A group of nursing and midwifery students from Northumbria University played a key role in this year’s ceremony commemorating the life and legacy of Florence Nightingale at Westminster Abbey.
The annual service to commemorate the founder of nursing was held yesterday evening, the day before International Nurses Day.
“It’s a real honour for us all to have been selected”
The service highlighted the significant achievements of the nursing and midwifery professions and honoured the lives of those nurses who have died in the service of others.
The centre point of the ceremony was the procession of the lamp though the abbey to the high altar.
This year, the lamp was carried by Florence Nightingale Foundation scholar Tracey Wrench, who was escorted by 24 Northumbria students.
Emma Sebag-Montefiore, one of the students selected to take part in the event, said: “It’s a privilege to be chosen to be involved.
Northumbria student’s key role in Nightingale tribute
Source: Brian Russell at BRD Associates
“There was a huge demand to take part and all of our branches of nursing specialisms – adult, child, learning disability and mental health, as well as midwives – will be represented at the ceremony,” said Ms Sebag-Montefiore, 22, who specialises in child nursing and is due to graduate later this year.
Amanda Clarke, professor of nursing and head of the university’s healthcare department, said: “Florence Nightingale is renowned for introducing the caring standards and evidence-based principles that lie at the foundation of nursing today.
“She was – and remains – an inspiration to all nurses and we are honoured to have been asked by the Florence Nightingale Foundation to take part in this special commemorative service,” she said.
The service also included an address by Baroness Audrey Emerton, president of the Florence Nightingale Foundation, and readings by chief nursing officer for Wales Jean White and Royal College of Nursing president Cecilia Anim.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt and health minister Ben Gummer attended the ceremony on behalf of the government.
Northumbria University is the largest provider of nurse education in the North East of England.