DAISY and SUNFlower Awards Celebrate Amazing UArizona Nursing Faculty and Staff

March 22, 2021

Seeking to honor and acknowledge the outstanding work conducted by UArizona Nursing faculty and staff, the College is continuing its DAISY and SUNFlower awards program.

Established in 1999, by the DAISY Foundation, the DAISY Award program has expanded to over 4,500 healthcare facilities and schools of nursing in all 50 states. The strategic impact of meaningful recognition, through the form of the DAISY Award, on nurses and their organizations is deep, affecting nurses' job satisfaction, retention, teamwork, pride, organizational culture, healthy work environment, and more.

“So often are we caught up in what we can improve, that we forget the many things we do well. The DAISY and SUNFlower awards allow the UArizona community to highlight and celebrate what we do right and make the ordinary, extraordinary," ~Timian Godfrey, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC, Clinical Assistant Professor

UArizona Nursing partnered with the DAISY Foundation beginning in 2020 and concurrently established its own SUNFlower Awards.  While the DAISY Award is specific to nurses, the college recognized that the faculty’s work could not be done without the College’s dedicated staff. The SUNFlower award seeks to recognize staff members who act as a role model or mentor and demonstrate enthusiasm for creating a successful learning environment, while also demonstrating respect for others.

The awards were strategized by Drs. Timian Godfrey and Lauren Shurson.  Post COVID-19 workloads have increased in conjunction with resource strain but even prior to the pandemic the College was aware of the growing literature that calls for a deliberate cultivation of a healthy work environment and the benefits of meaningful recognition.

Timian M Godfrey , DNP, APRN, FNP-BC

“Meaningful recognition reminds us that what we do daily, often perceived as ordinary, is actually quite extraordinary,” Dr. Godfrey says. “So often are we caught up in what we can improve, that we forget the many things we do well. The DAISY and SUNFlower awards allow the UArizona community to highlight and celebrate what we do right and make the ordinary, extraordinary.”

Research shows that meaningful recognition has been shown to be a powerful way to help that process. Drs. Godfrey and Shurson developed a proposal showing the strong clinical evidence base for the benefits of meaningful recognition, exploring the option of translating the positive effects from the clinical realm into our workplace. From there, key faculty and staff members (Cindy Rishel, Cheri Lacasse, Mary O’Connell, Andrea Fisher, Leslie Dupont, Peg Kearney, and Nikki Pikaard) were identified to create the GRACE meaningful recognition program comprising of the DAISY and SUNFlower awards at UArizona Nursing. Members included college leadership, alumni relations, junior faculty, faculty from differing programs (BSN, MSN, DNP, PhD), and staff leadership.

Feedback from last year’s awards – which recognized four outstanding faculty members and one stellar staff member -- has been enthusiastic, which speaks to the program that DAISY has built and the story that the SUNFlower Award is joining. As for the future, Dr. Shurson says, “We hope to extend the impact of meaningful recognition and the DAISY Award to students as the program continues to strengthen. It is important to note throughout the process, close guidance and mentorship is offered by The DAISY Foundation to make sure the program is successful.” So far, 25 nominations have been received for the May Award ceremony.

Nursing Faculty and staff may be nominated by colleagues, peers, patients, families, or alumni.  The award recipients are chosen by a selection committee at University of Arizona College of Nursing. The DAISY Award will be presented twice per year. Each Honoree receives a certificate, a DAISY Award pin and a sculpture called A Healer’s Touch, hand-carved by artists of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Nominations are open year round and are easy to submit. “You just need to put the name of the person you’re nominating and a brief story,” Dr. Shurson says.  “We wanted this to be something that was easy to do in the moment after you witness such an event in the passing of an ordinary day. Not only will you be able to make someone else’s day, but the many people have said that writing the nomination story is personally beneficial. It makes more aware of the bigger story that we are all a part of at UArizona Nursing.”

 Award recipients will be announced at the College Award Ceremonies on May 6th and December 10th.  The Award Committee will consider nominations received prior to the 1st week of November for the December Award Ceremony and nominations received prior to the 1st week of April for the May Award Ceremony. Access the DAISY Award nomination form here and the SUNFlower Award nomination form here