Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing, and for many, her name has come to symbolize the unwavering dedication most nurses have for their profession. Florence Nightingale was both a leader and a visionary, and her example will continue to inspire nurses for generations.
Like many of our Registered Nurses, Nightingale didn’t see nursing as a job, but a calling. In the early 1850’s, she took a nursing job in a London hospital, where her performance swiftly elevated her to the rank of superintendent. She also volunteered at a Middlesex hospital in the midst of a cholera epidemic, where she was able to slow the spread of the disease by introducing better standards of hygiene.
Still, she continued to seek out means of doing the most good, even if it meant she had to travel. Her friendship with Secretary of War Sidney Herbert enabled her to be sent, along with a staff of 38 volunteers nurses that she trained herself, to the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War.
There, she found horrendous conditions for wounded soldiers – overcrowding, poor nutrition, and terrible hygiene – and instantly set about improving patient care. In little time, her protocols managed to lower the death rate from 42% to just 2%.
It was here that she first gained fame, as The Times reported about the dramatic turnaround in the care of wounded soldiers:
“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.”
Her heroic actions earned her great admiration in Britain. In 1857, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called her “the lady with the lamp” in his tribute poem “Santa Filomena,” a moniker that still stands to this day.
At Nightingale Nursing, we honor her commitment and dedication with our Lamplighter Award, given to nurses who perform exceptionally on assignment. We are proud to continue in the tradition of our namesake, and we encourage all of our Registered Nurses to be inspired by her example.
Her legacy lives on in the work of every dedicated nurse, and in the philosophy of the Nightingale Travel Nursing agency. The relentless dedication and the drive to continuously improve upon the art of nursing remain at the heart of every “legendary” Nightingale RN who boldly travels across the country to fill desperately-needed nursing positions every day.
To learn more about the Travel Nursing lifestyle, call and speak to a Nightingale Travel Nursing Recruiter today.