I. Florence Nightingale as Role Model & Source of Inspiration

Are there aspects of Nightingale’s life or work that you find inspirational?  Are there ways in which Nightingale is a role model for your own life or work?

Have you ever felt a “call from God” or other strong calling or impulse with regards to your professional work?

In choosing to follow her calling, Florence faces resistance from her family and societal expectations.  What obstacles have you faced on your journey, and how did you overcome them?  What have been your sources of strength and support?

In the film, we see Nightingale struggle with decisions between family and career.  Can you relate this in any way to your own life or the world we live in?  What about this work vs family dichotomy has stayed the same over the years?  What has changed? 

Do you detect any cautionary tales in Nightingale’s story, such as aspects of her life or work that you want to avoid for yourself?

II. Issues raised in the film that are relevant to today’s nurses & healthcare professionals

Compare Nightingale’s work in the 19th century as nurse, hospital administrator and statistician to the situation in healthcare today.  What issues and core principles have changed since then?  What has stayed the same?

What core principles are important to carry into the future of nursing and healthcare?

During the Crimean War scenes in the film we see Nightingale and her efforts opposed by men in the military medical establishment, as well as by some female nurses.  As a nurse or other healthcare professional, do you find obstacles or challenges in your work with any of these:

  • Ability to deliver compassionate, safe and relevant care to patients
  • Bureaucracy
  • Data collection
  • Hierarchy
  • Informed Consent
  • Nurses’ Scope of Practice
  • Professional Autonomy 
  • The Role of Nurses in healthcare systems
  • Sexism
  • Standard of Care

With her advocacy for the use of chloroform and other health care reforms, Nightingale sought to improve standard of care and influence public health policy.   How much influence do nurses have nowadays on standard of care and health policy?  What would you like to see changed?  

III. The Film as a Lesson in the History of Nursing & Healthcare

What have you previously learned in your professional training about the history of nursing and healthcare?

What aspects of this history did you learn from the film that you didn’t know before? 

What about this history informs today’s nursing and healthcare fields, as well as your own work?  What about it points the way toward a positive future?

IV.  The Arts & Health – How the Arts Create a Culture of Health & Well-being

How do you see the arts as a creator of health and well-being?

Describe a time when you yourself experienced a change in health or well-being by witnessing or participating in an arts event.

Nightingale was created under COVID-19 restrictions, with cast members recording music and video individually and the creative team working entirely remotely.  What other ways have artists responded to the pandemic?

Do you practice any forms of art—visual, musical, theatrical, dance, creative writing, etc.?  How does your artistry help sustain you physically, emotionally and spiritually?  During the pandemic have you been able to continue your art?  If so, has it changed, or have you found new ways of expression?

This film is intended to help “raise the bar” on the nursing profession, i.e., to increase the level of professionalism among nurses and lift up public opinion of nursing.  Do you think the film succeeds in that? 

HEARTS: Health & Arts offers this film free of charge, as a gift to nurses and all healthcare professionals, funded entirely by donation and sponsorships.  Have you ever experienced, or do you know anything about, a “gift economy”?  How do you think a gift economy creates a culture of health?

V.  Communications Technology, Information, Media, and Independent Journalism

Nightingale dramatizes the impact of technological advances (the telegraph) in influencing public education and opinion.  How do you think modern-day technology affects nursing and healthcare?  How have you seen this at work during the pandemic?

In the film we see William Howard Russell as an independent journalist reporting on the war.  How has the media and journalism – independent and other – played a role in public response to the pandemic and within the field of healthcare today?

What role do you see nurses and health care professionals taking now and into the future in media and journalism?

Do you have any other topics that you would like to discuss?