FIRST-YEAR student nurses of the Labasa Sangam College of Nursing had the opportunity to pay tribute to the founder of modern-day nursing, Florence Nightingale during a lamp lighting ceremony yesterday.
The 105 students lit candles and recited Ms Nightingale's pledge in front of about 100 guests.
Chief guest and director nursing Silina Waqa-Ledua told the students they must see nursing through the eyes of the founder of modern-day nursing, the well-known lady with the lamp.
"Ms Nightingale did not only see nursing as a career job, occupation or work but a deep calling from God to serve the needy and sick," she said.
"She (Ms Nightingale) was known as an icon of selfless commitment to service, denial of a right to comfort and her pure sense of diligent dedication that proceeded far beyond all scientific comprehension.
"Her attributes that had shaped the profession of nursing to its noble status was deeply woven with love and care and this made the profession uniquely matchless from its humble beginning."
Mrs Waqa-Ledua however, said the core principles of nursing were slowly eroding.
"The call for nursing to restore its reasons and essence of existence should be sung out louder and the nursing family is again challenged to sing the same tune.
"We need to be the much-needed change and the catalysts and agents of change."
May 12 is a special day in the nursing calendar where nurses worldwide celebrate International Nurses Day and the birthday of Ms Nightingale.