2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife

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This year is an exciting year for Darling Downs Health. We are celebrating and showcasing the incredible work our nurses and midwives do throughout the year, to coincide with Florence Nightingales 200th birthday anniversary.

Who is Florence Nightingale?

Florence Nightingale was born into a wealthy Italian family in 1820. Florence was ambitious and defied the expectations of women of her time by refusing to marry, and instead pursed her passion of caring for others and became a nurse. Florence began her studies in Germany and Paris and progressed into the role of superintendent in a London hospital.

When the Crimean War broke out, Britain was unprepared for the number of sick and injured soldiers, had limited medical supplies and unsanitary medical conditions, all resulting in the survival rate for soldiers being quite low.

Florence and a team of nurses were asked to go to a British hospital outside of Constantinople to treat the wounded. They brought with them supplies, food, cleanliness and sanitation to the military hospital. It was during this time, Florence was given the name, “Lady with the Lamp” as she checked on the soldiers throughout the long nights, with a lamp in her hand. She was also known for greatly contributing to the reduction in the death count during this war.

Returning from war service, Florence continued her work improving conditions of hospitals and care to patients. In 1856 she presented her experiences and data to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, resulting in the creation of a Royal Commission to improve the health of the British Army.

Incredibly skilled with data and numbers, Florence was elected as the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society. She went on to publish written works that sparked worldwide health care reforms, and she established a hospital and training school for nurses. Due to Florence’s influence, nursing was no longer considered as a position for the lower classes and was viewed as an honourable position.

Florence was a compassionate nurse, devoting herself to caring for and treating the poor and suffering. She significantly contributed towards the development of nursing as a profession. Today, every year on her birthday International Nurses Day is celebrated.

What is 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife about?

The 2020 Year of the Nurse and Midwife coincides with Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday anniversary. For the duration of the year on social media, we will be showcasing our nurses and midwives, and acknowledging how these roles improve health outcomes.

If there is a nurse or midwife you would like to see featured, send us a message through Facebook or ddh_media@health.qld.gov.au.