Australia's oldest hospital awarded Nightingale Badge

Thursday, 08 February, 2024

Australia's oldest hospital awarded Nightingale Badge

Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital (SSEH) has been recognised with the prestigious Nightingale Badge, awarded to individuals and institutions who have made an exceptional contribution to the nursing profession.

NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce AM said the award was presented in celebration of all Nightingale-trained nurses in Australia.

“Our nurses are some of the best in the world, and it is great to see Sydney Eye Hospital and the Lucy Osburn Nightingale Museum receive international recognition as the founders of Nightingale nursing in Australia,” Pearce said.

The museum, located in the historic Nightingale Wing on Macquarie Street, commemorates two very important women in the history of nursing — social reformer and founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale and Lucy Osburn, an English nurse who, in 1897, was sent by Nightingale at the request of the colonial government to Sydney, to establish the first Nightingale Training school in Australia.

SSEH Director of Nursing and Support Services Natalie Maier said, “We feel extremely privileged to have been recognised by our international colleagues, in acknowledgement of the significant history of nursing first championed here by Lucy Osburn over 100 years ago.

“I thank the museum for preserving the legacy of Lucy Osburn, who, very early on, set the standard for nursing in Australia. This high standard lives on today, as our nurses continue to provide world-class patient care.”

President of the Nightingale Fellowship of London Christine Taylor said she was delighted to recognise Lucy Osburn’s pioneering work.

The Lucy Osburn Nightingale Museum is home to a unique collection of medical equipment, records, implements and pathology that portrays the history of nursing and medicine in Australia since the arrival of the first fleet in 1788. Visitors to the museum can walk back in time into original refurbished rooms and view photos, artefacts, surgical instruments, costumes and the oldest morbid anatomy specimens in Australia.

The museum is open by appointment only, and visits can be organised by emailing

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