My mother was a registered nurse. She wore a uniform to work–a crisp white dress, white shoes and stockings, a starched white cap with a black velvet ribbon on it, and a little gold pin with some Latin words on it. (We kids thought Mom looked beautiful in her white uniform.) Mom was proud of her profession, and she was good at it too.
But nurses’ kids don’t often see their mothers at work, so that wasn’t what impressed me. I was impressed with her white uniform, especially that snazzy starched cap. The amount of work she put into keeping that little cap up to her standards was astonishing.
Well, that was a long time ago. Even Mom was relieved when those crisp white uniform dresses gave way to white pantsuits and then (after she retired) washable, colorful, practical scrubs.
Confident and competent
Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born on May 12, 1820, 200 years ago. A confident and competent woman herself, she used all her considerable gifts to revolutionize the care of wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War, earning respect, gratitude, and honor 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. She is recognized in the ELCA’s calendar as a renewer of society.
Only God knows how many people’s lives have been improved, even saved, by Florence Nightingale and the millions of nurses who have followed in her footsteps. I know my life is all the better because of nurses, especially one Carol Helen Novak, R.N., and I’m grateful.
Audrey Novak Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA. May is National Nurses Month. And, the World Health Assembly has designated 2020 as the Year of the Nurse.
Are you grateful for the nurses in your life and in the life of your community? You can act on that gratitude by making a Thankoffering in any amount today.
How to make a Thankoffering online with a credit or debit card:
Go to welca.org/give, enter the amount of your offering, and then choose Thankoffering in the dropdown box.
Follow the directions – and make sure to click the “Captcha” security box at the end!
How to make a Thankoffering by mail:
Make out your check to Women of the ELCA and write Thankoffering on the memo line.
Then mail it to:
Women of the ELCA
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield VA 22116