SKIMS nurse makes Kashmir proud, wins Florence Nightingale Award

IOK - Indian Occupied Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir

SRINAGAR: A few years back, Firdousa Jan got a lucrative offer to work as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. Since her husband works as a doctor in the kingdom, it would have been a happy family reunion.

Firdousa, however, preferred patients over the family and decided to stay put in Kashmir to serve the sick and ailing.

Come 2023, her dedication was recognized at the national level as she was honored with Florence Nightingale Award by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

She was given the award for going beyond the call of duty to serve the sick and ailing in the valley.

A mother of two kids, she works as a staff nurse at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) for the last 22 years. Firdousa wears multiple hats. She is a nurse, drug counselor, writer, and student, all rolled into one.

“I am pursuing Ph.D. in nursing. I have written papers for different national and international journals. I have even penned a booklet on patient care which was released by the then SKIMS director,” she told The Kashmir Monitor.

Since childhood, Firdousa wanted to serve mankind in whatever way she could. As she grew up, she decided to try nursing which was the best way to serve society.

However, she did not confine herself to the hospital. She went beyond the call of duty and visited poor neighborhoods during her off-duty hours to help needy patients. Even she started counseling drug abusers.

Firdousa was among the few nurses who were at the forefront during the height of the pandemic. “Even I could not celebrate Eid with my kids who were alone. I was discharging my duty in the OT. Later I joined the vaccination campaign. I visited different slum areas and tried to convince them for immunization. They were swayed by myths and rumors. I managed to make them understand that vaccination is safe,” she said.

Even when she got the offer to work in Saudi Arabia, she politely said no despite the fact that it would have reunited her with her husband. “My husband is working in Saudi. I got a very good offer. It could have reunited the family. But I said no. I can’t leave my patients. I decided to serve my Kashmir. I have no regrets. It was the well thought out decision,” she