Friday, April 28, 2006

HOLIDAY: Nurse's Day is Saturday, May 6

Originally uploaded by gaztrue.

"For us who nurse, our nursing is a thing which, unless we are making progress every year, every month, every week, take my word for it, we are going back." - Florence Nightingale

Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12 to mark Florence Nightingale’s birthday. The day is designed to bring an end to stereotypes of nurses and to provide an education into the real world of nursing. It is also to pay respects to these incredibly dedicated men and women.Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Italy. In 1837 she received a “calling” from God telling her that she was to help people. Her parents believed that nursing was “beneath” and educated woman. But she was dedicated to the idea of pursuing the career. In 1851, she began nurses training in Germany. In 1853, she was appointed Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen during Illness in London. In March of 1854, the Crimean War was begun when England, France, and Turkey declared war on Russia. In November, Florence was appointed to oversee the installation of female nurses in Turkish military hospitals. At first the doctors and male nurses did not meet the female nurses with great enthusiasm. But, due to the great number of casualties, the female nurses were given plenty of opportunity to prove themselves. In 1855, after the war, soldiers and doctors to show their gratitude towards Florence collected money. It was designed to help Florence continue to reform British hospitals. During her career she was able to elevate the respect of nurses so that it was a desirable position for educated women to pursue. In 1860, she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St. Thomas’ Hospital. She published over 200 medical books and pamphlets throughout her life. Queen Victoria awarded her the Royal Red Cross in 1883. In 1907, she became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit. Florence Nightingale died on August 13, 1910 at the age of 90 in her home.

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