Flowers 4 the Float

The Nurses' Float
Celebrate and Honor All Nurses
at the 2013 Tournament of Roses Parade®

A Healing Place

A Healing Place
  • NursesRendering2013

Nurses create A Healing Place with their presence.
The qualities of a nurse make it possible to create
A Healing Place anywhere and under any circumstance.

The qualities of nurses are reflected in the design of this float: caring, commitment, compassion, confidence, conscientiousness, and intelligence.  Nurses bring these qualities to create A Healing Place using wisdom, skill, and versatility to nurture and educate their patients to prevent illness or gently helping them heal.

All nurses are honored and thanked for the tremendous impact they have on each patient entrusted to their care.

The Metaphors of the Nurses' Float

The animals that make up the Nurses' Float serve as metaphors for the qualities of nurses that help them create A Healing Place for any patient in any setting.

The mother deer and baby represent the quality of Caring. The Owls represent the wisdom and the conscientiousness (note Florence had a pet owl), and the rabbit represents fertility as we support not only this function in our patients but also as we recruit, educate, and nurture new nurses into the profession. The Raccoon represents intelligence and those nurses who work at night who have compassion that supports patient through those long night hours and you can see the raccoon is gently moving the turtle forward which represents the patient and their journey to health. The squirrel represents the commitment that nurses have making sure the patient has everything they need. The frog represents how the nurse keeps all unnecessary “things” away from the patients so they can focus on getting well. The birds and butterflies are the supportive environment of A Healing Place.

The caterpillar represents the complexity of being a nurse. The complex scientific knowledge required to care for patients, the vital advocacy role nurses must play to protect their patients, the survival skills to make sure they are not eliminated by lesser qualified people and speak with a voice that reminds others about importance of what it is nurses do every day. Nurses have eyes that see all possibilities for healing and comforting a patient.  Nurses transform themselves on a regular basis to keep pace with new technology and new knowledge that will help them institute new ways of caring for patients.

The three birds on the branch are Nightingales representing the founder of the nursing profession, Florence Nightingale, who sang loud and clear about what was needed to improve patient care in hospitals. The lanterns light the path to          healing and a return to a quality of life. Also they are replicas of the original Florence Nightingale lamp that she used as she walked the halls of the hospitals.

Turkish LanternLantern or Lamp?

The lamp used by Florence Nightingale on her nightly rounds was actually a paper Turkish lantern like the ones portrayed on the Nurses' Float. Artists have mistakenly shown her holding a "genie lamp" but the type of lamp or lantern she used is much less important than the lives she saved and the knowledge she shared.



Nurses' Float in the ParadeThe Nurses' Float as seen from the grandstand. See more photos in our Gallery.


Comments on the Float:

  • "I loved getting this and actually being there – a huge swell of pride came through me and it was because of people like you and all the others who never gave up to make this dream come true – we got all we deserved that day and more."
  • "After your inspiring share and our brief conversation, I rushed home to search for photos and footage of the float. WOW! I absolutely love the energy and spirit of those amazing animals, they were gorgeous. As you so accurately described, the float was such a source of healing and joy for all.

    Congratulations on this amazing work of art and for all those lives you touch and heal as a nurse, thank you."
    Lisa Bay

  • "I just wanted to send a message to you to let you know how impressed I was with the Nurses Float. I had many people who were not nurses express to me how impressed they were with the float. It was an absolutely fantastic impression to the world about the caring nature of nursing. It looked beautiful on TV, and I was able to record the commentary on the float from Hallmark, NBC, and ABC30. Some channels showed close ups of the float detailing the fur and animals, Hallmark commented on the nightingale birds representative of Florence Nightingale, and there was different levels of commentary about Sally Bixby as she preceded the float. All commentaries recognized her as a nurse, and it was very moving to see the outpouring of support all around for nurses!

    Thank you again for all of your hard work and countless hours you have dedicated towards making a lasting impression for nurses during such a memorable event!" Phillip

  • "Time and place intersect daily, most of it quietly marking the passage of events. But a few times in life time & place intersect to form something incredible and they did poignantly and episodically combine for the float."
  • "I have just returned home from our trip to Southern California and want to express my gratitude for all the effort you put into making the Nurses' Float a reality at the 2013 Rose Parade. My trip was years in the planning (on a much smaller scale than that of planning an actual float entry in the parade!) and I could not have been more pleased and proud of the fabulous job that your committee performed! The float was absolutely gorgeous, the representation of nursing as a profession superb, and judging by the numbers of people crowded around the float at the post parade viewing, it was one of the most popular floats in the parade! I attended the parade with my mother, Jean Kiser, RN ( 52 years of nursing) and my sister-in-law, Patsy Skoglund, RN (33 years of nursing.) In combination with my own career of 25 years in nursing, we were just a small representation of the number of nurses that we met at the post parade viewing that were extremely honored to have had our profession honored by the many hours of labour involved in making this float a reality. Thank you so very much""
    Debbie Kiser, RN
  • "If you're looking for opinions, I was really disappointed with the Nurses Float! I kind of get the animal stuff, but that would be best for a Veterinarian float!
    Been a nurse for 24 years, and YUCK, YUCK YUCK!  Flowers , lanterns, thermometers, stethoscopes, nurses, would have exemplified our profession way more!"
    Sincerely, Michele Anthony, RN-BSN Cleveland Clinic
  • "Hi everyone! I want to thank each and every one for allowing me the privilege of working on the Nurses' Float and being a part of this amazing project. For the board members: you all did an amazing thing for our profession and your friend Sally by bringing this dream to reality and are to be congratulated on the success of your efforts."

  • .."the new float looks great! You might remember when you and I spoke, that I was concerned about the message the previous design had with its stereotypes and that darn cap. This design delivers a great message about nursing and covers all the bases, besides being a delightful and fun float. Well done and congratulations to all." Kay Baker, RN

  • "Just saw the picture of the float. It is beautiful!! You did a great job of designing it and I couldn't think of a better name than "A Healing Place" Great job." Suzanne Clark, RN
  • "I'm so excited that we are having a nursing float. I am proud to be a nurse."   Judy J.

  • "I saw the Nurses' Float picture on the website...and now I see a larger picture...It is gorgeous...Love the whole pictorial message to tenderness and caring and the verbiage at the base says it all. Great work...awesome proud of you and your team for this incredible dream brought to reality with alot of brilliant work and intelligent diligence and endless perseverance...Y'all are unbelievable. The float will clearly portray the designed message of nurses as A Healing Place...Love it"