Special gratitude for nurses, strong women and all pioneers.

Where would we be without you?! In solidarity with the women’s strike in Switzerland today, I’m honoring amazing nurses (friends, family members with this calling) in awe and appreciation for your dedication, competence, excellence, long shifts, true grit, sacrifice and heartache. May you be duly respected and equally compensated!

A Viking wink to my ancestor Emmy Carolina Rappe (14 Feb 1835 -1896) who was the pioneer and founder of the Swedish nursing education, as the first trained professional nurse and first principal of nursing education in Sweden.

In 1866, the newly established Swedish Red Cross decided to establish a nursing school in Sweden and began searching for an educated principal to head the institution. A deal was made with Florence Nightingale, that this person should be educated by Nightingale herself in London. Emmy Rappe was considered to be a suitable candidate to establish a proper school for the education of professional nurses in Sweden. She was tutored by Florence Nightingale at the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at St Thomas’ Hospital in London (now part of King’s College London) in 1866.

In 1867-1877, Emmy was head nurse at the newly established Surgical Clinic at the Uppsala Academic Hospital, and principal of the nursing school there, which had been newly established by the Red Cross. This was the first secular training for nurses in Sweden.

Rappe was a pioneer, and was often met with resistance from the authorities.

As a Baroness, she aroused controversy by engaging in such a profession. She did, in fact, not accept any salary. With integrity and solidarity, Emmy encouraged a sense of professional loyalty among nurses toward other nurses, and tried to raise the status of the profession by insisting on medical competence and high moral.

Emmy Rappe was awarded H. M. The King’s Medal in 1877 and Illis Quorum in 1895 and a road on Ulleråker in Uppsala is named after her: Emmy Rappes väg (Emmy Rappe Street). 1977 – “God bless you, my dear miss Nightingale” : letters from Emmy Carolina Rappe to Florence Nightingale 1867–1870 ISBN 91-22-00097-6

Heartfelt blessings & thanks to you dear Emmy, to all nurses, strong women and pioneers!!