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The Nightingale Pledge - Still relevant today?


Specializes in Pediatric Critical Care.

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pmabraham, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice, Palliative Care. Has 3 years experience.

This morning I got a smile when the nursing friend going to a different school than I've been in the same geographic area posted a short clip of their pinning ceremony. What she posted was the various nursing students reciting this pledge. Yes it's still relevant today.


Specializes in Trauma ICU. Has 5 years experience.

"With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work,"

Yes I can see how this can be taken the wrong way, but lets face it folks we really DO aid the MD's with their work. I once had a doctor tell me "You are my eyes, my ears and my judgement when I cannot be right here standing by my patient" Wow pretty amazing words to me. Maybe I have the luck to work with an amazing set of doc's but I have never once been made to feel like I am subservient. What I feel that this line from the Pledge is saying is "Yes I will work with the MD's in a manner that is constructive, not destructive." Let's be honest we have seen those awful relationships between some nurses and doc's where it is an "Us vs. Them" mentality.

WazerWifle, BSN, RN

Has 5 years experience.

I hate the pledge (Nightingale and of Allegiance) because both feel like indoctrination and mindless subservience.

When I was a school teacher, I never made my students stand during the morning pledge recitations (both to Texas, which recently added under God as well, or to the USA) unless it was something they felt personally compelled to do. I myself never stood. I don't have to prove my patriotism to anyone.

During my LVN pinning, we weren't told about the Nightingale pledge recitation until pinning rehearsal, and I was beyond pissed. I recited it because I felt pressured to do so and because I'd already been overruled in terms of venue when the ceremony was held in a church. I had to listen to an invocation and a benediction, standing in a Christian church, and recite something I found personally offensive. Recitation of this pledge is just one more in a multitude of ways southern education continues to skirt the separation of church and state.

Nature_walker, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in psych. Has 4 years experience.

I just had my pinning last week, and myself and my friend were chosen to lead the pledge for our class. While I'm not Christian, the part about God was still in the one we read, I just omitted the word, but the rest of the pledge was an updated version. I liked that we read it as part of our ceremony as a nod to tradition. I also liked that they invited anyone in the audience who was a nurse, and who wanted to, to recite it with our newly minted class of graduate nurses. :)