|The Nightingale Society|
|Newsletter||16 August 2012|
Launch of Nightingale Society August 7
Several of us gathered in Toronto on August 7 to dine and drink a toast to Nightingale and the Nightingale Society, on its official launch day—the anniversary of her return from the Crimean War in 1856 and the launching of her public health reform work.
Our First Letters Out
Letters (on paper, with our new letterhead) were sent from London to the secretary of state for health, the prime minister, Princess Alexandra, the chair of the Guy’s-St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and the designer of the proposed sculpture. They can be seen on our website: http://nightingalesociety.com/correspondence-1208/.
Several further letters will be sent shortly to other political leaders.
The Nightingale Society does not have a formal executive. This first lot of letters was signed by six of us. Other supporters are invited to co-sign (just let us know).
Our numbers are (still) small, but we begin with an excellent cross-section of professional concerns and expertise: nurses (public health, academic, parish, hospital), historians (of science, military, political), doctors, social scientists, other academics, teachers, priests, authors, people in publishing, a Sister of Mercy and international development director. Naturally we want more nurses to join, but we do count the deans of nursing of two leading university faculties and our first director of a BSc college department.
News from Supporters
Asa Moberg Boije, a supporter of the Nightingale Society, reports that her book, She Was No Florence Nightingale: The Person behind the Myth, 2007, is still in great demand. It is used in nursing education. An English translation is the works. Congratulations. Moberg Boije, in fact, was the first person to propose the creation of a “Nightingale Society,” thanks to her connection with the Simone de Beauvoir Society (she also has a biography on de Beauvoir).
We invite you to forward this email to friends and colleagues who might share our belief that Nightingale vision and work deserve not only to be celebrated and defended, but that many of her ideas are still relevant to health care issues today.
The Nightingale Society: What It Is and What It Is Not
What It Is
- The Nightingale Society is committed to promoting knowledge of Nightingale’s work and its relevance in nursing, public health, hospitals, statistics and broader social reform issues today;It encourages scholarly work on other contributors to nursing and public health, especially to improve the diversity of recognized leaders;
- It will publicly defend Nightingale’s reputation when attacked, notably as by the campaign to replace Nightingale by Mary Seacole as the “pioneer nurse,” at St Thomas’ Hospital;
- It advocates the fuller coverage of Nightingale’s contributions to society in school curricula.
What It Is Not
- It does not oppose the honouring of Seacole for her own contribution, at an appropriate site;
- While it supports the inclusion of Seacole in the school curriculum, it does not support the pairing of Nightingale and Seacole, who made very different contributions.