Due to her work serving soldiers in the Crimean War and establishing schools, Florence Nightingale has long been considered the founder of modern nursing. Even 100 years later, her missions align with the modern Veterans Health Administration nurse and can still serve as inspiration for nursing career tips to today’s caregivers.

Nightingale was born in 1820 to an affluent English family. While well-educated, her dreams of becoming a nurse were often viewed as inappropriate by her family due to her social position. Despite her family’s views, she began training to become a nurse at age 30, quickly becoming a force in the field. Nightingale’s efforts caring for injured soldiers during the Crimean War established standards of care that helped change the face of medicine.

Here are four lessons Nightingale’s life can offer to modern nurses:

You’re never too old to start your dream career.

If you’ve always dreamt of being a nurse and providing the best care possible for your patients, you can make it happen at any age with Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Nightingale was 30 when she started her training, proving you can follow your dreams no matter where you are in life.

Make a difference.

Nightingale made a difference in not only the lives of the soldiers she served in the Crimean War, but in the medical world as a whole. At VHA, you can follow her footsteps by providing quality health care to our Nation’s Veterans and their families every single day. In addition, our nursing research programs can help you make a difference beyond VA’s walls.

Be a problem solver.

Nightingale recognized a lack of proper training for nurses so she started the Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’ Hospital. Once nurses graduated from her program, they established their own schools based on her model.

Be responsible for spreading knowledge.

If information is not shared with others, it becomes useless. Share the knowledge you’ve picked up along your career path with others and encourage them to do the same. That will help foster a community of knowledge that will help you grow throughout your career.

Whether you want to provide direct care to our Nation’s Veterans, teach other nurses or conduct research to help change the medical world, VHA can help you get there. Learn about VHA’s nursing opportunities or begin your search for a new career in nursing. Join Us and you can start making a difference with VHA.

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