200 Years Later, Ascension Nurses Continue Florence Nightingale's Legacy

How very little could be done under the spirit of fear. – Florence Nightingale.

As we close out Nurses Week celebrations, gratitude toward our nurses continues on. Celebrating 2020 as the Year of the Nurse in honor of Florence Nightingale’s birth, I reflect on the many similarities between the founder of modern day nursing and today’s Ascension nurses. Her words from 200 years ago resonate true today – nurses have overcome fear and are steadfastly practicing compassion to their COVID-19 patients.

The magic of nursing- where compassion meets science is being played out in hospitals throughout the country. Just as Florence Nightingale brought compassion and science to the frontline soldiers of the Crimean war, our nurses deliver that same compassion and science on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. We are so blessed to have had Florence Nightingale's example and leadership and even more blessed to have so many amazing Ascension nurses following her example. Ascension’s mission is to serve all, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable just as Florence Nightingale devoted her life treating the poor and suffering. I have seen such incredible compassion from our nursing teams not only caring for their patients' health but providing comfort to the isolated. As patients are separated from families, confined behind doors and away from everything familiar to them, our nurses are going beyond normal clinical care with simple acts of compassion and tender care to brighten long days of isolation and show them how much they matter – singing to their patients, a simple game of tic-tac-toe on the glass door of an isolation patient, helping patients connect with their families through a window or virtual visits all while praying and holding a patient’s hand so they weren’t alone in the final moments.

Yes, 2020 is truly the Year of the Nurse yet for 20 years, Ascension nurses have consistently inspired each other while providing compassionate, personalized care to their communities. We are Ascension – 60,000 nurses strong! To our Ascension nurses and all nurses living out the Nightingale pledge – Thank You!


By Amy Wilson