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Celebrate National CNA Day: How to Shower Your CNAs with Love This Week

This week, Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are getting recognized for the incredible hard work and genuine care they bring to the health care industry.  CNAs work tirelessly around the clock and are some of the most compassionate, hardworking individuals in the industry. On their special week, they deserve to be recognized and showered with love.

The work of the CNA began at the time of the first world war, where nursing assistants worked tirelessly alongside nurses. Under the supervision of the Red Cross, they tended to wounded soldiers as they returned home from war. In 1987, when president Regan enacted the Omnibus Reconciliation act to improve nursing homes, the laws were set to maintain professional standards for nursing assistants and the profession took off.

How to Show CNAs Your Appreciation

As a facility leader, it’s important to show your employees they are valued members of the team. We have rounded up a curated, no-fail list of appreciation week activities to put a smile on the faces of your CNAs. Pro tip: It’s best to schedule something daily so that some staff members aren’t missed due to scheduling.


Set up a time for the CNAs to get chair massages at work.  Set the tone for relaxation by dimming the lights, creating a private space, using aromatherapy, and have a service come in and provide 15-minute sessions for your group.

A Catered Lunch

Cater a fun themed luncheon. It doesn’t need to be expensive — heart-shaped pizzas and cookies can go a long way!

Gift Baskets

Gift a few little items or put together gift baskets. Items could include, pens, hand sanitizer, hand lotion, facemasks, candles, or compression socks. Just try to think of the tools that your CNAs use every day or gifts that could help a health care professional unwind or relax, and you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect gift basket to show your appreciation!

Coffee & Pastries Bar

Set up a coffee bar and pastry table in the morning to wake everyone up. Sometimes CNAs are so busy or working long shifts, so having coffee and a sweet snack available is thoughtful. And the gesture works for the night shift, too — you’ll be sending them home with breakfast.

Thank You Board

Another way to make your CNAs feel loved and appreciated is to create a thank you board to show everyone at the facility how everyone feels. Have staff members and patients write sweet little notes thanking the CNAs for all that they do.

Professional & Career Development

All health care professionals appreciate help with getting their required continuing education units (CEUs). You could provide your CNAs with a professional development opportunity or a motivational speaker. A gift card to complete CEUs at an online site is another great idea.


The ongoing costs can add up for any health care professional. Many of us buy several sets of scrubs, so we’re not doing laundry every other day. Gifting a branded uniform piece such as a scrub top, long sleeve, or snap front jacket is a great way to ease a burden on your CNAs, and also show them that you appreciate them.

Make sure to include personalized cards with each gift, so that each team member feels they uniquely support the team and are vital to the organization. Recognizing nursing assistants for the work they do, and the contributions they make to the patients is so important. Being a CNA is a very demanding position for both the mind and the body. Letting them know how much their work is valued and appreciated will also help to build pride, and keep them loyal to your facility.