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Florence Case

Essay by   •  April 29, 2011  •  Essay  •  397 Words (2 Pages)  •  866 Views

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t's been said this is the year of the nurse, to coincide v^^ith the

commemoration of the death of Florence Nightingale - and

in South Africa the year Charlotte Searle was born. As the

nurses all over the world celebrate the life of these giants in

the profession, the profession itself needs to reflect on how it

has been performing - against Florence Nightingale's model

to date, in trying to review the expectations she had for the profession,

as reflected in her life as a person and a nurse, one can

identify where the profession stands.

According to Nightingale (1859/1969 in Fitzpatriok and Whall

2005: 21), a nurse was any woman who had the "charge of the

personal health of somebody", whether sick or weil. Nightingale

held a religious view of nursing as a "calling" or God's work. The

nurse was to acquire and apply knowledge about God's laws of

health, and thus move humankind closer to perfection. Nursing

activities served as an art form through which one might develop

spiritually (Cook, 1942; Welch, 1986; Widerquist, 1992).

Born in italy on 12 May 1820 during an era when women did not

ordinarily display any interests beyond domestic or social events,

Nightingale clashed frequently with the mother and older sister

about her non-conformist beliefs and actions (Allen, 1975; Webb,

1992). She was well educated, spoke several languages, and pursued

religious and philosophical studies.

Nightingale frequently interacted with leading scientists and educators

of her day. Nursing, as the application of knowledge of

nature's law to help humankind, became Nightingale's means of

serving God.

Nursing was but one aspect of Nightingale's drive to improve

social welfare. She encouraged all Englishwomen to speak up and

use their influence for the "cause of social progress". Although

compassionate and deeply religious,

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