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Advanced Nurse Practitioner attends The Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service


Jacqueline Thompson (Advanced Nurse Practitioner, MRI and Florence Nightingale Travel Scholar 2012/13) was invited to attend the Florence Nightingale Commemoration service, at Westminster Abby on the 8th of May 2013.

This annual service celebrates the life and work of Florence Nightingale and gives thanks to nurses, midwives, healthcare workers in the Armed Forces and unqualified staff working in healthcare.

A number of readings were given within the service. These included the Dean of Westminster, Jane Cummings (Chief Nursing Officer, NHS England), Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health) and  Professor Elizabeth Robb (Chief Executive, The Florence Nightingale Trust).

Processions within the service included the Chelsea Pensioners - to thank Florence Nightingale for her care of the troops during the Crimean War.  Petty Officer Bernadette Quinn, Queen Alexandra's Royal Navel Service was the bearer of the Commonwealth Nurses Roll of Honour, and was flanked by three Matrons-in Chief of Her Majesty's Armed Forces.  The Roll of Honour records the name of every nurse and midwife who has died in conflict since World War Two.   This procession is conducted in silence as the Roll of Honour is carried from the Florence Nightingale Chapel to the Dean and then placed near the High Alter.

The Procession of the Lamp, where a replica of a lamp used in the Crimean War -and symbolic of Florence Nightingale - was carried by Florence Nightingale Scholar, David Wright escorted by nursing students from De Montfort University, Leicester.  The lamp is passed between two other Florence Nightingale scholars, to represent the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another and to highlight the diversity of care given by nurses for the benefit of humanity. The lamp is then placed by the Dean at the High Alter.

A stirring address prior to the Procession of the Lamp was given by Mark Bostridge (Author of Florence Nightingale: The Woman and her Legend).

"….as we watch this time honoured tradition of the lamp procession, may we view this lamp as a symbol of modern nursing, shining the light of humanity into the darkest corners of human experience."