What Would Flo Think?

The last day of Nurses Week ends today on Florence Nightingale’s Birthday: May 12.

Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910, (CR Royaume-Uni)

Would Flo be surprised that a special day, May 6, had been dedicated to nurses in 1982, and in 1990, that day grew into a full week that ended on her birthday? Would she be pleased that the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as “The Year of the Nurse and Midwife” in honor of her 200th birth anniversary? Would she be happy to learn that this 2020 designation is significant because WHO is promoting nursing education that will increase the numbers of nurses and midwives in order to strengthen Universal Health Coverage?

What would Flo think of the modern nurses’ role in this Pandemic? Would she be reminded how she, during the Crimean War, campaigned for better care of the sick and wounded soldiers and for a higher standard of hygiene, which saved countless lives? I bet she would be proud to see that nurses are still campaigning for better conditions for their patients. And that they are speaking out for safe working conditions for all health care workers.

“Illustrated London News,” February 24, 1855 (ICRR Archives, ARR)

The Pandemic has caused nurses to be recognized by the general public as the highly educated and skilled professionals that they are and always have been. How very unfortunate that it takes a Pandemic to pull the curtain up on what nurses really do, how dedicated they are to deliver safe patient care and what they can contribute to improve our broken health care system.

In the past, I’ve felt that Nurses Week was more of a commercial push in sales for mugs, key chains and tote bags. However, a friend sent this Happy Nurses Week wish from Nursing Consulting Partners (NCP), an organization owned and operated by nurses.

Florence Nightingale would be impressed with the wishes below:



Nursing Consulting Partners Wishes a 


to the 3 Million Nurses of the Year

You are Nightingales
200 years later you are still lighting the way
You are making Nursing visible for all the world to see

You are Nightingales
Your strong and powerful song comforts a nation in crisis
You too are there both day and night when war breaks out

You are Nightingales
You bring us back to our roots
Remind us that hand washing matters most
That prevention keeps us safe
That education helps patients live

You are Nightingales
Shaping health care policy
You advocate. You raise your voice.
You innovate ways to use resources to keep patients first

We celebrate your work
We value your care and compassion
We honor your courage and commitment
We are grateful


We wish you good health and a Happy Nurses Week 2020







By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


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