Valerie Talley, director of nursing, “flying,” with (left to right) Tasha Spears, licensed practical nurse; Kathy Green, assistant director of nursing; Danielle Rice, unit manager; Heather Ledford, MDS nurse; and Kelly Stapleton, staff development coordinator

On May 16, 2018, Life Care Center of Morristown, Tennessee, had a special celebration of its nurses.


Valerie Talley, director of nursing, planned a day full of surprises. Since the National Skilled Nursing Care Week theme that day was superheroes, she came up with hero-themed ways to show appreciation to her staff.


Nursing administration provided treats each day during the week, including a cookout lunch, cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts and an afternoon refreshment cart with lemonade.


Talley also gave each member of her nursing staff a mask to wear, and associates could take fun pictures with a photo booth. Each certified nursing assistant also received a T-shirt that said, “I am a certified nurse. What’s your superpower?”


“A director of nursing is only as good as the nurses she is leading,” said Talley. “I want to lead the best and those who enjoy their jobs. Our days are filled with demands, so sometimes you have to add a little fun.”


“It is easier to come to work when you feel appreciated and you really love your job,” said Tara Cockrum, rehab charge nurse.