Remembering a Nurse

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Nightingale Tribute

A tribute to any Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse for their years of service; to be presented during the nurse's funeral by a nurse colleague or friend.

The Nightingale Tribute was designed and developed by the Kansas State Nurses Association in 2003 to be used to honor deceased nurses. Any part or all of The Nightingale Tribute may be used; modifications to the reading and script are encouraged.

Nursing is a calling, a way of life. Nursing is a service profession that cannot be lived in isolation. Nurses rely on each other for the synergistic effect of teamwork in our efforts of care giving. It is appropriate that nurses honor colleagues/friends/family members not only during their career, but also at the end of life’s journey.

The Nightingale Tribute Reading

Nursing is a calling, a lifestyle, a way of living. Nurses here today honor our colleague _____________ who is no longer with us and their life as a nurse. _______________is not remembered by his/her ___ years as a nurse, but by the difference he/she made during those years by stepping into people’s lives, by special moments.

She Was There
When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed,
She was there.
In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life,
She was there.
When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member of friend,
She was there.
At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained,
She was there.
When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind,
She was there.
When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed,
She was there.
In choosing the best one from a family’s “Thank You” box of chocolates,
She was there.
To witness humanity,—its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment,
She was there.
To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope,
She was there.
And now, that it is time to be at the Greater One’s side,
She is there.

_______________, we honor you this day and present this white rose and light this candle to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our nurse colleague.

[Note: pronoun can be changed. ©2004 Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN]


Format for the Nightingale Tribute
The Nightingale Tribute begins with a short synopsis of the nurse’s career. A creative reading follows the synopsis. A white rose is placed with the nurse after the reading, with the following statement,

“(Name), we honor you this day and give you a white rose to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our nursing colleague.”

This entire tribute takes only two minutes and can be pl,aced anywhere within the service appropriate to the traditions and beliefs of the recipient’s faith.

How do I arrange for this tribute to be given at my loved one’s service?
Visit with the funeral home director about this tribute. Contact a Registered Nurse or Licensed Practical Nurse friend or colleague (active or retired) of the deceased and ask him/her to present the tribute at the service. If he/she is willing, ask them to visit with you about your loved one’s service as a nurse. Adapt a reading to fit the recipient. Schedule the tribute within the service in collaboration with the family, funeral home and place of worship as appropriate.