My mother was a registered nurse. She wore a uniform to work–a crisp white dress, white shoes and stockings, and a starched white cap with a black velvet ribbon on it. As I grew up, I came to understand that Mom’s uniform was never the important part. The critical part of being a nurse was competence and confidence in her own ability.
Florence Nightingale, born in 1820, was the founder of modern nursing. She revolutionized the care of wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War, earning her respect worldwide. After the war, she established nursing and midwifery schools in England and wrote tirelessly on nursing, hospital management, and public health.
Florence Nightingale said, “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear!” Her courage, determination, and generous service promoted healing and wholeness in the society and the world.
Only God knows how many people’s lives have been improved, even saved, by nurses. My life is all the better because of nurses, and I’m grateful!
This message is excerpted from “Honor those who care for us” by Audrey Novak Riley from the April 30, 2020, blog of the Women of the ELCA. Today we commemorate Florence Nightingale, 1910; Clara Maass, 1901; renewers of society.
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