Report from Lynn McDonald, co-founder, 24 November 2018
Partners 2020 Planning Meeting
Held Nov. 12 2018 in London at the Wellcome Trust. Eileen Magnello (our link to the Royal Statistical Society) and Lynn McDonald (by telephone) took part. Partners reported on their plans for 2020, and some are TERRIFIC! Deva Marie Beck reported for NIGH (Nightingale Initiative for Global Health) on a feature film, well along in planning. NIGH material shows the relevance of Nightingale to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Museums are planning major exhibits and travelling exhibits to other cities. The University of Nottingham project reported on plans for schools outreach in the Midlands, and possibly a film on Nightingale’s homecoming after the Crimean War. The British Library will exhibit Nightingale artifacts throughout 2020.
• See the link to the report for more details.
Nightingale Society – North America!
Good News. At a meeting in Toronto November 14-16 it was agreed to found a subsection of Nightingale Society to promote the 2020 Bicentenary in Canada and the United States. (Mexicans welcome!)
Founding members are, from Dayton, Ohio, Donna Curry, RN PhD professor emeritus, Wright State University and Janet Michaelis, RN, “Whistle project” and a technology expert.
By conference call from San Francisco, Charlene Harrington, PhD, RN, University of California, San Francisco, and Candace Campbell, DNP RN, University of San Francisco and actor.
From the Ontario Nurses Association, Carolyn Edgar (Toronto) and Anne Clark (by conference call) in Ottawa. With in-person participation by Rose Dyson and Joan Sinclair, Toronto.
Plans were sketched out to approach major nursing organizations in Canada and the United States, from university faculties, registered nurses associations, administrators and students organizations, unions, and such new organizations as SMYS (Show Me Your Stethoscope).
The plan is for “Dear Colleague” letters to go (a skeleton letter is available) to these organizations, and individuals as appropriate. We will propose focus on Nightingale in their website, annual meeting, congress, newsletter or journal. We want to encourage ONGOING reference to Nightingale, not just a one-shot focus in 2020.
Lynn undertook to prepare written materials that can be posted on the NSoc website, so that people can use links to get them, of suitable length to be downloaded and printed for distribution at conferences. It was agreed that we get a QR to put on any written materials, one-pagers and book marks, like a bar code that can be read and gives an immediate link.
Nightingale Statistics Lectures
Eileen Magnello reported on two proposals agreed on by a meeting of the Radical Statistics Group: (1) to get an annual Nightingale Statistics Lecture at universities that teach statistics (Oxford University already has one); (2) To have a Nightingale the focus at the 2020 conference of the Radical Statistics Group.
Note: By having an ANNUAL lecture, Nightingale’s pioneering work will be remembered. How about annual lectures in nursing and health sciences faculties, like the: “Nightingale Lecture in Evidence-based Nursing” or “Nightingale Lecture in Evidence-based Health care”?
Since the focus would be on evidence, new topics could be dealt with every year. Or, “Nightingale Lecture on Research to Save Lives”?
March-April 2019: Lynn will be in London, doing further work at the British Library, and meeting with people.
March 20, 2019, Lea Hurst: The Nightingale Society will hold a meeting at Lea Hurst, with lunch in the Nightingale Dining-room (thanks to Peter Kay and family) and, possibly, a visit afterwards to Lea Chapel. Members of the University of Nottingham project will report on their work. Nightingale Society concerns will be briefly reviewed.
On April 10, 2019: Lynn will be speaking at King’s College London: Florence Nightingale and Mary Seacole: Historical Revisionism in Nursing.
mid-late April 2019: Date not yet available, there will be a regular meeting of the Nightingale Society at the Royal Statistical Society.Note: space is limited for the Lea Hurst even, so, please reply soon if you wish to take part and have not already registered.
Sample “Dear Colleague” letter
The Nightingale Society is promoting the celebration of the Bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (May 12, 1820), for the year 2020. We are encouraging nursing and public health organizations to take advantage: include Nightingale in your annual meeting, congress, regional meeting, special conference, website, newsletter or journal. Nursing organizations will think of Nursing Week as an appropriate time. Yes, but there is so much of what she did that is still relevant that we encourage ongoing attention.
Nightingale is recognized as the major founder of the modern nursing profession, a pioneer of evidence-based health care and a leading hospital reformer, having made her start during the Crimean War, when she took the first team of British women to nurse in war. We attach a one-pager on key points.
The Nightingale Society is part of a larger network of organizations planing the celebration. We would be happy to put you in touch.
We encourage nursing academics to look to where Nightingale’s example could add to their classes. Her years of advocacy work, on access to quality care, ethics and hospital safety could be of use to nurses and nursing organizations that work on those issues.
As more and more nurses take university degrees, and higher degrees, her research expertise is worth remembering. She was the first woman Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and an honorary member of the American Statistical Society. She used statistics to save lives!
Sample one-page backgrounder for 2020
Who was Florence Nightingale and why does she matter now?
Nightingale was the major founder of the modern profession of nursing, and health care pioneer, who became famous for leading the first team of British women to nurse in war–the Crimean War of 1854-56.
The Bicentenary of her birth (May 20, 1820) will be celebrated in 2020, we hope not just for Nursing Week, but throughout the year, with a new look at her key ideas and the relevance today.
While Nightingale was famous in her lifetime, and for a long time after it, she is little known today and often mis-represented. She wrote at lot! Not just her most famous Notes on Nursing, 1860, the same year that her training school opened.So, here are some key points on her work and legacy:
- Nightingale wanted nursing to be an independent profession; nurses would take medical instructions from doctors, but no doctor would hire, fire, discipline or promote a nurse, decisions for senior nurses.
- Her vision for the profession included a career path, with increases in salary and responsibility, and made nursing a well-paying profession. Giving superintendents power to hire, discipline, etc., was to remove it from doctors, then 100% male when nurses were 100% female, and an unspoken measure to prevent sexual harassment of vulnerable women nurses.
- Nightingale consistently argued for good salaries and working conditions for nurses, holidays of at least a month per year; decent pensions; good living conditions during training; and hospital design to save nurses’ energy for patient care. Hospitals should hire cleaners, and nurses ensure that the job was done.
- Army nurses,” before Nightingale’s time, were recruited from among the wives and widows of privates and non-commissioned officers (doctors were always officers), were paid less than cooks and laundresses, and reported to a sergeant. They did not even speak to a doctor. The belief that Nightingale wanted nurses to be ”subordinate to doctors” misses the point, for when her nursing school started, in 1860, women lacked even a high school education, let alone university. Doctors had university/medical qualifications.)
- Nightingale succeeded in improving the status of nurses, from being a domestic occupation in the 1861 Census, to being grouped with medicine in 1901 In the army, nurses became officers, like doctors.
- She did pioneering work on occupational health and safety as early as 1858. In 1871, she published a pioneering study of maternal mortality post-childbirth, Introductory Notes on Lying-in Institutions. Throughout her life, she worked with doctors, architects, engineers and statisticians to make hospitals safer.
- She is recognized as a founder of evidence-based health care.
- Nightingale worked to turn the terrible workhouse infirmaries into real hospitals, calling for the same quality of care available to the rich also for the poor also.
- Hand washing is the single most effective means of infection control known – Nightingale began urging it in 1860.
- Hospital architects are turning back to Nightingale for her insights on sunlight and gardens in healing.
- Her writing is available: The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, 16 vols., source from more than 200 archives world wide. The website has (free) many short articles: uoguelph.ca/~cwfn/
Short paperbacks on Nightingale are Lynn McDonald, Florence Nightingale at First Hand (Bloomsbury and Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2010), and Florence Nightingale, Nursing and Health Care Today (New York: Springer, 2018).
The Nightingale Society promotes knowledge of her great contribution to nursing and public health reform, plus its relevance today, and defends her reputation and legacy when attacked. To get on the list for (occasional) updates: firstname.lastname@example.org