Florence Nightingale: A Visionary Leader

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Florence Nightingale
What do you think of when you picture a nurse? Most would envision a kind, caring, professional with the highest standards of integrity and humility. Did you know that nurses were once the total opposite of what we would call them today? Florence Nightingale brought nursing from a disreputable and immoral vocation into the honest and ethical profession that is enjoyed today by emphasizing compassion and strict morals in the personal and work lives of her nursing students. (Hoyt, S., 2010) Known as the Mother of Modern Nursing, Florence Nightingale devoted her life to helping others. She cared for the sick and wounded as a nurse in early Great Britain and progressed into administrative level positions where her visionary
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She was a visionary and ethical leader who influenced others to carry out their professional duties with principle-based focus and a commitment to service. In my opinion, she is most famously quoted as saying: “To be a good nurse, you must first be a good person.” As a visionary and ethical leader, her inspirational and values-based theory can, and should be applied to every profession. I can tie personal relevance to Nightingale’s teachings in the way I carry out my current duties and responsibilities to others.

Visionary Leader
Florence Nightingale was a visionary leader. Her vision was to influence others to save lives by holding themselves to higher standards and to caring for people. The Full Range Leadership lesson described trait-based leadership as leadership focused on fixed personal characteristics and innate qualities one possessed, known as traits. Back then, a person’s leadership effectiveness
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It becomes visible in the way the leader works with and treats others, in their behavior in public, in their statements and in their actions. The invisible aspect is in the leader’s character, in their decision-making process, and in their courage to make ethical decisions in tough situations (Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education [BCEE] 2017b, p. 22) Florence Nightingale was an early pioneer of these same ethical concepts. In a letter to her students, she described what I interpret to be the visible portion, as: The person in charge, who everyone must see to be just and candid, looking at both sides, not moved by appeals, or by likes and dislikes, but only by justice and always remembering and not forgetting the wants of those whom she is in charge. (F. Nightingale, 1915, p. 13) She went on to describe the invisible aspect of ethical leadership to her nurses when she said: She must have a keen thorough insight into the characters of those she has to control. What is it that makes our Lord speak as one having authority? What gives us authority which enables us to exercise some charge or control over others? It is not the charge or position itself, for we often see people in a position of authority who have no authority at all and on the other hand we see the very humblest of people who exercise a great influence or authority on all around them (F. Nightingale, 1915, p.12). Nightingale’s teachings were directly in
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