Florence 2020: details of the event dedicated to Florence Nightingale with speakers from 22 countries talking about nursing history.

Twenty-two countries were represented, there were 128 reports, and 204 attendees. Florence 2020, 13 – 15 February, brought experts from all over the world to Florence for a conference on the history of nursing, health and military nursing care.

The congress paid tribute to the “mother” of the modern nursing profession, Florence Nightingale, and the two hundred years since her birth. It was organised by the National Association of Nursing Associations (CNAI) for Italy, in particular those interested in the history of nursing, along with the European Association for the History of Nursing (EAHN).

Over the two days, participants were able to join parallel sessions with reports from participants from many countries: Italy, Australia, Chile, Japan, Slovenia, Switzerland, Holland, Slovakia, Malta, United States, Canada, Poland, Portugal, Norway, Denmark, Croatia, Germany, Estonia, Great Britain.

The Poster section had entries from Spain, Italy, Brazil, Poland, and Slovakia. Four Italian regions were represented: Lombardy, Lazio, Veneto and Tuscany.

February 14th also had a room for presentations in Italian, which allowed us to share work which otherwise would not get to a conference in English. All these put the spotlight on a profession that has an important history, and got people talking about nurses and nursing care.

In the calendar of the event was also an exhibition consisting of five posters on the evolution of nursing care in Croatia in recent centuries, a young European nation, but rich in tradition and history.

On Saturday, February 15, two tours were organised for the attendees. The first one was dedicated to the discovery of Villa Colombaia, birthplace of Florence Nightingale, a great opportunity to rediscover the origins of this English nurse. The other took place at the Spedale degli Innocenti, a structure born in modern times as a shelter for abandoned children or those in poverty, which today represents a magnificent example of Brunelleschian architecture, in which the master experimented his great art in perspectives and innovative realisations, maintaining a typical rigour of the classical age.

The British military nurses presenting at the conference chose to visit the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Fiesole. They were accompanied by an Italian military nurse, Camillo Borziacchiello who had presented at the conference, the Mayoress of Fiesole, Anna Rovani, an Italian Army guard of honour and a trumpeter from the Carabinieri. This made it a beautiful though simple ceremony.

Conference Proceedings (1 download)