On Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday, lights honor local nurses

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of lights decorated the lawn of Spectrum Health’s Medical Mile campus in Grand Rapids Tuesday night, honoring nurses on International Nurses Day.

This year, the day marks the 200th birthday of Florence Nightingale, who pioneered modern nursing, and comes during a global pandemic.

The Lumination Ovation to honor nurses at Spectrum Health on International Nurses Day. (May 12, 2020)

“(Nurses are) the ones that are on the front lines, so they’re the ones that are risking themselves, and it’s so amazing to watch nurses do that because they don’t think anything of it, it’s second nature,” Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital nurse manager Jodi Mendez said. “So you think of a pandemic and COVID, which can be very frightening for folks, this is what we do, this is what we’re called to do it’s our duty.”

The Lumination Ovation featured lights in paper bags bearing the names of local nurses. Attendees also recited the Nightingale Pledge.

“I’m here with other nurses and other members of our community because I feel pride in nursing and I feel like this is a beautiful way to wrap up our celebration of Nurses Week,” Nardos Osterhart, a nurse at Spectrum Health, said.

National Nurses Week started May 6 and ran through Tuesday. During it, people have been posting messages of appreciation to health care workers online. You can add yours using the hashtag #ThankYouSpectrumHealth or by texting 701.638.3721.

It is National Hospital Week from May 10 through 16.

The Lumination Ovation to honor nurses at Spectrum Health on International Nurses Day. (May 12, 2020)