May 17th, 2007 | Following the Leaders
Barbara Dossey, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN is a modern day Florence Nightingale. Dossey is a trailblazer in holistic nursing, and is a founding board member and International Co-Director, Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, Ottawa, Canada and Washington, D.C. The NIGH is committed to empowering nurses and other health care workers and educators to become 21st Century Nightingales, working in the local, national, and global community to build a health world.
Dossey is the author of Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action, and she believes that every nurse is a protégé of Florence Nightingale. Dossey said, “Nurses can do great things. Florence Nightingale was a global citizen who believed that every nurse has the capacity to promote world health. In 1870, she said that it was going to take about 100 to 150 years to get the kind of nurses we need to do the job, and what I’m seeing right now is that we are truly those nurses that she knew would come along.”
Dossey believes that an individual becomes a leader when they connect to their own self-truth. She said that once this happens, an individual gains confidence and clarity. She adds that nursing leaders are flexible, assertive, and mentor others so they, too, can achieve their goals. Dossey said that she has seen charismatic nurse leaders in every realm of nursing over the span of her 40-year career, and that it’s her goal to empower all nurses to see themselves as 21st century Nightingales. Dossey demonstrates the qualities of a great leader as she works to make Florence Nightingale’s dream a reality.
In commemoration of Florence Nightingale’s birthday, Dossey and her colleagues launched the Nightingale Declaration Campaign on May 12th, 2007, with the goal of collecting two million signatures by November 2008 to request the UN General Assembly to adopt two UN Resolution Proposals, 2010: International Year of the Nurse and 2011-2020: UN Decade for a Healthy World. This international campaign is the first of its kind, and Dossey said that she is hopeful that the campaign will raise public awareness about the connection between the empowerment of nurses and the health of people everywhere. Dossey also said that NIGH would launch its second initiative in May of 2008, with the goal of educating and empowering nurses and interdisciplinary colleagues on a global scale.
The following is “The Nightingale Declaration for Our Healthy World.” Dossey and her colleagues are collecting signatures of nurses from around the world in 2007, well in advance of the proposed United Nations General Assembly Resolutions for an International Year of the Nurse in 2010 and a United Nations Decade for a Healthy World, 2010-2020.
“We, the nurses and concerned citizens of the global community, hereby dedicate ourselves to the accomplishment of a healthy world by the year 2020. We declare our willingness to unite in a program of action, sharing information and solutions to resolve problems and improve conditions — locally, nationally and globally — in order to achieve health for all humanity. We further resolve to adopt personal practices and to implement public policies in our communities and nations, making this goal for the year 2020 achievable and inevitable, beginning today in our own lives, in the life of our nations and in the world at large.”
Click here for more information about the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health, and consider adding your signature in support of the declaration.