#InternationalNursesDay is an annual celebration of the nursing profession and marks the birthday of  Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910).

Florence is known as the founder of modern nursing and “The Lady with the Lamp” due to her nightly walks watching over and caring for patients while carrying a lamp.

After training in Germany to become a Nurse, much to her wealthy family’s disapproval, she answered the appeal for nurses to help during the Crimean War (1854-56).

Florence was a trailblazer and faced many challenges and resistance from others in the medical profession. Her input and expertise were often seen as a challenge to the male doctors.
Through the fortitude and hard work of Florence and her team of nurses, the necessity of the nurses became evident, and essential to the well-being of the patients.

The sanitary conditions of the military hospital where Florence was stationed in Scutari, near Constantinople (now Istanbul) were unhygienic, infested with vermin and lacked the medical resources to cope with the large number of wounded or dying soldiers.

Florence and her team remedied the situation implementing much needed sanitary measures and providing exceptional care to their patients.
Her dedication to reforming nursing made a lasting impact on the nursing profession seen well into the 19th and 20th centuries. Nightingale was instrumental in developing sanitization standards for clean and safe hospitals.

National Nursing week coincides with the birthday of Florence Nightingale and the theme for 2021 is #WeAnswerTheCall, which is very fitting today with the arduous challenges nurses have been facing over the last year and the dedication they have shown to help keep our communities safe.

A quote from Florence is quite relevant today:
“I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”

In recognition of all of the sacrifices and risks taken by our nurses today, we take a stand against COVID and do our part by following protocols and getting our vaccines to help in the fight against this pandemic that has left an indelible mark on our city.

#ApartTogether we express our heartfelt gratitude to all of the nurses around the world.

Image: Getty Images


Kelly Ralston, Social Media & Program Coordinator