The Nightingale Tribute: Remembering A Nurse’s Special Calling

Nurses are special people. To honor their special calling, the Kansas State Nurses Association has created a touching tribute that remembers nurses’ selfless commitment at the end of their life’s journey.

The Nightingale Tribute is a two-minute ceremony that is performed by a nurse colleague during the deceased nurse’s funeral service. The tribute offers fellow nurses an opportunity to commemorate and recognize their colleague’s work while recognizing that nurse’s unique contribution and dedication to saving lives.

The tribute begins with a look back at the nurse’s career followed by the reading of the poem, “She Was There,” by Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN. The poem is a moving recollection of the extraordinary compassion and dedication it takes to be a nurse. After the reading, nurses in attendance place white roses with the deceased nurse saying, “We honor you on this day and give you a white rose to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our nursing colleague.”

The tribute honors deceased registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Its format can be adapted to personalize the ceremony and can be added anywhere in the funeral service that is appropriate to the beliefs and traditions of the deceased nurse’s faith. The Kansas State Nurses Association has created a brochure that details the full service, including a checklist on how to arrange the tribute. A printable copy is available on their website

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