A Nod to Florence Nightingale

A Nod to Florence Nightingale by Donna Cardillo

You likely know, March is Women’s History Month!

As a long-time registered nurse, I want to take this opportunity to put a spotlight on one very famous nurse from history—Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing, but was such an incredible and complex woman, as well as a healthcare professional. She was outspoken and she was tough. 

She was also a great networker. If there were any obstacles in her way, she never used them as an excuse not to move forward. She just busted right through them! In 2020, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of her birth on May 6. (May 6 is the beginning of international nurses week.) In celebration of this grand anniversary, the World Health Organization and the International Council for Nurses declared last year the Year of the Nurse.

Because of the pandemic, we didn’t really get a chance to celebrate Florence Nightingale, her birth, or the year of the nurse too much. In fact, the Year of the Nurse wound up being one of the most difficult years for all nurses everywhere, as we were challenged to our physical, emotional, and spiritual limits. But, Florence Nightingale still serves as an example for us today. She was resilient, and would have jumped right in there!

Many of us have asked, “What would Florence Nightingale do in a situation like this?” We work to emulate all of her great qualities in the work that we do today. My website has some additional resources on Florence Nightingale, and many other articles about empowerment strategies for nurses—and everyone else.

So, March is a great month to celebrate women! Take time to do some reading and get books out of the public library! Think of some women that you know from history and from contemporary times and celebrate the entire month or better yet all year long!

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Be well,

Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP, FAAN

Donna Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), FAAN (Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing) is The Inspiration Nurse. She is a powerhouse of energy, wisdom, humor, and solid content and has been referred to as a positive force of nature who lights a path for others to follow. Donna is the author of the award-winning book Falling Together: How to Find Balance, Joy, and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to Be Falling Apart.  She is also the author of Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional 2nd ed.The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career 2nd ed., and A Day Book for Beginning Nurses. Donna is a Reiki Master, Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Certified Meditation Teacher, and labyrinth facilitator. When she is at her home base in Sea Girt, NJ, she serves as a local spokesperson for family caregivers.