."
King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan

International partners speak praises

Another of the program's strengths is the validation it gives to the 15,000 nurses who are honored each year. Commenting on the impact the program has had on her staff, Kolbrun Kristhansdottir, director of nursing at Healthpoint in Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, said, “All of us at Healthpoint are extremely proud to be a part of the DAISY Awards and it was just amazing to see how many nominations our nurses received from patients, physicians and other colleagues. It has given a boost to our nurses where they feel valued and recognized for the amazing job they do every day.” In the U.K., the DAISY program causes a stir in the culminating ceremonies that celebrate the honorees. “The DAISY Award ceremony is a pivotal and special time for nurses here at Nottingham University Hospitals and my personal favorite time of my working month,” said Professor Mandie Sunderland, RN, chief nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. “The principle behind DAISY illustrates perfectly the essence of great nursing care and the presentation of the award is both deeply moving and a great chance to celebrate with colleagues.”  Co-founders Mark and Bonnie Barnes remember several presentations they have attended around the world that were unique and extra special. From creative displays and stunning banners in Thailand to grand flower arrangements in San Paolo, Brazil, hospitals in each country have their own incredible ways of honoring DAISY recipients, Bonnie Barnes said.
“In Sao Paolo, we were convinced that every daisy flower in South America had been brought to Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein for their DAISY Award celebration,” she said. “And in Saudi Arabia, the presentations at King Faisal are elegant and joyful at the same time. I could go on and on.”  The first program outside the U.S. started in a Canadian facility in 2008. Then in 2010, both Saudi Arabia and Lebanon had facilities start the program, followed by Taiwan in 2011. The foundation now has 70 international partners, and 19 others are interested in starting the program. The gratitude shared about the extraordinary care patients and their families receive in our international facilities is highlighted in the moving DAISY nomination stories. At Sir Run Run Shaw Medical Center in China, affiliated with the Zhejiang University School of Medicine, a patient’s daughter wrote, “Our nurse, Ni Linjuan, is the one greatly appreciated by my family. … The disease my mother has suffered for a long time causes her to speak rudely to nurses sometimes, but Ms. Ni listens to her and responds with gentleness.” Ni Linjuan was honored with The DAISY Award in March 2017.
No matter the country or the culture, nurses everywhere deliver compassionate care to their patients and their family members. DAISY is honored to help say “thank you” to extraordinary nurses around the world. The foundation’s vision statement reads, “Every organization in the world where nurses practice will want to embed DAISY recognition programs in their cultures since DAISY Awards inspire nurses to provide extraordinary care not only with their brains, but also with their hearts.”  So DAISY will continue to grow internationally to meet the increasing global desire to recognize nurses.
Learn more about DAISY in the digital edition
Read Today
Melissa Barnes is vice president of operations and regional program director for the DAISY Foundation. 
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