Florence Nightingale is credited as the founder of modern day nursing. Her dedication to tending to wounded soldiers and to passing along her knowledge to future generations is some of the many reasons she is celebrated throughout the world. She was not only known for her care of soldiers, but she became an icon of Victorian culture through her writing, social reforms, and presentation of statistical data.
Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820, a date that has since been celebrated as International Nurses Day in her honor. In 1844 she made the decision to educate herself in the art and science of nursing despite the social code restricting affluent young women to pursue this line of work.
Nightingale went on to train dozens of nurses and then took her team to treat the wounded in the Crimean war. She arrived to poor care delivered by overworked staff in deplorable conditions, and promptly pled to The Times for a government solution. Her outspoken nature led to the creation of a better facility and better outcomes for the wounded soldiers.
It was during this time that Florence was given the nickname, “The Lady with the Lamp”, a phrase coined by The Times. This name was given due to her tending to patients late at night, using a lamp as she walked towards and treated the wounded. Her legacy includes many accolades from her work in mathematics to the lasting impact she has made on nursing education.
Florence Nightingale is an iconic figure in nursing history, and we are forever grateful to her contributions to nursing education.