This paper, based on the 2015 CSANZ Cardiovascular Nursing Lecture, takes its title from the invitation to give this lecture in Melbourne being received when the author was visiting Florence, after whom Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, is named. Her work has indirectly shaped and influenced cardiovascular nursing, which has developed over the past 50 years. Despite its relatively short history, cardiovascular nursing has made a major contribution to improving the cardiovascular health and well-being of patients and families through health promotion, risk reduction and disease prevention. Examples include cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention and chronic heart failure disease management. Challenges, however, remain, including nurses practising to the full extent of their education and training, working as full partners with physicians and other health professionals in redesigning healthcare, ensuring better data collection and being more active in advocacy and policy initiatives. Cardiovascular nursing has a strong record of innovation but should always remember that it is there to serve the public and, bearing in mind the risk of potential harm versus benefit, be mindful of Florence Nightingale's wise counsel, “First, do no harm”.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine