When asked to display my work at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum (Jacksonville, FL) during an exhibit of Florence Nightingale manuscripts, I wanted to paint a tribute to this pioneer of modern nursing. I began my research at the Library of Congress (Washington, DC) and then visited England (Florence Nightingale Museum/London; British Army Museum; Lea Hurst/now home of Robert and Margaret Aram; Claydon House/now a National Trust site and home of Sir Verney), and utilized multiple Internet sites. I now present seven original paintings (a portrait plus six paintings, each focused on the inspirational points in her life) along with two Legend panels of ephemera to showcase how her legend continues to have an effect on people and healthcare systems around the world.
Threading her story with mine became an obsession. My caring and compassionate late mother, Nelle Rucker Wood, was a Registered Nurse and my creative and wonderful late mother-in-law, Mina Larsen Mulrain, an artist. My personal career path includes being an executive in healthcare for more than 20 years. I am a widow and fully understand the impact a nurse can and does have in personal lives. Together, this journey has taken me thousands miles and I’ve read more than 5,000 pages of books and manuscripts as I have tried to define the essence, passions and character of Miss Nightingale in order to present her story on canvas. An amazing woman of clarity and common sense, Florence transformed nursing into a notable profession which has continued to grow and expand into the 21st century.
The quality and delivery of healthcare today is our global challenge and she has cast a long shadow, one in which Dr. Jean Watson continues to carry her torch in this millennium. Nursing embodies a human factor of bringing comfort and healing to others in time of need. Each of us should celebrate those who have chosen nursing as a profession and salute the collective care and compassion nurses provide our global family.
“Nursing is an art; and if it is to be made an art, it requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work”, wrote Florence Nightingale in 1867. Today, nearly one hundred years from her passing, Nightingale remains an important figure for those who follow in her footsteps. I would like to congratulate Joanelle Mulrain on this epic work and hope that those who find their way to the exhibition at Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum will be inspired.”
Executive Director, The Florence Nightingale Museum (London, England)
A portion of all sales
related to this exhibit
will be donated to the Florence Nightingale
specifically to help sustain
the on-going legacy of the Museum
as they present the story of nursing and Florence Nightingale
from her time until now in film, objects and images.
“Florence Nightingale’s legacy is still vital to modern nursing practice. Her emphasis on infection control, evidence-based practice and professionalism are important aspects of current nursing education. The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London is a descendant of the first Nightingale School; 150 years after its founding, we are shaping tomorrow’s nurses and midwives as practitioners, partners and leaders in the field.”
Barbara J Dahill, BSc MA MSc
Director of Administration and Business Development
Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery King's College London
The image of Florence Nightingale as the lady with the lamp is very powerful, but the reality of her accomplishments and her contribution to modern nursing and healthcare is even more so. Her belief in the “calling” of nurses can be clearly demonstrated in today’s professional nurse. She modeled for our time professionalism, caring, scientific practice and generosity. This exhibit helps bring all of those attributes together in a creative, inspiring way.
Diane Raines, MSN, RN, CNAA, BC
Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, Baptist Health
The greatest of all inventions and discoveries in the world are those that now seem simple and obvious. Considering those we may remark, “That is so simple, why didn’t I think of that?” However, we say this only after someone else has thought of it. Would the invention of the “wheel” have been simple to us if we were living 7000 years ago? Would “cleanliness in hospitals” have been so obvious if we were living before Florence Nightingale? The world would not be as it is today without the epiphanies of a few special people.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums
Concerning Florence Nightingale, in particular; a full measure of credit is due, not only for promoting cleanliness in hospitals, but equally for introducing advanced mathematical statistics to verify her various social and medical theories. Her extensive mathematical training was promoted by her father, William Nightingale, and Florence would be the first to agree that at least a small share of the credit must go to him.
The Karpeles Manuscript Library Museums
Robert & Margaret Aram, Lea Hurst
Artist Leigh Murphy, AWS
National League of American Pen Women, Jacksonville Chapter
Aleena Nayloor, BBC Radio Derby
Dr. Jean Watson, Watson Caring Science Institute
Portrait of Young Florence Nightingale, The 39th Nurse (1820 – 1910)
“Were there none who were discontented with what they have,
1. The Calling
2. Thoughts & Ideas
3. Crimean War I -
4. Crimean War II -
5. The Reformer
7. Legacy I
8. Legacy II
Interested in booking the Exhibit for your hospital or organization?
Interested in purchasing prints? Click on the painting(s).
©2009 Mulrain Resource Group - All Rights Reserved - Jacksonville, Florida USA