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NOVA, MEC Nursing Salutes Florence Nightingale on 200th Birthday

NOVA Nursing Graduates
Year of the Nurse WHO Logo

Today marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale (born May 12th, 1820). In recognition of the birth of the mother of the nursing profession, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the ‘Year of the Nurse.’ 

Nightingale, who established the foundations of modern-day nursing, medical sanitation and women’s rights was prominent during the Cholera Outbreak of 1850 and served amongst the British medical corps during the Crimean War (1853-1856). She was heavily consulted during the U.S. Civil War to relay her best practices for field hospitals.

In 1860, she funded the establishment of St. Thomas’ Hospital, and within it, the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in which she trained thousands of nurses and nurse educators. In 1908, at the age of 88, she was conferred the Merit of Honor by King Edward. In May of 1910, she received a congratulatory message from King George on her 90th birthday. Her achievements have laid out international standards and appreciation for medical professionals for centuries. 

The ‘Year of the Nurse’ designation by the WHO highlights the push to increase the global nursing workforce. In 2020, we celebrate the world’s 22 million nurses and 2 million midwives who make up half of the global health workforce, providing vital health care everywhere, as they have been doing for centuries. The WHO estimates that this year there will be a shortage of nearly nine million nurses.

NOVA and the Medical Education Campus (MEC) celebrates this day as we salute nurses and frontline health workers for their dedication to medicine, particularly during this time of the COVID-19 outbreak. The MEC, a technologically-sophisticated specialized campus dedicated to the education and preparation of Nursing and Health Science professionals, with a strong commitment to workforce development, continues to establish medical foundations for all students. The mission of the nursing program is to provide affordable, community access to quality nursing education. 

On May 6th, NOVA highlighted MEC nursing students, alumni and faculty for National Nursing Day, and has chronicled additional feature stories throughout the week. As today marks the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, NOVA recognizes the professionalism and skills needed by nurses to save countless lives during this time. These stories are shared to showcase the tremendous value of nurses and dedication of nursing professionals.   

For more information on the MEC nursing program, please follow this link here


For further information on nursing globally, the National Academy of Medicine has released ‘The Future of Nursing 2020-2030’ https://nam.edu/publications/%20the-future-of-nursing-2020-2030/, a consensus study that seeks to extend the vision of the nursing profession into 2030. This study looks to create a culture of health, reduce health disparities and improve the health and well-being of the U.S. population in the 21st century.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.