…which I bought on Etsy for about 30 dollars, has been a symbol of the nursing profession for 150 years. It’s often seen in portraits of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, who tended to her Crimean War patients tirelessly by lamplight. This lamp has been featured on countless nursing pins, coffee mugs and business cards, and it’s been used as a logo for various professional organizations, including the Ohio Nurses Association. It truly IS an icon.
There’s just one little problem: It’s a MYTH.
Although Florence Nightingale did tend to her patients by lamplight, historians say she actually used a tall, cylindrical lantern with a folded, accordion-like shade when she made her nightly rounds. After “The Lady with the Lamp” returned to England, a more exotic- looking prop sprang forth from the collective imagination of her countrymen. That’s how this Aladdin-style, brass oil lamp assumed its wrongful place in history.
I chose to open my blog with this bit of nursing trivia because I hope to dispel many other myths about nursing on this journey. So! Welcome to Nightingale Nest: A place for all nurses to challenge their assumptions about themselves and their careers.
My name is Pam Moss, RN. I am a “Director of Wellbeing” at Nightingale Nest–and so are all of you. I’ll explain how THAT works in a later post. For now, I’ll just say that Nightingale Nest is an organization dedicated to helping nurses practice the art of self care for mind, body and spirit so they can be even better caregivers in their professional lives. If you have been looking for a supportive community where nurses can laugh, cry, heal, and learn together, you have found it.
Intrigued? Fantastic! Then I’ll see you next time.
Until then, be well.