A textile tribute to the ideals and icons of nursing

May gentleness be your cloak. That’s the title of Rita Bergevin’s quilted banner depicting Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, Mary Mahoney, and other nurses helping wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War. After coming up with the banner design, Ms. Bergevin, MA, RN, BC, collaborated with an airbrush artist to render the design
on the fabric; she completed the project by sewing the cloak onto a quilted background.
The banner now hangs in the Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University (Binghamton, N.Y.), where Ms. Bergevin is a Clinical Assistant Professor. The label beneath it reads: “Like many re­markable humans, these nursing leaders forged their own paths. Their genius, temperament, organizational skills, gentleness, and tenacity made them icons in nursing history. We are blessed that they walked before us. Our challenge today in nursing is to carry on a vision of service to others with the same tenacity of spirit these leaders portrayed. In the midst of an ever-changing profession, may gentleness be your cloak.”

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