Nurses and midwives urged to add their 'fingerprint' to Nightingale’s Flame

University launches campaign on International Nurses Day

Date posted

8 May 2020


Image of Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, known as The Lady with the Lamp, is the inspiration behind a new campaign to be launched on International Nurses Day.

Staff at Edinburgh Napier’s School of Health & Social Care have created Nightingale’s Flame as an act of solidarity among nurses and midwives just as thousands of students across the UK answer the call to take up NHS placements during the current public health crisis.

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) is revered in nursing as an inspirational leader, influential campaigner and a pioneer in the use of data to inform decision-making.

Her May 12th birthday is celebrated every year as International Nurses Day, and it takes on extra significance this year on what would have been her 200th birthday. 

Close up of Nightingale Flame graphic

To mark this anniversary, the International Council of Nurses and World Health Organisation have declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

The new campaign being launched on May 12, which will run to the end of 2020, encourages all past, present and student nurses and midwives to add their 'fingerprint' to Nightingale’s Flame. With the project now adapted to work remotely, participants are asked to email a photo or scan of a 'paint splodge' representation of their fingerprint to

Head and shoulders of Andrew Waddington

As illustrated in this video (from May 11), each 'fingerprint' will be added to the flame graphic, and at the end of the year the final image will be printed as a physical tribute, to be unveiled in December and displayed at the University. 'Fingerprints' can be sent in any colour, and participants can also opt to send their name or initials, home location and/or place of work to be added to a register.

Andrew Waddington, an Associate Lecturer in the School, said: “As we work through the Covid-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the role nurses and midwives have in keeping our healthcare system going.

“Nightingale’s Flame is being launched as an act of solidarity, a reminder that we each contribute a unique role while also reminding us that we sit together as part of a larger community.”

To mark Year of the Nurse and Midwife, Edinburgh Napier has also launched a search for stories from nurses and midwives with links to the University which illustrate leadership and impact in the field.  Students, staff and alumni are encouraged to submit a story to be published on the Nightingale's Lantern blog

School of Health & Social Care

The UK’s envied healthcare model, Scotland’s strong reputation for health training and our research-active academics makes Edinburgh Napier the ideal place to study, no matter where you are based.