Did you know that Florence Nightingale was inspired by what she felt was a call from God to enter nursing? This decision angered and distressed her family as they took this a sign of rebellion by young Florence. Nightingale, born into a wealthy and socially prominent family, was expected to live up to the role as dictated and befitting a woman of her affluent status, she was to become a wife and mother. Polite society would tolerate no deviation; however, Florence persevered and lived to overcome all obstacles in her quest to minister to those in need of medical attention.

Today it is difficult to imagine such shallow, narrow mindedness as regards the profession of Nurse. A nurse tends to and cares for the sick and invalid, literally a medical caretaker — who can imagine such a disparaging attitude?

Mercifully, Nursing is now regarded in a more respectful light; it is an esteemed vocation. Since 1965, International Nurses Week has been celebrated around the world every May 6-12. Further, May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthdate, has been proclaimed “Nurses Day”.


On May 11,Brookhaven Memorial  Hospital held an in-house event to honor their Nurses. Free designer haircuts and styling tips were offered by the stylists from Salon d’Artiste (589-5535, 593 Montauk Hwy, Oakdale, www.salondartisteonline.com). Duane Hodges, salon owner, and three of his top stylists spent the day and evening creating new and refreshing tonsorial masterpieces for the Nurses. One nurse, Katie Johnson (from the ER) donated 10 inches of her beautiful golden tresses to Locks of Love (www.locksoflove.org), before she received an inspiring new hairstyle.

But wait, there’s more – if a Nurse could not have her or his hair done that day, they were given complimentary gift certificates to be redeemed and honored at the Salon, when it is convenient for them – such a generous and genuine act of gratitude.

Many people are uncomfortable or ‘afraid’ of hospitals, not I. So, it was a pleasure it visit Brookhaven Hospital and honor to meet so many of the wonderful caregivers on staff there.

One of the many vendors to attend the Nurses Day event were representatives from the New York Organ Donor Network (www.nyhealth.gov/donatelife) – also called ‘Donate Life’ New York State. That day I learned that by signing on the line on the back of my Drivers License under “I hereby make an anatomical gift”, I was automatically enrolled in this worthy program. However, just to make sure, I signed up and enrolled at the Donate Life booth thereby assuring my legal consent for the recovery of my organs, tissues, and eyes, for the purpose of transplantation and research upon my death (may it be eons from now). I did mention to the staffers of the booth that my lips will be useless upon my death, as I love the sound of my own voice (oh please, that’s a bad thing?!), but my ears may be almost brand new because my husband says I never listen to him. Engineer Man is very much mistaken, I hear everything thing he says and I even hear what he’s thinking – I watch his eyebrows…

Other vendors included, Tupperware, original jewelry designers, Avon, Tastefully Simple, Teacher’s Federal Credit Union, The Family Security Plan, and Jennifer’s Pocketbooks. Each vendor helped make the day special for these exceptional individuals – Nurses.

As I write this I am struck by how close to Mother’s Day, International Nurses Week is. Mother’s Day this year was May 9 and fell within International Nurses Week, with May 12 being Nurses Day.

Mothers and Nurses, wouldn’t you agree they are initial and indispensable caregivers?


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