Florence Nightingale’s Nursing Contributions

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) was an outstanding human and left the priceless legacy for future nurses. She devoted her life to globally raising awareness of health issues and successfully transferred her message: widespread nursing care is essential for reaching “local-to-global health” (Beck, Dossey, & Rushton, 2012). Nightingale made a great contribution to global development, and later her principles were reflected in eight UN Millennium Development Goals, aimed at creating high quality of life (“United Nations Millennium Development Goals”, 2000).

Florence Nightingale’s Influence on my Perception of the Millennium Goals

The legacy left by Nightingale cannot be neglected. She was the founder of modern nursing, and I cannot deny that her work makes an impression. I was aware of the UN Millennium Goals and that three of them are directly linked to healthcare. However, I could not imagine that so many years ago someone could be smart and brave enough to start fighting global health issues. I completely agree with the authors of “Florence Nightingale. Connecting Her Legacy With Local-to-Global Health Today” who stressed that “her work has direct application today – local and global – in the acute care environment and in community settings worldwide” (par. 5).

This massive impact of Nightingale on my perception of the Millennium Goals is also connected with my thoughts concerning global issues in general. Despite the fact that humanity made a huge leap in its development, it seems that the agenda remains to be almost the same. The system is still lacking highly-qualified nurses, who would be able not only to assist in care but also educate others to prevent future diseases.

Three Goals to Advance

As a nurse, I would focus on the following goals for global development: reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, and fight against HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

High level of child mortality has a number of causes: pneumonia, malaria, neonatal causes and others. The goal for nurses would be to prevent such cases through right care, proper feeding, and vaccines made on time.

“Improve maternal health” concerns taking care of future and present mothers. The process of childbirth can have negative consequences for women’s health and pregnancy is always risky. Nurses are supposed to do their best to avoid complications of pregnancy. In general, they are one the most important mediators in this process and can significantly help women in coping with the challenge.

“Combat HIV/AIDS” is an issue which is getting more and more attention, as the number of the diseased is increasing gradually. Nurses can be providers of basic knowledge for all patients. In this case, only knowledge can prevent future sickness.

How We Can Help Advance the UN Goals

The real shortage of educated nurses in the healthcare system has been a problem for years and unfortunately, still exists. It puts pressure on those who already work. Hence, the solution might be in further promotion of nursing as a decent job. Nightingale’s mission should be continued, as only well-educated nurses can help advance healthcare and UN goals.

As for common combat against diseases, our community of nurses could contribute to the improvement of the environment through workshops and seminars. Spreading knowledge has never been useless, and massive education on health topics could raise public awareness and make the society noticeably healthier.

To sum up, Nightingale’s impact on the nursing and healthcare system made a huge contribution to the world’s development. Up to now, her legacy remains important for everyone who works to create high quality of living and wants to positively change the lives of all nations. UN members develop strategies to reach those high standards, and success would be impossible without such purposeful activists like Nightingale.


Beck, D. M., Dossey, B., & Rushton, C. H. (2012). Florence Nightingale. Connecting Her Legacy With Local-to-Global Health Today. Web.

United Nations Millennium Development Goals. (n.d.). Web.

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