Florence Nightingale is the founder of modern nursing. She transformed nursing into a respectable profession and set the standards for clean, safe hospitals in the world. Florence is honored as the first great nurse of the world. Her picture hangs on the wall in many hospitals. Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy. She was named Florence after her city of birth. Florence's sister was born in Naples and is named Parthenope. Parthenope is the Greek name for Naples. Florence's Calling
When Florence was 24 years old, she had a "calling" from God. She wrote in her journal, "God spoke to me and called me to His service." Florence decided her calling was to help the sick and the poor by becoming a nurse. Florence came from a wealthy family and was not expected to work. It was especially unacceptable for Florence to work as a nurse because nursing was not a respectable profession at this time. This, however, did not stop Florence from following her desires. Florence went to the Institute of Deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany, to learn about nursing. At this time, nurses learned through experience, not through training. Florence treated sick people, distributed medicine, and assisted during operations. She was very happy and said, "We learned to think of our work, not ourselves." The Crimean War
In 1854, England entered the Crimean War. Florence and a team of 38 nurses went to the Crimea (near Turkey) to help the wounded soldiers. The military hospitals were dirty and run down. Florence made sanitary improvements which helped bring the death rate down from 40% to 2%. Florence was kind and gentle with the soldiers. She would talk with them and comfort them as she made her rounds. This gave the soldiers hope. When Florence made her rounds at night, she carried a lamp with her to light her way and became known as "The Lady with the Lamp." The Red Cross
Florence's work in the Crimean War inspired Jean Henri...