About the badge

The Nightingale Badge

Dame Alicia Lloyd Still, who was then matron of St Thomas’ Hospital, commissioned the ‘hospital badge’ in 1925 and it was first struck in the same year.

The design of the badge is taken from the eight-pointed cross of the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem (now Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem).  The ancient organisation was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria in 1888 and is best known today for its work as the St John Ambulance.

The blue reflects the colour of the ribbon on the Order of Merit which was awarded to Florence Nightingale in 1907. She was the first woman to be awarded this honour. The badge was awarded to nurses who qualified from the Nightingale Training School, St Thomas’ Hospital and who had also passed a hospital examination and served for a fixed period as a junior staff nurse, or ‘red belt’, within the hospital.

Many members of the Fellowship and other Nightingale nurses are proud to wear the Nightingale badge which is recognised world-wide as a symbol of nursing excellence.

Badges continue to be worn with pride both at work and socially. The badge is no longer required to be returned to the Fellowship on the death of the recipient.