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The Gibraltar Florence Nightingale medal is the highest international distinction that can be awarded to a nurse. It recognises exceptional courage and devotion to caring, or exemplary services and a pioneering spirit in healthcare delivery, it brings with it a sense of belonging, achievement and history.

In crisis situations, it is nurses who are on the frontline often providing care in conditions not unlike those that existed in Florence Nightingales day. In practice, nurses are challenged on a day to day basis as they respond to the needs of people sick or well.

The Director of Nursing and Gibraltar Ambulance Services, Ms Sandie Gracia felt it was important to ensure that nurses receive the recognition and respect they deserve, as it takes strong commitment, courage and determination to deal with situations for which few people are prepared for. The medal is unique and personally special to each nurse. Ms Gracia designed and commissioned the Gibraltar Florence Nightingale medal that depicts the face of the leading reformer and pioneer of modern nursing and the castle and key insignia of Gibraltar.

Nurses were awarded their medal in a ceremony on Monday 10th May 2021 at St Bernard’s Hospital. The Director of Nursing and the Honourable Minister Sacramento MP made the presentations to those nurses present.

Wearing the medal provides an outward display of their contribution and efforts concerning the nursing response to COVID-19 said Ms Gracia. At the ceremony, nurses were proud and touched to receive their medals pinning them on to their uniform as they returned to their various wards and departments.