We wrote about famous inspiring nurses in history not too long ago, but we want to come back to a famous nurse commonly known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, or Florence Nightingale, who is an influential symbol of nursing.
A quick recap: Florence Nightingale is a very influential woman who broke the norm of her day – living in Britain born to wealthy parents – when she decided that her life’s calling was to become a nurse. Nursing was not considered something among the wealthy, so this decision shocked her parents.
Florence went on to serve in the Crimean War where she rose as a heroic nurse that all nursing students should be familiarized with. She was a volunteer and was sent almost 400 miles away from her home to help those wounded in the war. She was considered a hero because she would often work grueling hours – often times full days (24 hour shifts!) in order to tend to the wounded soldier’s needs. Mind you, this was done during a time where supplies were severely limited, hygiene was ignored, and infections were rampant.
Florence worked long hours, including the nighttime so she would carry around a lamp so that she could see how the soldiers were doing. Today, the lamp is used as both homage to her heroic deeds and as an international symbol of nursing. You may have already seen the lamp on certain insignias or logos. The lamp symbol looks very close to the lamp that is used by Aladdin in the Disney film.
Florence is so well recognized that she has her very own museum located in London, Great Britain – the place where she was born. She is so influential in the world of nursing that the International Nurses Day falls on her birthday, May 12.
Nursing as a career is a great choice that many choose simply because they are attracted to the numbers. While that is a great reason to get involved, there’s an important one that should not be overlooked: the fact that nursing is more than just a career – it’s a reason to give back to the world by having the opportunity to heal those around you. This is the attitude Florence carried – an attitude that took her very far and rewarded her in ways that would not be achievable elsewhere.