Good morning, all! It’s May 12th and so I wish you all a very happy (and very early) International Nurses’ Day 🙂

Florence Nightingale was born on this day in 1820 – nursing’s travelled further than she could possibly have envisioned, and she was unquestionably a product of her time and class, but many of the precepts she instilled still hold true:
– nursing is a discipline related to but separate from and not answerable to medicine;
– nursing requires its own education base;
– nursing is both an art and a science;
– our practice ought to be based on results and data (she was also a statistician);
– the goal of nursing is to allow the patient in the best possible conditions for nature to act;
– people are multidimensional, and composed of biological, psychological, social and spiritual components;
– disease is dis-ease or the absence of comfort;
– “poor or difficult environments lead to poor health and disease.”

She was the first person to apply theory to nursing practice, to separate nursing education from theology and religious calling, advocate a professional demeanour, and though her public stance included submission to doctors, in her own practice she ignored directions with which she disagreed.

However you feel about this often contrary woman, I hope every nurse takes a moment to reflect on where we are, the journeys we (and our profession) have made, the conditions we’ve achieved, and where we’re going from here.

Speaking of going – it’s 2 years, 6 months, 2 weeks and 3 days (or 931 days) until the next State election. Mr Baillieu’s government’s not getting any more popular, and it behooves those of us in the public acute sector to remember that in four days it will have been 2 months since our EBA was agreed to, while the Mental Health fight continues, and the RDNS and palliative care EBAs (along with individual private sector campaigns) continue.

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