NIGH's Early Inspiration
One of the earliest inspirations to create NIGH was centered around the iconic Florence Nightingale Stained-Glass Window sited at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. This is where the first Nightingale Service was celebrated, in 2001, to commemorate her official designation on the Episcopal Church Calendar. Here, to the left, is a composite graphic from six scenes — captured from panels in this Nightingale Stained-Glass Window — that illustrate many of her legacies for today.
At the top, a panel called 'Childhood' demonstrates her commitment to nature and her sense of 'calling' to be a nurse, even as a child. 'Calling' is still much a part of sustaining the motivation to be nurse today. As well, 'nature' — and our place in the environment — is a major factor in overall health and well-being.
Second, is a panel titled 'Education' depicting how her father nurtured Nightingale's mind by providing her with an extensive education — far beyond what most girls achieved in her time. She built on this foundation when she later nurtured and developed the Nightingale model of nursing education — establishing much of what we still learn today.
Next, she is 'the Lady with the Lamp' who lights the way ahead in the darkness of suffering — for the wounded and dying during Crimean War in her time -- and for the suffering we still witness and serve today. This is derived from a panel called 'The Crimea' commemorating her famous work there.
Fourth is the panel 'Notes on Nursing' where she is shown to be writing at her desk. This depicts her global advocacy — through the more than 100 books, manuscripts and articles she wrote and the 14,000 of her letters now available in collections around the world. This anticipates what we can now do with our online tools like email, websites, social media and YouTube.
Next is a panel is called 'Hospitals.' Here, she is shown to be achieving what is required to care for people who are sick and injured — leadership for other nurses — and the documentation of what still needs to be learned from the experience of caring.
The last scene titled 'St Thomas' — acknowledges how Nightingale was pro-actively involved in the innovative design for building the original St Thomas' Hospital in London. To do this, she brought her knowledge about the environments which people need in order to recover and heal — an understanding that still applies to nursing and health today.
For this composite graphic, the original photo is from NIGH's friend Jim Hawkins — taken during the above Nightingale Service convened at the National Cathedral to honour nurses in her name, in 2001 — now in NIGH's archives. For a further inspired online visit to this Cathedral — the celebrated '2010 Florence Nightingale Global Service' — is still available here — for your enjoyment.