Quote from Tweety
I'm sorry, but your insistence that we are using Florence as a role model for our current practice and definition of our profession just doesn't ring true from my perspective.
I think you misunderstand me. I'm not out there looking for a role model to define my profession. But, we DO spend the first week of practically every nursing program discussing history, etc.
And FN crowds out all other history. She is high upon a pedastool. So high that even most non-nurses know of her.
Some of that is residual of her popularity. But most of it, I think, is that she serves as a proto-typical image of nursing: an image that is not in nursing's best interest to continue to promote.
I'll give you an example. I asked 10 nurses at work tonight, 2 just graduated, 2 in grad school, and 6 with varying degrees of experience the followinq unscientific poll:
1. In your opinion, name the most important nurse in the history of nursing:
Results (after I made the 2 that answered - me - and -gaylord focker- reanswer): 9 votes for FN, 1 for Clara Barton. Mind you, this question was rigged in favor of a NON - FN vote as people assumed it was a 'trick' question.
2. Tell me who Mary Seacole was?
Results: only 1 in 10 knew who she was or had heard of her. And actually, That nurse knew quite a bit about Mary Seacole because she had seen a show on TV about her awhile back.
3. Tell me who Lavinia Dock was?
Results: nobody knew who she was. 1 nurse stated she had heard the name, but didn't know anything about her.
I think this is very telling. But so are the following comments:
3 of the 10 nurses stated that they didn't know of ANY historical nurses other than FN.
And one new grad sheepishly admitted to only knowing about FN because, "I only know what they fed me in school."
I'm not advocating that everybody find some historical figure to be their role model. I'm saying that FN is perhaps not the best figure to teach in school, or, in any case, to focus on so much.