Welcome to Our Blog!

florence1WWelcome to my new blog “Make Florence Proud”, dedicated to my hero, Florence Nightingale.

I know, I know, some of you don’t want to hear her name because you still have nursing school nightmares of Nightingale’s nursing theory. But hey, we had to start somewhere. If it weren’t for Florence, society would still be rounding up prostitutes and poor women on the street to care for the sick. No one else wanted to do this dirty work. Is it still dirty work? You tell me! Though we’ve come a long way, we still have some clean up to do for ourselves and our profession. Dirty work isn’t just at the bedside. You know what I’m talking about. I’d like to hear from you. Future blogs will feature some of these topics.

This first blog post features “being called” to nursing.

The name Florence Nightingale is synonymous with selfless service, known as the ‘lady with the lamp’. Born in the lap of luxury, she turned her back on wealth and chose to follow her calling.

I was called to nursing. I knew I wanted to be a nurse since I was 11 years old. Don’t ask me how I knew; I just knew I wanted to be a nurse. I was fascinated with how the human body functioned and I loved helping the sick. As a fifteen year old candy striper (yes, I’m dating myself) I wasn’t allowed to go on the floors, I was supposed to just sit at the lobby desk…boring! One day, I snuck back to deliver flowers to a patient and guess what? Nurse Ratchet caught me! Back to the boring lobby desk I went.

How about you? Were you “called” to nursing? When? What does the word “calling” mean to you? Have you worked side by side nurses who weren’t called and are only “in it for the money”? How do you like working side by side with an uncalled nurse? I’d love to hear your story of how you were “called” to nursing. What attribute could be synonymous with your name?

“I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.”
Florence Nightingale


Never Give or Take an Excuse

Florence attributed her success to never giving an excuse or taking an excuse. If you’ve ever been a student of mine you know that I abide by that same philosophy. In fact it would become quite humorous in the clinical area or in post conference when a student would try to explain their action, or lack of, by giving an excuse. The first thing out of my mouth would be, “is that an excuse”? After just a few such episodes the whole group keenly got the message and would stop in their tracks. No excuses were offered again. Facts and apologies were always accepted, but no excuses ever.

You might ask why? Why would you be so hard on a student? Is it really being hard to teach and expect accountability and professionalism? Nurses must be responsible and accountable for their patients’ health, wellbeing and lives! No excuses! Professionalism as an RN begins in nursing education. As nurses we cannot afford to give excuses. Granted, unintentional mistakes are made, though excuses on the other hand begin as a thought and result in words and actions. Inexcusable. Are we excused from malpractice? Are we excused from negligence? Never.  Blaming, excuses, passing the buck, whining it’s “not my fault” along with attitudes of entitlement have no place in nursing.

New healthcare financing reforms are designed to reward accountability and efficiency, and to bundle services and costs. Clinical research continues to demonstrate that RNs are looked upon to be accountable and efficient and are associated with decreased patient mortality when higher numbers of RNs are caring for patients (Nolan, M. 2016). No excuses.

“I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.” ― Florence Nightingale