One Courageous Act
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage,” Anais Nin is quoted as saying. Courage comes to mind when thinking of the actions of a young gentlewoman in Victorian times. Facing the objections of her family and peers, Florence Nightingale wanted to become a nurse. That courage expanded her life and made nursing the profession it is today: a profession of care that positively impacts all humankind.
What is nursing?
According to the American Nursing Association:
“Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.”
International Nurses Day
Today, May 12 we honor nurses round the world with International Nurses Day. We are also celebrating the birthday of Nightingale, the founder of the nursing profession.
The “Lady of the Lamp” is the moniker given to Nightingale by soldiers in the Crimean War. Carrying a lamp, she wandered among soldiers’ cots at night, a time when people- especially the sick- are so very vulnerable.
But she brought more than solace, Nightingale implemented sanitation, standards of care, and service to soldiers dying of infections, not combat injuries.
Today there are over 3 million registered nurses in the United States, making them the single largest component of workers in healthcare. From birth to death, nurses are part of our lives, providing care. Little wonder that since 2005, Americans have rated nursing as the most honest and ethical of professions.
The Florence Nightingale Pledge, sworn during graduation (“pinning”) states
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
Changing the World by Caring
As her work and courage demonstrates, dedication and commitment to care can change the world. That courage and devotion is carried on by the men and women who are nurses today.
Thank you Nurses
Medivizor salutes the men and women who have had the courage and compassion to become nurses. Thank you!