Museum Poetry: The Nightingale Pledge

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This week, I’ve been looking at the ‘Nightingale Pledge’ written by Lystra Gretter and a Committee at the Farrand Training School for Nurses in 1893.  A pledge created for student nurses to recite at their graduation.index

To contemporary ears, I think it sounds outdated and I was interested to read ‘The Future of the Nightingale Pledge’, which is in a blog by Jennifer Olin, written in May 2012.  It’s wonderfully succinct and informative and includes up-to-date versions of the Nightingale Pledge and arguments for and against using the pledge.  Also enlivening, was reading about Lystra Gretter, who accomplished much in her lifetime, reforms to nurses’ education and training, along with advancements in public health to name but a few.  More can be read about her at ‘truthaboutnursing.com’.lystra

Here’s my tongue-in-cheek but hopefully sincere contribution:

I solemnly allege this pledge, before one and all, to promise not to give an excuse, drink booze or snooze on the job but create a first rate impression of the nursing profession.

I shall restrain from acting flirtatiously, crazy or insane and shall not knowingly take or administrate drugs to cause detriment or change my temperament when caring for the sick, injured and old.

I shall do my best to have a bedside manner that’s a banner of the highest standard, to be discreet and not tweet about those in my care.

I promise to be that lamp in the darkest night, a symbol of hope and light and always strive to maintain Florence Nightingale’s name.

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