By May 4, 2009 0 Comments

The Lady of the Lamp

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This coming week marks the Nurses Week celebration! For one week the world over recognizes the importance of nurses just like you. I thought I’d provide you with a little background as to how and why this came about. Enjoy!

Florence Nightingale: The lady of the lamp
Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. She helped establish the profession in its modern form and became a personal hero to nurses of all ages. Her pioneering work during the Crimean War led her to understand that keeping hospitals clean and free from infections improved patient outcomes. Her lifelong devotion to nursing—and her tireless efforts to reform military hospitals—forever changed patient care. She was given the nickname “The lady of the lamp” by wounded soldiers who witnessed her continuing efforts day and night and because she would not permit other nurses on the ward past 8pm. deriving from a phrase in a report in The Times: “She is a ‘ministering angel’ without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow’s face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds” The phrase was further popularised by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s 1857 poem “Santa Filomena”:

Lo! in that hour of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom,
And flit from room to room.

She wrote her first book Notes on Nursing in 1860 and the book still inspires nurses young and old today, it is considered a classic introduction to nursing. The book was the cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas’ Hospital, which she established in 1859 with the leftover funds from the Nightingale Fund. A decade later, Nightingale would yet again have a hand in the progress of nursing as a profession and opened the Women’s Medical College. By 1882, Nightingale nurses had a growing and influential presence in the embryonic nursing profession. Some had become matrons at several leading hospitals, including, in London, St Mary’s Hospital, Westminster Hospital, St Marylebone Workhouse Infirmary and the Hospital for Incurables at Putney; and throughout Britain, e.g., Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; Cumberland Infirmary and Liverpool Royal Infirmary, as well as at Sydney Hospital in New South Wales, Australia.

Today, the legacy continues with each and everyone of you nurses out there, living up to expectations modern nursings founder, Ms. Florence Nightingale. We have set aside one week each year to celebrate what she did for the profession as well as what you do today. Though we don’t need a distinguished week to do so, we should celebrate your importance every day. Regardless, we thank you all for your dedication and commitment to keeping the world a healthy one. Without you, there would be very little to celebrate. Thank you.

Nurses Week: A brief history
In 1953, Dorothy Sutherland of the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare proposed to President Eisenhower to proclaim a “Nurses Day” to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s mission to the Crimea. Since 1953, at least one day has been dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of Nurses around the world, now and those of yesteryear. On March 25th 1982, President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation officially declaring May 6, 1982 as “National Recognition Day for Nurses”. In 1990 The American Nursing Association Board of Directors expanded the recognition of nurses to a week-long celebration, declaring May 6 – 12, 1991 as National Nurses Week. In 1993 the ANA Board of Directors designated May 6 – 12 as lasting dates to observe National Nurses Week.

Today, the legacy continues with each and everyone of you nurses out there, living up to expectations modern nursings founder, Ms. Florence Nightingale. We have set aside one week each year to celebrate what she did for the profession as well as what you do today. Though we don’t need a distinguished week to do so, we should celebrate your importance every day. Regardless, we thank you all for your dedication and commitment to keeping the world a healthy one. Without you, there would be very little to celebrate. Thank you.

If you are ever in the UK, you should check out the Florence Nightingale Museum . It would be such a thrill to really get a grasp on how great the accomplishments of Ms. Nightingale are through exhibits and other tales.

Florence Nightingale International Fund is the International Council of Nurses (ICN) premier foundation, it supports and complements the work and objectives of ICN.

There is so much available on this great person, please take some time to explore her other great accomplishments… It’s sure to inspire.

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Posted in: Nursing, Travel Nursing

About the Author:

Patrick Fuerstenau here. Born in Kentucky, raised in Germany, landed in Nebraska and still here. I've been involved with Marketing and Advertising for over a decade. It all began with an internship at an ad agency in Omaha, followed by a 9 year stint as a graphic artist at the lone major newspaper in Omaha. A friend of mine told me about an opening at her company and said that it was the best gig she's ever had... So I decided to spread my proverbial wings and see what I could do for them and vice versa. So here I am at Medical Solutions and am going on my 3rd year as a Marketing Specialist for a great travel nursing company. This by far has been a major blessing in my life. I love the work I get to do just as much as I love the people who make up this fabulous company. I can see myself here for a long time... As long as they'll have me. Now that we've got the career timeline out of the way... Let me tell you a little about who I am. I am oh so passionate about the game of futbol! I've been playing soccer since the age of 8 and am still playing today. If I couldn't at least kick the ball around, I don't know what I would do with myself. I fear getting old. I also have a strong love for the arts... Music, Visual arts, Film, Design... pretty much anything and everything arty. I'm happy go lucky and am always looking to have a good time. Just ask my manager! And I love writing about travel nursing.

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