Rectangular one piece cream cardstock paper pamphlet folded widthwise and then length wise to form a card / pamphlet; on the front is printed "The Nightingale Pledge" for nurses in brown ink, with the title and first letter of each stanza in red ink; there are handwritten commas in blue ink in vari…
Rectangular one piece cream cardstock paper pamphlet folded widthwise and then length wise to form a card / pamphlet; on the front is printed "The Nightingale Pledge" for nurses in brown ink, with the title and first letter of each stanza in red ink; there are handwritten commas in blue ink in various places throughout the pledge; back of the pamphlet contains the publishing information and the interior contains "A Code for Professional Nurses" on the left side, and an illustrated portrait of Florence Nightingale on the right side; both interior pages have a decorative printed border around them in brown and red ink.
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Used by donor’s great aunt, Connie Cox (20 Aug 1939- 5 June 2010), while working at the Kingston Psychiatric Hospital for over 35 years. Ontario Hospital Kingston Nursing School, Grad 1962.
Printed on the front cover: "The // Nightingale Pledge // I Solemnly Pledge Myself // Before God And In The // Presence Of This Assembly: // TO pass my life in purity and to practice my pro- // fession faithfully. // I WILL abstain from whatever is deleterious and // mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer // any harmful drug. // I WILL do all in my power to maintain and elevate // the standard of my profession and will hold in confi- // dence all personal matters committed to my keeping // and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the // practice of my profession. calling // WITH loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician // in his work and devote myself to the welfare of those // committed to my care. // This pledge was formulated in 1893 by a committee // of which Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter, R.N., was chairman"; printed on the back cover: "Included on the back page is // A Code for Professional Nurses // adopted by the // ANA House of Delegates // at San Francisco, May 1950 // Compliments of // W. B. Saunders Company // (Portrait Reproduced by Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson)"
The Florence Nightingale Pledge was composed by Lystra Gretter, an instructor of nursing at the old Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, and was first used by its graduating class in the spring of 1893. The pledge was created as an adaptation of the doctor's Hippocratic Oath. It was revised and slightly changed in 1935.
This pledge was recited at graduation ceremonies until the 1970s, when it was either changed or dropped completely, as nursing was an "autonomous profession" and the final line about loyalty to the physician did not match what nursing was truly striving towards, being loyalty to the patient, even in the face of opposition from the physician.