Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.
–Florence Nightingale, born May 12, 1820
Dear Health Science Center faculty, staff, students and residents,
The founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, left a life of luxury to care for the sick and dying. Since that time, her name has become synonymous with courage, ingenuity and endurance. This week we celebrate National Nurses Week as well as the anniversary of Nightingale’s birth.
In addition to being a tireless caregiver, Nightingale had a gift for mathematics, and she performed statistical research to show the effects of poor sanitation on the health of specific populations. Her research resulted in British legislation to improve sanitation; historians believe this played a crucial role in increasing average life expectancy in the late 1880s.
Our nurses today also play a critical role in improving health care for all populations. Like Nightingale, modern nurses achieve this through education, research and patient care. Our School of Nursing is leading the way by educating nurses focused on evidence-based research, the most advanced health care practices and compassion for all patients. Thanks to Dean Eileen Breslin for her outstanding and visionary leadership that clearly inspires the nursing faculty, staff and students’ commitment to our missions and the profession of nursing.
Our nurses at UT Medicine, the Cancer Therapy & Research Center and UT Dentistry are to be commended for their dedication and the integral role they play in these health care practices. To you is entrusted the care of thousands, and we are deeply indebted to you for your world-class professionalism and limitless empathy.
I also express my deepest gratitude to our graduates who represent excellence in nursing care locally, nationally and around the globe. I hope you will want to re-engage in the life of your alma mater by joining the Nursing Alumni Association. Through your membership, you help to celebrate our successes, stay connected to evolving trends in health care, and participate in leading change for our school and community.
As we look to the future, I encourage you all to keep up the good work, and I thank each of you for striving each day to make lives better!
William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
Professor of Medicine