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12 Oct 2023

Lady of the Lamp still lights up the world


As the world is seeing Nurses play a critical role in health care and ageing well.  Guided by the spirit and commitment of Florence Nightingale. 

According to World Health Organisation, 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 care, community care, all levels of acute hospital based care, and the wide range of interim and long-term residential care.   

The year 2020 marked 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.

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

 She continues to be recognized as the nurse leader who revolutionized nursing by collecting and using data, introducing hygiene practices that reduced mortality rates and providing reports to governmental leaders about changes required to improve military health care among British troops as well as civilian public.

She was a dedicated public reformer who spent much of her life advocating to make nursing a profession that would demand respect from both doctors and the public, and she established the first professional nursing school.

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Date Published: January 2020

Reviewed: September 2022

To be reviewed: September 2025