Florence Nightingale Medal

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Florence Nightingale Medal
Florence Nightingale Medal.jpg
Obverse of the medal.
TypeInternational nursing decoration (both military and civilian).
Awarded for"Exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster" or "exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education".[1]
DescriptionGold and silver medallion with the inscription 'Ad memoriam Florence Nightingale 1820–1910' suspended from a red cross encircled by green laurel.
Presented byHeads of State or Heads of Red Cross National Societies.
Post-nominalsFNM
StatusCurrently awarded.
Established1912
First awarded1920
Total1,512
Total awarded posthumously2
Total recipients1,512
ICRC Florence Nightingale Medal BAR.svg
Ribbon bar of the medal

At the Eighth International Conference of Red Cross Societies in London in 1907, the assembled delegates decided to create a commemorative International Nightingale Medal to be awarded to those distinguished in the nursing field. Subsequently, the Florence Nightingale Medal was instituted in 1912[2] by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve and is awarded to nurses or nursing aides for "exceptional courage and devotion to the wounded, sick or disabled or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster" or "exemplary services or a creative and pioneering spirit in the areas of public health or nursing education".[1] The Florence Nightingale Medal Commission comprises several members and staff of the ICRC, several of whom are nursing professionals, and the head nurse of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. A representative of the International Council of Nurses also participates in the work of the Commission.

It was initially set up to be awarded to six nurses annually, although the first 42 awards were only made in 1920 due to the disruption of the First World War.[3] Among the first recipients were six American nurses: Florence Merriam Johnson, Helen Scott Hay, Linda K. Meirs, Martha M. Russell, Mary E. Gladwin, and Alma E. Foerster.[4] Ida F. Butler was the fifteenth American recipient of the award.[5]

The medal was restricted to female nurses until regulation changes in 1991. Under the new regulations, it is open to both women and men and is awarded every two years to a maximum number of fifty recipients worldwide.[1] The vesica piscis shaped medal is composed of gold and silver-gilt and bears a portrait of Florence Nightingale surrounded by the words 'Ad memoriam Florence Nightingale 1820–1910'. On the reverse, the name of the recipient and the date of the award is engraved, surrounded by the inscription 'Pro vera misericordia et cara humanitate perennis décor universalis' ('true and loving humanitarianism – a lasting general propriety'). The medal is attached to a white and red ribbon by a clasp featuring a red enamel cross encircled by a green laurel crown. Recipients are also presented with a parchment diploma of the award and, from 1927, a miniature version of the medal that could be more easily worn. The medal and a diploma are usually presented by the Head of State at a ceremony in their own country, which is required to have "a formal character, in keeping with the founders' wishes".[6]

In 2007, the 41st set of medals were awarded to 35 recipients from 18 countries.[7]

In 2009, the 42nd set of medals were awarded to 28 recipients from 15 countries, including one for the first time to a nurse in Afghanistan,[6] Sister Anisa [8]

In 2011, the 43rd set of medals were awarded to 39 recipients from 19 countries, including one from New Zealand and for the first time, to two Kenyan nurses, as well as the first recipient from the Central African Republic - Sylvie Ngouadakpa.[9][10]

In 2013, the 44th set of medals were awarded to 32 recipients from 16 countries, including one posthumously to Khalil Dale MBE, a delegate from the British Red Cross.[11][12]

In 2015, the 45th set of medals were awarded to 36 recipients from 18 countries, including one posthumously to a Sierra Leonian nurse, Mr Morison Musa, who had worked in an ebola treatment centre.[13]

In 2017, the 46th set of medals were awarded to 39 recipients from 22 countries, including one to Rear Admiral Sylvia Trent-Adams, the Acting Surgeon General of the United States.[14] Roselyn Nugba-Ballah was the first ever Liberian recipient of the medal, due to her work in the Ebola epidemic.[15]

In 2019, the 48th set of medals were awarded to 29 nurses from 19 countries, including one to Captain Felicity Gapes, a New Zealand Red Cross nurse.[16][17]

In 2021, the 49th set of medals were awarded to 25 nurses from 18 countries, including two posthumously to: Bernadette Gleeson, an Australian nurse and Arasta Bakhishova, an Azerbaijani nurse.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Florence Nightingale Medal". International Committee of the Red Cross. 2003. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Medals and Badges: Florence Nightingale Medal". British Red Cross. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
  3. ^ "The Florence Nightingale Medal" (PDF). British Journal of Nursing: 334. 5 June 1920. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  4. ^ Nelson McDowell Shepard, "The Florence Nightingale Medal" Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine (November 1921): 646–647.
  5. ^ "News about Nursing". The American Journal of Nursing. 37 (7): 801–710. 1937. doi:10.1097/00000446-193707000-00026. ISSN 0002-936X. JSTOR 3413368. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2009 recipients". International Committee of the Red Cross. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2007 recipients". International Committee of the Red Cross. 13 May 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  8. ^ "Afghanistan: following in the footsteps of Florence Nightingale". 11 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2011 recipients". International Committee of the Red Cross. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2011.
  10. ^ "La RCA vers des soins infirmiers de meilleure qualité". www.radiondekeluka.org (in French). Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal to aid worker Khalil Dale". BBC News. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2013 recipients". 12 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2015 recipients". Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  14. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: 2017 recipients". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  15. ^ Harmon, William Q. (1 December 2017). ""A True Patriot," Nurse Roselyn Ballah, Gets Nightingale Award Presented". Liberian Observer. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: Honoring exceptional nurses and nursing aides – 2019 recipients". icrc.org. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Council of Nurses. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Kiwi Red Cross nurse awarded highest international nursing award". TVNZ. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  18. ^ "Florence Nightingale Medal: Honoring exceptional nurses and nursing aides – 2021 recipients". icrc.org. International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Council of Nurses. Retrieved 12 May 2021.