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Lady of the Lamp Lights up the World in 2020


As well as being the start of a new decade, this year has been designated International Year of the Nurse and Midwife by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

The yearlong event is a celebration of the amazing role nurses play in all aspects of life…from the beginning through to the very end. 

According to WHO, nurses and midwives account for more than 50 percent of the global health workforce.  Nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention and delivering primary and community care.   

2020 also marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the guiding beacon for nurses.   Florence Nightingale OM, RRC, DStJ.  Known as the Lady of the Lamp (so named because of her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers during 1800's) and the Angel of Crimea.

She was an English social reformer and statistician.  When The Crimean War flared, she abandoned her numerical proclivities to take up a role where she could help make a real difference to people in need on the front line.   

She is the founder of modern nursing. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organised care for wounded soldiers. 

From there she became a teacher and source of motivation to generations of nurses. 

Nurses play a critical role at The Selwyn Foundation in helping ‘live’ The Selwyn Way.  Whereby in caring for people you have to care about them. We care about the significance of this year and the myriads of people who keep Florence Nightingale’s work and legacy alive.    

In her words: I attribute my success to this:  I never took, nor gave, excuses. 



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Date published: 14 January 2020

Review Date: 14 January 2023