Throughout history, pop culture has depicted nurses as being voluptuous, sexy, and alluring. It’s true that the profession has been primarily dominated by women, and the pinups of the 1950s perpetuated this image, but there’s more to nurses than physical appeal.
Nursing attracts some of the most kind, caring, and altruistic people in the world, and nearly three million nurses make up the field today, a number that is expected to grow 19 percent by 2022.
With such a bright outlook for the nursing profession, let’s take a look at four of the most notable nurses there have ever been.
Florence Nightingale is arguably the most famous nurse in all of history. During the Crimean War she was known as “The Lady With the Lamp,” a reference to her habit of checking on patients and making rounds each night. Nightingale is considered the founder of modern nursing, and International Nurses Day is celebrated worldwide on the day of her birth.
Walt Whitman’s talents didn’t end at being a famous poet and literary genius. He was also a volunteer nurse during the Civil War. Understandably, his experiences in Union hospitals during this time influenced his work; most notably “The Great Army of the Sick.”
During this time there was no formal training for would-be nurses, there was no such thing as a nursing degree for men or women. Those who strove to follow the nursing path learned the trade by simply doing it.
Pioneers like Whitman and Nightingale made the nursing field what it is today, and modern media has placed its own spin on it.
Madam Pomfrey (Harry Potter Franchise)
Madam Pomfrey is quite possibly the kindest, most caring nurse in all of fiction, and she has the perfect asset going for her: magic. She tackles more than typical scrapes, bruises, and the flu. Madam Pomfrey heals dragon bites, petrification, and all kinds of other magical ailments with grace and pride. Nursing is a challenging profession for muggles, so imagine practicing in a world where absolutely anything can happen.
Gaylord (Greg) Focker (Meet the Parents)
Another favorite nurse of the fiction variety is the one and only Greg Focker. Despite his unfortunate given name, he’s a normal guy who makes his living working as a nurse. Everything is going great for Greg until he meets his girlfriend’s insanely protective ex-CIA father. The situation starts out awkwardly and quickly escalates into hilarity. One of the underlying differences between Greg and his future father-in-law is his chosen profession as a nurse. Historically, the field of nursing has been occupied primarily by women, though the percentage of men in the discipline has gradually increased over recent years. Soon we might start seeing sexy male nurses along with their female counterparts.
There you have it — four of the most iconic nurses from the history books. Of course, there are thousands of nurses that stand out among the rest, exemplifying the very core of the nursing field. If being a hero, like one of these fabulous ladies, is something that interests you, then consider getting your nursing degree. Schools are making it even easier now by offering online nursing classes to work with your hectic schedule. Which iconic nurse do you aspire to be like the most?