Nightingale Tribute

The Nightingale Tribute is a two-minute ceremony that is performed by a nurse colleague during the deceased nurse’s funeral service. The tribute offers fellow nurses an opportunity to commemorate and recognize their colleague’s work while recognizing that nurse’s unique contribution and dedication to saving lives.

The tribute begins with a look back at the nurse’s career followed by the reading of the poem, “She Was There,” by Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN. The poem is a moving recollection of the extraordinary compassion and dedication it takes to be a nurse. After the reading, nurses in attendance place white roses with the deceased nurse saying,

“We honor you on this day and give you a white rose to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our nursing colleague.”

The tribute honors deceased registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. Its format can be adapted to personalize the ceremony and can be added anywhere in the funeral service that is appropriate to the beliefs and traditions of the deceased nurse’s faith.


The Nightingale Tribute is offered by a designated friend, nurse colleague, or Bellin College Alumni Association Member. The ceremony is in honor and recognition of the individual’s commitment and dedication to science and the practice of nursing.

The suggested ceremony may include:

  • The lighting of a white candle
  • A brief summary of the individuals nursing career – Special reading
  • Presentation of a white rose with the casket or urn


  • Review obituary online or ask funeral director for information
  • Outfit: Business Casual
  • Presenter can stay throughout the entire ceremony or leave when appropriate (volunteer can feel out situation)
  • Name Tag provided by Bellin College
  • It is suggested the presenter watch the Nightingale Tribute Video on Youtube

Tips for Volunteers

  • Include previous Nightingale Tribute volunteers if you have never attended before
  • Greet Funeral Director when you arrive and ask to greet Family Contact (if appropriate)
  • Give Funeral Director the items to place among families items (can be left behind and retrieved by Bellin College staff)

Volunteers do not need to be a Bellin College Alumni to participate in Nightingale Tribute Ceremony. Volunteers will be called on an as needed basis with little to no notice. Schedule must be flexible to accommodate ceremony.

To sign up, call (920) 465-6654 or email

Tribute Supported by Bellin College Alumni Association

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