The Master and Wardens were honoured to join the procession at the 2017 Service to Celebrate the Life of Florence Nightingale in Westminster Abbey. This annual Service provides a unique opportunity for nurses, midwives, health care professionals, family members and guests to celebrate their professions and at the same time give thanks for Florence Nightingale’s extraordinary legacy to healthcare. From Chelsea Pensioners to student nurses, this extraordinary event celebrates our profession whilst also reminding us of those nurses who have died in conflict. The Abbey was full to bursting with nurses from all over the country and beyond. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall gave a very moving address before the procession of the Nightingale Lamp. The Lamp is passed between two Nightingale Foundation Scholars to represent the transmission of knowledge from one nurse to another and highlights the diversity of care given by nurses for the benefit of humanity. At a time of great challenge to many nurses, this humbling reminder of our profession was poignant.
We were delighted that our allocation of tickets for the event enabled Court Assistants and Freemen to join us in the congregation. It was absolutely delightful that there were also many other Guild members in the Abbey who took the opportunity to come and say hello.
We are very grateful to the Florence Nightingale Foundation who organise this event annually. The Florence Nightingale Foundation exists to support nurses and midwives with scholarships, promoting innovation in practice, in addition to extending knowledge and skills to enable nurses and midwives to meet changing needs and improve patient care. The Guild of Nurses is very happy to support this work.