White Rock, Canada (PressExposure) June 23, 2011 -- Graduates of the Registered Nursing Program at Middlesex Community College, in Massachusetts recited a new contemporary nightingale pledge at their recent graduation. Authored by a Canadian nurse educator, the new pledge does not reference religion or service to physicians and reflects current nursing practice as an autonomous and self regulating profession.
Florence Nightingale never wrote a pledge for nurses to recite at graduation. In fact it is quite likely that she never even knew of the existence of the pledge that now bears her name. However, following on the tradition of physicians who recite the Hippocratic Oath, a woman by the name of Lystra E. Gretter wrote a pledge that was first recited by the graduating class of registered nurses at the Harper Hospital (Michigan) in 1893. Over time this pledge became a traditional recitation for nurses who were graduating from school and embarking upon a nursing career.
Beverly Hansen OMalley is the author of the new nightingale pledge. OMalley said a lot has changed in the nursing profession since the first pledge was written and it was time for an update and so she set out to create a more modern version.
The outdated references to God and purity were eliminated and statements that reflect the collaborative nature of nursing practice and the value nurses place on social justice were added in. References to confidentiality and service to the public were re-worded and the new nightingale pledge was born
OMalley is the owner operator of http://www.registered-nurse-canada.com where she first posted the new nightingale pledge and asked for comments and feedback. Feedback received on the site suggests that there are many who find the new pledge to be more in keeping with the nature of the nursing profession today.
The Assistant Division Dean for Nursing at Middlesex Community College found the new nightingale pledge when planning graduation ceremonies, and she contacted OMalley to ask for permission to use it.
When the class at Middlesex Community College took the pledge at their pinning ceremony on May 25 2011, it marked the first time the new nightingale pledge had been recited by graduates.