UnityPoint Health - Des Moines

Services Provided By the Nursing Honor Guard

Nursing is a profession steeped in tradition. We use these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect for those who have given so much and who have served so well. Any of the traditions listed below can be requested for a funeral service or visitation.

Honorary Pallbearers

The Honor Guard may be requested to attend the visitation and/or funeral services to serve as honorary pallbearers.

The Nightingale Pledge

The Nightingale Pledge and a nursing sonnet may be read and any time during the services. 

Final Call to Duty

The Final Call to Duty may be performed during the services or at the gravesite. During the Final Call to Duty, the Nightingale lamp is lit in the nurse's honor, and the nurse's name and license number are called out with a request to report to duty. With no response, the nurse's name and license number are repeated twice more with the same request. After the third and final call, the nurse's license number is announced as retired, and the lamp's flame is extinguished.

This is the final call for those who have served selflessly and given their lives for the good of their fellow man; their tasks are complete, their duties are done, they are going home. 

Casket Honor Guard

The Honor Guard may be posted at the head of the casket, standing silently to give their last respects. At predetermined times during the visitation the Honor Guard will be exchanged and the Nightingale lamp will be passed with each replacement of the Honor Guard.