THE nursing fraternity has been urged to take pride in its history.
The plea was made at International Nurses Day celebrations on Wednesday by Iloi Rabuka, assistant professor at the School of Nursing of the Fiji National University.
She reminded nurses at a public lecture of the humble beginnings of their profession.
"We have come a long way," she said.
Mrs Rabuka said first nursing education in Fiji began 119 years ago in 1893 when May Anderson was the only student.
"The Colonial War Memorial Hospital was established in its current location in 1927 and Ms Anderson worked there with prisoners who were orderlies."
She said in 1901, Ms Anderson's decision to begin training native nurses was endorsed after 4258 babies and small children died. The Central Nursing School in Tamavua, now known as the School of Nursing of the FNU was established at 1950.
"We have come this far, let us maintain our search through evidence-based practice for appropriate action to address the many challenges that come our way," Mrs Rabuka said.
"We need to hold hands, come together in unity and continue to work together for the care of our population."
The first formalised training of three years for nurses was established in 1940 and in 1969, public health nursing became recognised.
International Nurses Day is celebrated on May 12.