July 20, 2010 | | Comments 1
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RWJF senior advisor for nursing honors 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s death

Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior advisor for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is spending her summer vacation doing something extraordinary. She is not spending her days soaking up the sun, or taking a cruise to Alaska. Instead she is traveling in Europe, learning about the life and work of Florence Nightingale.

Throughout Hassmiller’s journey across Europe, she is blogging about her experience. Her trips marks the 100th anniversary of Nightingale’s death.

Here is an excerpt from one of Hassmiller’s posts:

“Seeing the famous St. Thomas’ Hospital today, I thought Florence Nightingale would roll over in her grave with disgust! What were they thinking, I asked the tour guide? Well, she said, it was the ‘60s. No excuse, I barked back! Prince Charles doesn’t like it either, if that makes you feel any better, she responded.

Applying best practices. The most visually prominent buildings in the hospital now consist of a couple of plain, brown, nondescript, blocklike structures—not anything like Nightingale, once the most famous hospital designer in the world, would have had it. Or, rather, did have it. Her friend, Queen Victoria, laid the first stone and Florence Nightingale contributed to the design and relocation of the St. Thomas’ Hospital of the mid-1800s, with the intention of applying best practices she had brought back from the Crimean War as well as her own research and statistics.”

To read the most recent post from Hassmiller’s blog, click here.

Do you think this would be a worthwhile journey for other nurses to experience? What are other ways nurses can honor Florence Nightingale on the 100th anniversary of her death?

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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  1. Thanks for drawing attention to Sue Hassmiller’s blog posts retracing the career of Florence Nightingale. Your post may inadvertently imply that these are being posted on her own blog, but they are being hosted, edited, and produced on the American Journal of Nursing blog, Off the Charts. For those who might be interested, the full series of posts are being collected in order on the following page: http://ajnoffthecharts.com/in-florences-footsteps-notes-from-a-journey/
    Sue should be wrapping up her trip in the next day or so.
    -Jacob M., AJN senior editor/blog editor

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