Why Every Nurse Should Strive for a DAISY Award

  • The Daisy Award was started by the Barnes family to honor the life of their son J.Patrick and his fight against ITP.  
  • Nurses are nominated for the Daisy Award when they provide compassionate and high-quality care that goes above what is required. 
  • Recipients of the Daisy Award are celebrated in many ways including parties and free lunch at their workplace.

Tracy Long


December 08, 2022
Simmons University

When Patrick and Bonnie Barnes suffered through the illness of their son J. Patrick in 1999, they watched a lot of nurses at work during the eight weeks of his hospitalization for his autoimmune condition Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP). They watched nurses save his life on several occasions due to their quick clinical thinking and action. They expected good clinical care but what surprised them what the deep compassion they received from nurses throughout the hospitalization. 

 Despite exceptional nursing care, he did not survive the disease and passed away. Through their grief they wondered how to recognize and award nurses who go above and beyond in their profession to deliver compassionate and competent care. In 2019 they created the DAISY award as a local recognition program. It quickly expanded to become a national award given by hospitals and healthcare facilities for nurses.   

 The DAISY awards are given to individuals, teams, leaders, nursing faculties, and nursing students. It can also be given as a lifetime achievement award. The name DAISY was chosen by Patrick’s wife as an acronym that stands for Diseases Attacking the Immune System honoring Patrick’s fight against ITP.  

Patrick’s parents who founded the DAISY Foundation have three requirements for organizations that adopt their recognition program which includes their goals to have:  

  • A partnership with healthcare organizations to provide on-going recognition of clinical skills and especially the compassion nurses provide to patients and families all year long. 
  • Guided implementation and on-going support where DAISY provides most of the materials for the program. 
  • Flexibility so that The DAISY Award may be tailored to each hospital’s unique culture and values. 

daisy award benefits

How Do I Earn the DAISY Award?

Earning the Daisy award means meeting the most basic nursing requirements of the job and then going above that to deliver high quality and compassionate care. Family members, other staff, and friends of a patient may nominate a nurse for the DAISY award.

Many hospital units have a box posted on a wall with DAISY award nomination forms for people to fill out and then return to the nurse’s station or put back into the receiving box. The manager or another administrator receives the nomination form and then processes the applicants through their internal system. Healthcare facilities may award the nominee once a month or at their own discretion. Many facilities may then choose a nominated employee to be the award recipient for the entire year.

Recipients of the DAISY award are often celebrated in monthly celebrations, given special privileges at the hospital such as a free lunch or parking stall, photos on their website or public areas, and more. Patients, family members, and even co-workers can also nominate a nurse on the foundation website  Nurses cannot nominate themselves for a DAISY award.

Just going through the motions of nursing care, although fulfilling regular nursing responsibilities, will not earn a Daisy award. We are in the business of people and as in other industries of public service, public opinion matters.

Allied health professionals who are not nurses may earn the BEE award offered by Samaritan Medical Center.  The BEE award is representative that a DAISY cannot grow without the benefits of a BEE, symbolizing the important teamwork between nurses and allied health professionals. Hospital and healthcare facilities often look for ways to motivate and reward their employees for desired behaviors.

The Healer’s Touch statue in front of the international office for the DAISY Foundation symbolizing the relationship between nurses, patients, and families.




daisy award nurses

What Value Does a Daisy Award Bring to the Nurse?

Benefits of receiving the DAISY award include public recognition for a job well done, grants, potential for scholarships, enhanced self-confidence in your skills and compassion for your patients. By being a DAISY award recipient, you may even qualify for funds towards serving a medical mission. If you are DAISY award recipient, you should add it to your resume under awards.  

 It is an honor to receive the DAISY award and worth being proud of. Many times, the healthcare facility such as a hospital will keep track of their DAISY award recipients, which may lead to a wage increase, added benefits, public recognition, and job advancement. 

The Bottom Line

Celebrating job excellence and exceptional healthcare service for nurses is given to nurses as a DAISY award. The DAISY Foundation is a champion for celebrating outstanding nursing skill and compassion and is a strength to the nursing profession to encourage excellence.  

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