BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The Pioneer of Nursing, Florence Nightingale, once said, “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurse. We must be learning all of our lives.”
Our nurses today are following in her foot steps, learning every day. Angela Rivera is the chief nursing officer at Beckley Applachian Regional Hospital. She said nursing still has a ways to go.
“I think we’ve made it and we’ve seen her vision. But we’ve learned so much along the way that we have so much further that we can go,” said Rivera.
Florence Nightingale set the bar for what nursing should be. That is why the year of 2020 is dedicated to nurses and midwives, honoring Nightingale’s 200th anniversary of birth.
Coralee Hatcher, the practical nursing day program director at Academy of Careers and Technology, said Nightingale focused on holistic healing of the patient.
“Treating your whole patient and not just the disease,” said Hatcher.
She also focused on a cleaner environment in healthcare.
“She was on the battlefield and she’s the one who said hey guys, we should really wash our hands,” said Rivera.
She also focused on preventative health care.
“Health promotion and prevention. Trying to live more healthy lifestyles. We have done a lot with infection control. There’s a lot more immunizations available, which has helped a lot,” said Hatcher.
Although nurses today still use the standard set by Nightingale, there are some advances she never predicted, like the new technology used in hospitals, or realistic simulation used to give students a more hands-on experience.
But as we reflect on 2020 being the year of the nurse, some are preparing to carry on the legacy of Florence Nightingale, like Mercedes Robinson, a nursing student at the Academy of Careers and Technology.
“My goals are to eventually continue my education and become an RN, and later on in life I do want to be a midwife,” said Robinson.