Welcome back to part two of the history of the nursing profession, who started it, when, where and how we should all show our appreciation during National Nurses Week which starts today, May 6th. From your history books you may have learned about Florence Nightingale who established nursing as a profession in England and founded the first nursing school. One of her students Linda Richards became the first trained nurse in the United States and was also a highly respected teacher. In the mid to late 1800s Richards pioneered the use of individual medical records for hospitalized patients and set up several training programs for nurses in both the United States and Japan. Today there are more than 3.8 million registered nurses in the United States and with the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic the importance of their work has never been more obvious.
Ok, hopefully most of you know that so this week I thought I would tell you about a project I came up with to recognize nurses during Nurses Week which might give you readers ideas for things you might want to do. I’d been on tour promoting my book Footprints in the Dew, including traveling to trade shows almost every week for the past four years. Next, I had planned to head to the east coast for a four-month book signing tour when the coronavirus hit and of course that changed everything. On the bright side self isolating gave me plenty of quiet time to work on a new book. Then early one morning while I was watching a story about nurses on the frontline of coronavirus patient care, it occurred to me that I could do something to thank nurses for all that they are doing. With a new supply of books on hand I decided what better way for me then to give a copy to every nurse who requested one, free of any charge including shipping, while supplies last of course. My good friend Nan Hight at Best of Books in Edmond agreed to help distribute the books, also at no charge.
Then another friend Gentner Drummond of Drummond Law Firm fame in Tulsa stepped up to help with the costs of the project and although he said he did not need any acknowledgement for his role I thought I would share a little of his family history.
The year was 1887 when Fred Drummond moved to Pawhuska, Oklahoma and began working at the Osage Mercantile. Three years later he met Adeline Gentner Leonhardt from Coffeyville, KS and the two married soon after. For the next five years Fred continued working at the store while Addie, as she was called, secretly saved money selling eggs and vegetables from her garden. By now it was 1895 and Fred wanted to buy the store but based on his salary of twenty-five dollars month he didn’t had the money. Addie however had saved a thousand dollars and the rest is history. Over the years the Drummond name has become synonymous with three words, fairness, honesty and generosity and I have found that they live by these words.
Fred died in 1913 and for the next 43 years Addie devoted herself to community service before her own death in 1956. Today the original Drummond family home in Hominy is usually open to the public and offers a look into life before statehood.
These were present day Gentner Drummond’s hardworking and resourceful ancestors and in the four years I’ve known him I’ve learned he is cut from the same cloth.
I’ll end this week with some information for any nurse who might like to receive a copy of Footprints in the Dew, free of charge. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (405) 340-9202. Please remember that this is a gift for nurses only especially as supplies are limited.
Before I go, I’d also like to thank Southwest Stationery and Bank Supply in Oklahoma City for their contribution to the project.
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road……………….