Florence Nightingale was a social reformer and foundational philosopher of modern nursing. Nightingale dedicated her career and life to helping the world. Throughout her career, she fought to improve public health service policy. “She advocated for better conditions for women, children and the poor and hungry, including better education for marginalized people. She sought to improve the environment to sustain health” (Beck, Dossey, & Rushton, 2011, para. 12). Florence Nightingale significantly affected the health care system in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were created in 2000, are targets for addressing extreme poverty. These eight goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, and others), ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development (the United Nations, n.d., para. 2). Three of these targets are tightly connected with health, and the other five are factors that affect health. It cannot be denied that Florence Nightingale was focused on similar development problems. There are some obvious connections between these aims and the work of Nightingale. The eight Millennium Goals are the continuation of her social activities to some extent; they are based and inspired by her legacy.
It goes without saying that Florence Nightingale greatly contributed to the foundation of modern nursing, statistics, public health, and the healthcare system in general. However, the main goal of humanity in public health is to multiply Nightingale’s legacy. Nurses are the key to achieving the United Nations Development Program’s Millennium Development Goals because they are the basic unit of the whole healthcare system. Such Millennium goals as reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating diseases are directly related to the responsibilities of nurses. Nurses play a vital role in delivery health care, so these targets are an opportunity for nurses to bring their skills. However, treatment of children, mothers, and other people is not the only one thing to be considered. Also, nurses ought to be involved in the policy-making processes to grab the public’s attention to the problems of child mortality, maternal health, and the spread of diseases. Political advocacy is one of the most important steps in achieving the Millennium Goals.
Apart from this, the community of nurses can help advance the United Nations Goals setting up partnerships and collaborations with different medical organizations all across the globe. Information is the most valuable factor in the modern society. It is important to share knowledge, experiences, and ideas with foreign colleagues to establish successful international healthcare system. What is more, there are some research gaps in medical data. Nurses are the first personnel with whom patients contact, so one of the nurses’ main responsibilities is collection and recording reliable, complete, and understandable information. It is essential to develop an evidence base of accurate data that will help medical associations and organizations to track progress in achieving the Millennium Goals and implement necessary changes in accordance with the provided information.
To sum up, Florence Nightingale significantly contributed to the establishment of the modern healthcare system. The eight Millennium Development Goals, which were developed by the United Nations in 2000, are based on the legacy of Florence Nightingale. Nurses play a significant role in achieving these goals. Such actions as proper treatment, participation in the policy-making processes, establishing lasting partnerships, and providing accurate data can help advance the United Nations Goals.
Beck, D. M., Dossey, B., & Rushton, C. H. (2011). Florence Nightingale: Connecting her legacy with local-to-global health today. Web.
The United Nations. (n.d.). Background. Web.