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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Student nurses attend the Florence Nightingale Annual Commemorative Service

Published: 27 June 2017
Students by Westminster Abbey Altar
Student nurses in front of the altar at Westminster Abbey.

Last month, five first year nursing students attended the annual Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service at East Wellow church, near Romsey (Florence’s final resting place).

During the service, student Evangeline Laidlaw had the privilege of processing the lamp.

Alongside Evangeline, fellow nursing students Eleanor Ribbits, Jack Rubens, Rachel Garratt and Joanne Curry attended the lunch that followed the service and met representatives from the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Speaking of the experience, Joanne commented:

As a student nurse, it was a privilege to attend the Florence Nightingale Annual Commemorative Service in the beautiful scenery of Romsey. Learning about the life of Florence Nightingale was an eye-opening experience into how her personal values continue to lie at the heart of nursing; it yet provided the opportunity to reflect on how the founder of nursing would feel about the current care we deliver to patients.

I was truly inspired to meet people who have and continue to shape nursing, making me proud to be an ambassador of the university and part of the future workforce.

The five were subsequently invited by the Florence Nightingale Foundation to attend an educational seminar at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, visit the Florence Nightingale Museum and attend the Florence Nightingale Commemorative Service at Westminster Abbey attended by HRH Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy. Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, also in attendance provided a reading during the service.

The service at Westminster included the Procession of the Roll of Honour, borne in silence, which was carried by Army Nurse Corporal Alex Young, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps, escorted by the three Matrons-in-Chief of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.

The Florence Nightingale Lamp was carried through the Abbey by Sandra Mononga, Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholar, and escorted by student nurses and midwives.

Joanne added:

We thoroughly enjoyed attending the Commemorative Service. It was a privilege to meet such inspirational people.

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