Today, the world is marking The International Nurses Day, an annual celebration of the crucial work and role of nurses around the world.
Never has this role been more crucial than now, as the many countries around the world are fighting the spread of coronavirus.
It is especially important in 2020 as nursing professionals continue to lead the frontline charge against the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual event, which was first marked in 1965, was created by the International Council of Nurses to mark the hard work of nursing staff around the world.
Since January 1974, the global celebrations have traditionally been held on 12 May.
This is to mark the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale was a statistician by profession, so how did she become influential in nursing?
Florence Nightingale exhibited a gift for mathematics from an early age and excelled in the subject under the tutelage of her father.
Later, Nightingale became a pioneer in the visual presentation of information and statistical graphics.
Indeed, Nightingale is described as “a true pioneer in the graphical representation of statistics”, and is credited with developing a form of the pie chart now known as the polar area diagram, or occasionally the Nightingale rose diagram, equivalent to a modern circular histogram, to illustrate seasonal sources of patient mortality in the military field hospital she managed.
In 1859, Nightingale was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.
In 1874 she became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.
Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War, in which she organized care for wounded soldiers.
She is credited for giving nursing a favorable reputation.
In 1860, Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment of her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.
In recognition of her pioneering work in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve, were named in her honour.
Her social reforms included improving healthcare for all sections of British society, advocating better hunger relief in India, helping to abolish prostitution laws that were harsh for women, and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce.
She was born on 12th May, 1820 and she died on 13th August, 1910 aged 90.
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