Florence NightingaleThe Lady with the Lamp

A British nurse and founder of modern nursing who had a massive impact on the 19th and 20th century policies surrounding proper high standards of health care; her writings inspired worldwide health care reform.

Florence Nightingale was a British nurse, social reformer and statistician, a pioneer in the field of nursing. She was given the name of ‘The Lady with the Lamp,’ because of her unrelenting nursing of the sick and wounded soldiers of the Crimean War (1854 – 56).

During the Crimean War, Nightingale and her team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital and reduced the death count by two-thirds. Her dedicated service and pioneering higher standards for sanitary conditions won widespread admiration.

After the War, Florence Nightingale campaigned tirelessly to improve health and professional training standards and fundamentally changed the role of nursing in hospitals. She changed the face of nursing from a mostly untrained profession to a highly skilled and well-respected medical profession with very important responsibilities.

Nightingale was a prodigious and versatile writer. Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform. She publishing over 200 books, reports and pamphlets on hospital planning which are still widely read and respected today, including her famous work – ‘Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not.’

Name:   Florence Nightingale

The Lady with the Lamp

Her experience during the Crimean War inspired Nightingale to transform health care.


Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing figure in nursing, who greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as - the 'Lady with the Lamp.' With her determination and hard work, Florence Nightingale changed the profession of nursing forever.

Notes on Nursing

During the Crimean War, Nightingale kept detailed notes of her experiences. By aged 39, in 1859, Nightingale wrote 'Notes on Nursing' reflecting on her findings at the front-line. Later, her book served as the cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale School and other nursing schools, though it was written specifically for the education of those nursing at home and health clinics.

Nightingale School of Nursing

Nightingale's efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school - the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, which opened its doors to trainees in July 1860. It was the first secular nursing school in the world and one of the first institutions to teach nursing and midwifery as a formal profession.

Midwives training

Nightingale also set up School of Midwifery which provided excellent nurse training. It made nursing a respectable career for women who wanted to work outside the home. It was also dedicated to communicating the philosophy and practices of its founder and patron, Florence Nightingale.

Notes on Nursing and Hospitals

Florence Nightingale wrote two books - ' Notes on Nursing' and 'Notes on Hospitals'. In 1859, Nightingale published 'Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not,' which was a step-by-step guide explaining her methods for attending to the sick. Nightingale's writings sparked worldwide health care reform, and Notes on Nursing also sold well to the general reading public and is considered a classic introduction to everyday nursing.

Changed Nursing Profession

Nightingale had a great impact in global mission of health and healing for humanity.

Adviser to USA Secretary of War

In 1861, Florence Nightingale became an adviser to the United States Secretary of War. She was able to advise them on setting up army hospitals for the northern soldiers, wounded in the Civil War.

Awards and Recognition

In 1883, Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria. In 1904, she was appointed a 'Lady of Grace of the Order of St John (LGStJ)'. In 1907, she became the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit and was also given the Honorary Freedom of the City of London. In 1908, at the age of 88, Florence Nightingale was conferred the Merit of Honor by King Edward. In 1910, for her 90th Birthday, Florence Nightingale received a congratulatory message from King George.

Royal Red Cross Award

While at Scutari, Nightingale contracted “Crimean fever” and was bedridden. Fiercely determined, and dedicated, Nightingale continued her work from her bed and spent the rest of her life, promoting and organizing the nursing profession.

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