By Coin & Currency Institute ….
 

Hungary’s first commemorative coins of 2017 honor Zsuzsanna Kossuth, one of the pioneers of the nursing profession in Hungary, on the 200th anniversary of her birth. The coin comes in two versions: .925 silver proof 10,000 forint (31.46 g, 38.61 mm), limited to 5,000 pieces. And a copper-nickel 2,000 forint (30.80 g, 38.61 mm) in uncirculated quality with a mintage of 6,000. Prices are $62.50 and $19.50 USD, respectively. The coin’s design, by Ildiko Eross, shows a scene of a military field hospital on the obverse while reserve has Kossuth’s portrait. In 1998, the Hungarian Nursing Association established an award to commemorate Zsuzsanna Kossuth. The Hungarian Parliament declared the 19th of February, her birth date, as the Day of Hungarian Nursing.

Hungary annual brilliant uncirculated set for 2017 is also available now for $32.50 in a limited issue of 3,000 sets It has the 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100- and 200-forint coins plus a one-sided, struck 30 millimeter medal with the logo of the Hungarian Mint. The design of this year’s set features the Hungarian Mint’s 25 years as a limited company owned by the National Bank.

To order, or for more information on these and other coins of Hungary, contact the Hungarian Mint’s North American Representative at P.O. Box 399, Williston, VT 05495. Toll-free 1-800-421-1866. Fax 802-536-4787. Email: mail@coin-currency.com, or click on the Hungarian flag at www.coin-currency.com for secure website ordering. Add $5.75 to each order for shipping and handling in the U.S.A. Shipping to other countries will be based on actual cost. Vermont residents add 6% sales tax. Those desiring to receive information and photographs electronically on a regular basis can provide their email address to mail@coin-currency.com.

Zsuzsanna Kossuth was born on February 19, 1817. She was the younger sister of Lajos Kossuth, the statesman and leader of the Revolution of 1848. Brother and sister worked together during the cholera epidemic of 1831 in Upper Hungary (today Slovakia), attending to quarantined patients and suspected cases. As a result of this, she acquired a great deal of experience in nursing, which she was able to use later.

Under the leadership of Ferenc Flor, the health corps of the Hungarian army was reformed in early 1849, and on April 16 Lajos Kossuth named his sister as the “head nurse of all field hospitals”. Zsuzsanna realized that there were too few field hospitals and she founded 72 new ones in just a few months. One of the key issues was staffing and the quantity of supplies. The men were fighting on the front, so it was necessary for women to attend to the wounded and sick. She was the first to see that there were not nearly enough nurses in the hospitals, and she consequently called upon Hungarian women to volunteer to care for the wounded and sick, and to help produce medical equipment and bandages. Answering this call, a massive number of nurses began to work.

Along with providing physical care, she also believed it was very important to address patients’ psychological and emotional needs. In addition to taking care of Hungarian soldiers, she attended to wounded Austrian and Russian soldiers without any reservations.

Based on her experience from these activities, she raised the issue of providing professional training for nurses and also prepared a detailed plan for such training. As the revolution failed, however, these plans were never put into effect. Nevertheless, the fundamentals of nursing established by Zsuzsanna Kossuth were preserved, making a great contribution to the further development of the Hungarian nursing profession. The nursing system introduced by her was unparalleled in Hungary or anywhere else in Europe that time.

After the revolution was lost, Zsuzsanna Kossuth had to flee Hungary. She went first to Belgium and then to the U.S.A., where she lived a life of poverty and illness until her death in 1854.
 


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