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Illuminating Florence. Finding Nightingales Legacy in Your Practice

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Title: Illuminating Florence. Finding Nightingales Legacy in Your Practice

Author: Alex Attewell

Publisher: Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing

Reviewer: Jane Brown, patient safety advisor, Worcestershire Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This small, almost pocket, book is a great title to have and to refer to for any nurse. This book contains quotes from Nightingale’s writings that always appear to be up to date despite now being over 100 years old.

It is an inspiring book in which the author highlights Florence’s vision of nursing and her patient care.


What were the highlights? 

The author was the curator and ultimately the museum director of the London Florence Nightingale museum with a good number of years’ experience and understanding of the great lady herself. Although the author is not a nurse, he is one of the top Florence Nightingale scholars. The author is passionate about Florence’s works, but also has an understanding of nursing today. He realises that a great many initiatives we think of in nursing as were already being carried out back in Florence’s day by the lady with the lamp.

Strengths & weaknesses:

This little pocket book will be something the contemporary nurse can draw strength from. It is written in such a clever way that it is not merely a history book but is on two parallels and is always looking to the future but the reader is learning from the past. This book is extremely relevant to nursing now. One wonders what nursing would look like had Florence still be alive today. Her leadership skills would be welcomed with open arms today within the health care setting.

The book is not intended to be a history of Florence Nightingale but for nurses to find her legacy in their practice. I would recommend any nurse who has not read of Florence’s life and work to do so.

Who should read it?

This is a book for all nurses whether starting out or experienced in their careers. This would make an ideal present to give to a nurse, which they could use a constant reference.


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