What does Tiffany’s have to do with the Bellevue School of Nursing?
In 1880, the Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City became the first hospital to recognize their graduate’s transition to the certified nursing profession. They awarded them a unique nursing pin created by Tiffany’s of New York.
Tiffany’s designed and manufactured the pin. What a wonderful honor to receive a nursing pin from Tiffany’s! The company went on to design nursing pins for many other schools at the turn of the 20th century.
Did Florence Nightingale, the “Lady of the Lamp,” have something to do with this desire to award a pin to the Bellevue nurses?
During the Crimean war, Miss Nightingale, reduced the mortality at a British base hospital by two-thirds. An incredible feat at the time.
Among other things, she improved the sanitary conditions. Later, her writings brought about worldwide health care reform. Then in 1860 she established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses.
When Miss Nightingale returned to England in 1855, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria decided to give Miss Nightingale a special reward. So they created a beautiful pin in recognition of her service during the Crimean War. Garrard & Co, the Official Crown Jewelers, handmade the gold pin detailed with diamonds and enameled cloisonne.
The Bellevue pin portrayed a crane, representing vigilance. Then a wreath of poppies signified the nurse’s role of allaying pain and bringing rest to the suffering.
And finally, the unbroken circle of blue, with “Bellevue” at the bottom, represents constancy. The Bellevue Training Hospital for Nurses is the first hospital in the US founded on Florence Nightingale’s principles of nursing.