Florence Nightingale

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The Nightingale Pledge was composed by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. The Pledge was first used by its graduating class in the spring of 1893. It is an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath which is taken by physicians. Florence Nightingale became known as “The lady with the lamp” Additionally, May 12th Florence’s birthday has since become celebrated as national nurse’s day

I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Works by Florence Nightingale

  • Cassandra (1851)
  • Notes on Nursing: What Nursing Is, What Nursing is Not (1860)
  • Suggestions for Thought (to Searchers after Religious Truth)
  • Mysticism and Eastern Religions
  • Florence Nightingale’s Theology
  • Florence Nightingale’s Spiritual Journey
  • The Family, a critical essay in Fraser’s Magazine (1870)

“Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, it requires as exclusive a devotion as hard preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the fine arts; I had almost said the finest of the fine arts.”

– Florence Nightingale 1820-1910