Florence Nightingale - Miscellaneous, Birthday and Facts

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Florence Nightingale's Personal Details

Florence Nightingale is popularly known as the ‘Lady with the lamp’ and ‘Angel of Crimea’

InformationDetail
BirthdayMay 12, 1820
Died onAugust 13, 1910
NationalityBritish
FamousMiscellaneous, Nurses
SiblingsFrances Parthenope Verney
Universities
  • King's College London
Founder / Co-Founder
  • Modern nursing
Discoveries / Inventions
  • Polar Area Chart
Birth Place Florence
ReligionAnglican/Episcopalian
GenderFemale
FatherWilliam Nightingale
MotherFrances Nightingale
Sun SignTaurus
Born inFlorence
Died at Age90

// Famous Miscellaneous

Florence Nightingale's photo

Who is Florence Nightingale?

Florence Nightingale was a British social reformer who founded modern nursing. Her biggest contribution to humanity was when she volunteered to help in the Crimean war to tend to wounded soldiers. Later in life she tried to bring about reforms regarding the hygiene problems of the Army hospitals. She wrote many books and letters to improvise the treatments and care given to wounded soldiers. She laid the foundation for pursuing nursing as a profession by elite British women and others as well. In the Victorian age the society was cruel towards women taking up this vocation. They felt that for nursing one did not need much intelligence or knowledge; and nurses were thought of as being a little above prostitutes at that time. Florence changed the whole notion and perspective of the society and gave a new meaning to nursing altogether. She fought till the very end for better health care and proper sanitation facilities after losing more men in the Crimean war due to infections than battle-wounds. She was also a brilliant mathematician and a versatile writer. She was a true feminist and though she was not much of an orthodox, she stayed with the church till the end. The Nightingale pledge in her honour is taken by new nurses promising to fulfil their duties as care-givers.

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Childhood & Early Life

She was born in Italy to William Edward Nightingale and Frances “Fanny” Nightingale. She had one sister. Florence was born into a rich, well-connected British family.

Florence was raised at Lea Hurst where she received classical education which included German, Italian and French.

By the time she reached 16, Florence, who always had a very keen interest in philanthropy and caring for the sick, knew her calling was nursing. She believed without doubt that this was her divine calling.

Career

Pursuing a career in nursing was looked down upon by the society at that time, especially for someone with an affluent background. After much opposition, Florence announced her decision to enter the field in 1844.

She enrolled herself as a student at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserwerth, Germany. She then worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing.

On her trips to Egypt and Paris, she realized that disciplined and well- organised nuns or sisters made better nurses than women in England. When she returned home she started visiting hospitals in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. In 1853, she was appointed Superintendent of the Hospital for Invalid Gentlewoman.

In October 1853, the Crimean War broke out. A large number of British soldiers were sent to the front and by 1854 around 18000 soldiers were injured and admitted into military hospitals. Nightingale received a letter from Secretary of War, Sidney Herbett - both eventually became very good friends - requesting assistance from her nurses to tend to the soldiers. She assembled a team of more than 30 nurses and sailed to Crimea immediately.

The condition of the soldiers there was much worse than expected. When they reached Scutari, the soldiers were in a horrible state due to the lack of proper sanitation and unhygienic surroundings. The medicine supply was little and the death rate was on an all time high.

Nightingale quickly got to work and tried to lower the death rate. Apart from the basic sanitary precautions, she also improved the quality of their stay in the hospital.

The war was over by March 1856. An estimated 94000 men were sent to the war front, out of which almost 4000 died of battle wounds, 19000 died of diseases and 13000 were invalidated out of the Army.

Florence returned to England as a national hero but she was deeply shocked by the mass death that took place right before her eyes because of poor sanitation. Therefore, she was determined to begin a campaign that would improve the quality of nursing in military hospitals. She started investigating before the Royal Commission on the Health of the Army and that resulted in the formation of the Army Medical College.

In 1855, the Nightingale fund was set up to open up a training school for nurses. By 1860, �50,000 had been collected and The Nightingale School and Home for Nurses was established at St. Thomas Hospital. She could not be the superintendent because of her ‘Crimean fever’ but she closely watched the progress of the institution.

When the Indian Mutiny broke out in 1857, she wished to come to India and help improve the sanitation facilities. Even though she could never come, she played an instrumental role in getting a Sanitary Department established by the Indian government.

Even when she was resting at home, she was still very much active in reforming and improving the health care system, interviewing politicians and distinguished visitors from her bed.

Major works

Her biggest contribution was her unrelenting care given to the soldiers of the Crimean War even though it took a toll on her own health.

She published two books to spread her ideas and opinions on reforms, namely ‘Notes on Hospital’ (1859) and ‘Notes on Nursing’ (1859).

Awards & Achievements

She was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883. She also became the first lady to be awarded the Order of Merit in 1907.

In 1910, she was awarded the badge of honour of the Norwegian Red Cross Society.

Personal Life & Legacy

Though she was very attractive, she chose to remain a spinster as she believed marriage would hamper her calling. She had a relationship with a politician and poet, Richard Monckton Milnes that lasted for nine years but it did not lead to marriage.

She was very good friends with Sidney Herbert, Secretary of War and both were instrumental in the success of each other’s career.

She had a deep relationship with Benjamin Jowett who wanted to marry her.

She died peacefully at the age of 90 in South Street Park, London in August 1910.

The Nightingale Building in the School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Southampton has been named after her.

International Nurses Day is celebrated every year on her birthday.

Many hospitals and museums have been named after her and a number of statues have been erected in her memory.

Nightingale was represented by Reginald Berkeley in his theatrical production ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ which premiered in London in 1929.

The president of India gives away the National Florence Nightingale Award every year on the occasion of the International Nurses Day - May 12th.

Trivia

She was nicknamed “The Lady with the Lamp” by her soldier patients.

She is called the pioneer of nursing

Her birthday - 12th May - is celebrated as the International Nurses Day.

// Famous British

Florence Nightingale awards

YearNameAward

Other

1883 - Royal Red Cross
1907 - Order of Merit

Florence Nightingale biography timelines

  • // 12th May 1820
    She was born in Italy to William Edward Nightingale and Frances “Fanny” Nightingale. She had one sister. Florence was born into a rich, well-connected British family.
  • // 1844
    Pursuing a career in nursing was looked down upon by the society at that time, especially for someone with an affluent background. After much opposition, Florence announced her decision to enter the field in 1844.
  • // 1853
    On her trips to Egypt and Paris, she realized that disciplined and well- organised nuns or sisters made better nurses than women in England. When she returned home she started visiting hospitals in London, Edinburgh and Dublin. In 1853, she was appointed Superintendent of the Hospital for Invalid Gentlewoman.
  • // Oct 1853
    In October 1853, the Crimean War broke out. A large number of British soldiers were sent to the front and by 1854 around 18000 soldiers were injured and admitted into military hospitals. Nightingale received a letter from Secretary of War, Sidney Herbett - both eventually became very good friends - requesting assistance from her nurses to tend to the soldiers. She assembled a team of more than 30 nurses and sailed to Crimea immediately.
  • // 1855 To 1860
    In 1855, the Nightingale fund was set up to open up a training school for nurses. By 1860, �50,000 had been collected and The Nightingale School and Home for Nurses was established at St. Thomas Hospital. She could not be the superintendent because of her ‘Crimean fever’ but she closely watched the progress of the institution.
  • // Mar 1856
    The war was over by March 1856. An estimated 94000 men were sent to the war front, out of which almost 4000 died of battle wounds, 19000 died of diseases and 13000 were invalidated out of the Army.
  • // 1857
    When the Indian Mutiny broke out in 1857, she wished to come to India and help improve the sanitation facilities. Even though she could never come, she played an instrumental role in getting a Sanitary Department established by the Indian government.
  • // 1859
    She published two books to spread her ideas and opinions on reforms, namely ‘Notes on Hospital’ (1859) and ‘Notes on Nursing’ (1859).
  • // 1883
    She was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883. She also became the first lady to be awarded the Order of Merit in 1907.
  • // 1910
    In 1910, she was awarded the badge of honour of the Norwegian Red Cross Society.
  • // 13th Aug 1910
    She died peacefully at the age of 90 in South Street Park, London in August 1910.
  • // 1929
    Nightingale was represented by Reginald Berkeley in his theatrical production ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ which premiered in London in 1929.

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Florence Nightingale's FAQ

  • What is Florence Nightingale birthday?

    Florence Nightingale was born at 1820-05-12

  • When was Florence Nightingale died?

    Florence Nightingale was died at 1910-08-13

  • Where was Florence Nightingale died?

    Florence Nightingale was died in Park Lane, London

  • Which age was Florence Nightingale died?

    Florence Nightingale was died at age 90

  • Where is Florence Nightingale's birth place?

    Florence Nightingale was born in Florence

  • What is Florence Nightingale nationalities?

    Florence Nightingale's nationalities is British

  • Who is Florence Nightingale siblings?

    Florence Nightingale's siblings is Frances Parthenope Verney

  • What was Florence Nightingale universities?

    Florence Nightingale studied at King's College London

  • Which company or organization was founded by Florence Nightingale?

    Florence Nightingale was the founder/co-founder of Modern nursing

  • What is Florence Nightingale's inventions/discoveries?

    Polar Area Chart was invented (or discovered) by Florence Nightingale

  • What is Florence Nightingale's religion?

    Florence Nightingale's religion is Anglican/Episcopalian

  • Who is Florence Nightingale's father?

    Florence Nightingale's father is William Nightingale

  • Who is Florence Nightingale's mother?

    Florence Nightingale's mother is Frances Nightingale

  • What is Florence Nightingale's sun sign?

    Florence Nightingale is Taurus