Representing the military Nurses in the Florence Nightingale Commemoration this year. 

Every year, the Florence Nightingale commemoration service is held at the Westminster Abbey on the 12th of May. It also marks International Nurses Day. After missing last year commemoration at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown, this year commemoration was special as we celebrated the incredible contributions of nurses and other health workers and key workers in combating the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, only a few guests were invited to the socially distanced event as representatives of nursing and midwifery as well as ambassadors to the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF).

As a FNF scholar alumni, it was an honour to be among the few invited guests to represent other scholars and military nurses in this year special event to commemorate and celebrate the wonderful work of Florence Nightingale. Whereas the Crimea War is long gone, the basic nursing advocated by Florence remains the core of today’s nursing. As Florence and her team became instrumental in the recovery of, and the hope to the soldiers, so are the nurses and the health professionals especially during the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and other diseases.

nurse holding silverWe represent hope to our patients as she did to the soldiers. Yes, whenever they saw the Lamp carried by ‘the Lady of the Lamp’ during the night’s ward rounds, they saw hope for their survival. Hence the reason that today the lamp has become an international symbol of nursing.  

Since 1968, the procession of the Lamp is central to the Florence Nightingale memorial service. It is normally carried by a Florence Nightingale’s scholar and escorted by student nurses which signify the knowledge of nursing and transfer of knowledge to the future nursing generations respectively.

FNF offer a scholarship to nurses and midwives in the UK with an aim that they will improve patients’ care, policies, and their practice. Several scholarships are available and include travel scholarships or leadership scholarships. I am a beneficiary of the Army Nursing Development Scholarship a scholarship which was funded by the QARANC Association for myself and 9 other colleagues, along with an Emerging Leader Scholarship.

The QARANC Association will be funding their third year of scholarships this year. For more information on how to become a scholar, please visit the Florence Nightingale Foundation website
after applications open in October 2021.

Nurse meeting PM

Sgt Mwaura
Practice Nurse
DPHC (E) Colchester


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