by Pamela Gerke

HEARTS: Health & Arts is now planning a film production!

CLICK HERE to listen to DEMO SONGS from Nightingale

CLICK HERE for AUDITIONS information

"It was like watching 'Hamilton' about Florence Nightingale!" – Jacob N., age 12

“Last night I had the privilege of seeing a deeply engaging, beautifully acted and inspiring musical performance about Florence Nightingale….It is extremely instructive for young professionals of today about the role of power dynamics that serve as a gatekeeper in how nurses can make a difference in the health and lives of individuals, families and communities." - Marie A. B., Ph.D, ARNP

"There's this meeting place between the longing in a person's heart - like a nurse or a nurse practitioner who desires to serve humanity - and the need of the time you’re living... And when the two of those meet, it can bring about great evolution, great expansion and opening of possibilities and new ways of doing things... I saw all of that in the musical." - Interviewee (name withheld), HEARTS: Health & Arts Research, 2020.


With production of this musical about Florence Nightingale, we aim to Nurture the Nurturers by uplifting and empowering the Voice of NursingNightingale brings Florence Nightingale’s story to life with original music and scenes that make her image relevant for modern audiences, inspire nurses with a powerful role model, and dramatize a crucial part of nursing history.  Nightingale spoke truth to power, caught the old guard in the act of being obsolete, and thereby changed the world.  This musical reveals issues that continue to challenge modern nurses, such as hierarchy, sexism, and bureaucratic obstacles.

From its earliest roots, nursing has focused holistically on the patient, family and community.  Today we see the nursing profession leading the way in looking at the socioeconomic and environmental determinants of health.  The contribution of nurses, however, is often minimized or dismissed, and nurses themselves suffer from burnout at an alarming rate. That’s why we at HEARTS feel it is so important to support and celebrate nurses and help raise the bar on the entire profession.

2020 is the 200th Birthday of Florence Nightingale, as well as the World Health Organization's Year of the Nurse and Midwife.  We had planned a year-long celebration of nursing and instead, nurses were placed front and center in the news for a different reason: COVID-19.  Our Nurture the Nurturers project, which began with the First Tour 2019 of Nightingale: A Musical, directed by Rachel Rene and including performances for nursing schools and organizations in the Seattle, Washington area, was continuing with our Bicentennial Tour 2020, directed by Jon Lutyens, until it was interrupted by the pandemic.

Now a film production of the musical is in the works!  Our creative team includes Director Lauren Marshall, Music Director Sam Peters, Director of Photography Ben Kerns, and Sound Engineer Tom Fallat.  We plan to release the film before the end of this incredible year of change, 2020.  Stay tuned!


Sponsors receive wide publicity, with your name and logo attached to all credits and promotions for the film.  It's a great way to let the public know about your organization and that you support nurses and the creation of health via the arts.  Sponsoring the Nightingale: A Musical film will help your organization promote its programs, recruit new students or new nurses, cultivate donors, and sponsor educational or social events that expand and enrich its programs.

If your organization is interested in becoming a Sponsor, please contact HEARTS to receive more information: Contact Us


Act I follows Nightingale through her 20’s as she struggles to understand her passionate nature and to follow her “call from God,” all the while chafing at the expectations placed on her by her wealthy British family and Victorian society.  In Act II, Nightingale supervises female nurses in the Crimean War where she creates order out of chaos, despite the horror of war and opposition from entrenched medical and military authorities.  By the end of the Crimean War she had become world famous and during the last fifty years of her life she worked for healthcare reform, the creation of nurse training and the profession of nursing, and much more.

Quotes (names withheld) from audience members, January-February 2020, from interviews conducted by HEARTS: Health & Arts Research Team

I told the playwright and composer that this was just really healing… this is a profession and also a calling, but at the end of the day you just have to grit it out, and fight it through, and know what you're doing it for.

I see so much of her in myself and myself in her.  She had to fight against the existing paradigm, the very limiting beliefs.  And she endeavored to find ways to change things over time.

There were certain phrases in that musical that really rang true to me… And one of them was when she spoke about being in full possession of herself… The woman who wrote this, her writing is very important.

I think the scene with the soldiers who were in their bed singing affected me the most. That entire scene and the song were just fantastic, and we all talked about it afterwards… It was so haunting and really to be remembered.

Photo: Florence, played by Miranda Antoinette Troutt, contemplates her passion and purpose, while the Ensemble sings of her powerful legacy (Seattle, 2020).