May 5, 2020

Mission Nurses Live Nightingale Legacy

Florence Nightingale Holding Lamp

Florence Nightingale

Every May, National Nurses Week brings an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the nurses serving our Mission Health hospitals and communities. This year, though, is different. As the world confronts a pandemic, we are seeing unparalleled sacrifice and dedication from our nurses who are caring for patients on the front lines.

In early 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that 2020 would be the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Little did they know that 2020 would become a historical moment in time for our nurses. This year is extra special as we honor our nurses and recognize their contributions to western North Carolina.

Nurses Week occurs May 6 through 12 this year in recognition of the birthday of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. This year we are celebrating Nightingale’s 200th birthday. A trailblazer, Nightingale defied societal limitations on women and led a group of nurses to care for wounded soldiers during the Crimean War of the 1850s. Day and night, she devoted herself to caring for her patients, earning her the nickname “the Lady with the Lamp.”

Nightingale’s intense commitment to caring for the soldiers and instituting hygiene procedures helped save countless lives. Among her many accomplishments, she is credited with improving healthcare for vulnerable members of society, establishing the foundation of professional nursing and professionalizing nursing roles for women. Nightingale’s dedication and compassion for her patients’ lives on today in every unit, hall and department of Mission Health hospitals and facilities.

“We are so grateful every day – especially during Nurses Week, and especially in the extraordinary global moment we are in – for the selflessness, passion and courage of our Mission Health nursing team,” says Kathy Guyette, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, NC Division Chief Nurse Executive and President, Regional Hospitals. “They care without reservation or limits for our friends, for our families and for our neighbors across western North Carolina.”

For Nightingale, nursing was a calling and purpose. At Mission Health, we recognize that all our nurses share this deep calling to serve and care for others. It’s who they are: in the darkest moments, they shine, and in the face of chaos, they are calm. Our nurses protect their patients, colleagues and community with a passion and resilience that can only come from within. And because they do, all of Mission Health is stronger.

Happy Nurses Week to Mission Health nurses, and to nurses everywhere! Learn more about becoming a nurse at Mission Health at