I appreciate your comments and celebrate the growing diversity of the nursing profession. My intent in writing the July editorial was to recognize and celebrate an important figure in nursing on the centennial anniversary of her death, and to reflect on how selected themes in her life might still resonate with critical care nurses today.

You are right that Ms Nightingale was not an ideal hero, but perhaps perfection is too much to ask of anyone; as her views about gender illustrate, she was a woman who was clearly influenced by the times in which she lived. Perhaps if she were living today, she would appreciate the richness that male nurses bring to the profession, and accept that some women may choose to be physicians rather than nurses.

We should strive to take the best lessons from early pioneers while accepting that...

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