By Elyse Pitkin
Outside of the nursing department suite in Teachout-Price, students from their art of nursing course created a Gratitude Tree with nursing instructor, Catherine Gellatly MSN, RN. During the 3-week, Gellatly incorporated the Science of Gratitude which is a well-being initiative developed by the American Nursing Foundation with the Greater Good Science Center to build a culture of gratitude in nursing.
“The Science of Gratitude consistently links health benefits to being grateful. Studies have shown acknowledging positive aspects of our lives, leads to a healthier mind, body, and spirit. This is so important to feeling connected and leads to positive relationships and self-care,” said Gellatly.
It is important for nursing students to be aware of and to practice self-care as they will be future caregivers in a challenging career where nurses are at the front lines of healthcare. “Nursing is a high-stress profession. This initiative began during the covid pandemic to help nurses,” said Gellatly.
Hiram’s gratitude tree idea was an idea taken from the Gratitude Nursing Toolkit (initially a gratitude wall) to encourage students to add positive notes and expressions of gratitude to the tree.
“Nurses need to take care of themselves to provide care to others. It can begin with the simple act of gratitude to build a positive caring environment,” said Gellatly. “For students to pause and take a moment to reflect on a kind or selfless act they witnessed or experienced. This will hopefully transfer to their nursing practice.”