Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Epic Fail For National Nurses Week

For Nurses Week, Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center in California gave its nurses a ROCK!

Can you imagine what the heck may be going on if you received from your employer the gift of a rock for this special occasion?

The rock was blank but came with a message saying, “Encouragement Stone … please take one.  Take a moment to paint an image, a word or a phrase of encouragement or wisdom.  Keep the rock or give it to a friend as a reminder that the work you do ROCKS!  Happy Nurses Week.”

This was beyond insulting that nurses were given a rock for Nurses Week and asked to put their own words of encouragement on it.

It may have been different if the rock came from their manager with a special message noting just why they are so amazing, making it truly a reminder of how outstanding they are which they could keep and cherish.  But to have nurses writing their own congratulations on the rock as part of Nurses Week is just appalling.

After this past year of challenge and sacrifice that nurses have experienced while caring for patients in this pandemic, many times in short-staffed facilities, Kaiser Permanente’s intentions may have been honest and sincere but, in my opinion, gifting a rock is an insult.

I found reports that Kaiser Permanente’s Antioch facility has been cited for not reporting COVID cases.  Additionally, Kaiser announced this past week that they will be terminating 200 healthcare workers in their northern California facilities.  I don’t believe any of those being dismissed are nurses but, obviously, Kaiser Permanente is having a financial problem.

If the above noted is true, being open and honest with their nursing staffs on the situation could go a long way to creating goodwill with staff.

For what it may be worth, for the nurses at Kaiser Permanente in Antioch, as well as for nurses EVERYWHERE, I honor and appreciate you for all that you do for your patients and for the community.

What has your employer done for you this Nurses Week in honor of your service?


  1. Respect Nurses

    Dear Kaiser , here our my own ” words of encouragement”
    I QUIT
    and you can keep the rock .

  2. Cheryll Howe

    This does not surprise me. One year the place I was working at gave us a bag of peanuts! We gathered them up and put them on the Directors desk!

  3. Yvonne Oquendo

    I’m one of the “rocking nurses’ from Antioch and I can tell you first hand how hurt I was when I walked into our breakroom to find a metal tin filled with little paper bags that contained a rock and a pen in it! I think that the initial concept was cute….but the delivery was embarrassing and offensive to the RN,’s. In defense of the employer the rest of Nurse’s Week were provided food, ice cream, a chauterie box (filled with many nice treats) cupcakes, insulated bag w/the company logo, cupcakes and chocolate bars. Yes bad judgment, but they made it right.

  4. Joy

    This past year has been a struggle for our outpatient offices as well as inpatient. We didn’t get anything for nurses week, a note of thanks. I received an extreme honor from the region newspaper. I was one of 10 nurses of the year for 2021. We fight hard. We are emotionally, physically, socially and mentally drained. Our patients do not see behind the scenes how much a Nurse does. An employer doesn’t recognize either. It’s all business. This was a golden globe for me to achieve. A little appreciation goes a long way, and through it all I am grateful to have a job and work for an amazing doctor.

  5. Theresa Ellingsen

    It is misguided leadership philosophy when bedside nurses are held accountable for a positive work environment without being honest about what leadership is doing to promote a positive work environment. While bedside nurses can and should invest in “kudos,” the culture of an institution is the foundation of the work culture. When nurses feel supported, requiring “kudos” to meet annual performance expectations wouldn’t be necessary.

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