Quote from SkateBetty
When the nursing pinning ceremony was first initiated in the 1860's, the lamp was a symbol of the care and devotion the nurse administers to the sick and injured in the practice of nursing. After nurses were pinned, Nightingale would light a lamp and pass the flame to each nurse as they said the Pledge:
Original Nightingale Pledge
"I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly:
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully;
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take
or knowingly administer any harmful drug;
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession
and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all
family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling;
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work and devote myself
to the welfare of those committed to my care."
The lamp further represents Nightingale's famous 'Rounds At Night', and is symbolic of her dedication.
One correction -- the "Nightingale Pledge" was named
for Flo but was definitely not written by
her (I have a hard time imagining her ever subscribing to such sentimental, mawkish claptrap). It was written by a nursing instructor in Detroit (MI) in 1893. By that time, Flo was a homebound invalid (had been for quite some time), so she certainly never led her students in a recitation of the pledge at a graduation ceremony. I don't even have any idea if the pledge has ever "caught on" in the UK as it had for many years in the US -- maybe one of our UK members here could let us know about that?
think it's interesting
) footnote -- the lamp Flo actually carried in the hospital at Scutari looked nothing like the "genie in the lamp" porcelain lamps that seem to be universally used in US nursing ceremonies now. The lamp she carried was a traditional Turkish style that looked like this:
Quote from SkateBetty
What I know about caps is a black stripe was meant to memorialize the death of Florence, and signifies 'expert nurse'. In years past students would wear a plain cap, and upon graduation would receive a colored stripe unique to the the school or school colors.
That's not true of all schools. At the excellent diploma school I attended in the early '80s (a school with a long and proud history), students wore colored ribbons on our caps (the different colors indicated which year student you were -- I still have my little velvet ribbons that I temporarily wore on my cap as a student), and graduates wore (wear
) a plain cap with no ribbon. I've seen many different caps over the years (worn by non-students) that had no ribbon. There has always been a great deal of variety among caps of different schools.