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Florence Nightingale Birthday: World's Most Famous Nurse

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

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Nursing has certainly come a long way since the time of Florence Nightingale. We should not forget the courage and perseverance of the Lady with the Lamp who remains the most famous nurse in history. This inspirational figure helped to transform nursing into the highly respected profession it is today.

Florence Nightingale Birthday: World's Most Famous Nurse

As part of our pinning ceremonies in nursing school, we all probably remember reciting the Nightingale Pledge, a modified "Hippocratic Oath" composed in 1893 by Mrs. Lystra E. Gretter and a Committee for the Farrand Training School for Nurses, Detroit, Michigan. The pledge is as follows:

Quote
I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.

Since today is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, I thought it would be a good time to look back at the life of the woman considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

Early Life

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Italy into an affluent, upper-class, well-connected British family. Although her mother, Francis, who came from a family of merchants was interested in social-climbing, Florence, the younger of two daughters, was reportedly awkward in social situations. Florence's father, William Edward Nightingale, was a wealthy landowner and provided Florence with a classical education, including studies in mathematics, German, Italian, and French.

Florence, who was strong-willed, often butted heads with her overly controlling mother. Instead of socializing with the upper-class females in her mother's circle, Florence was always interested in ministering to the ill and poor people in the village which bordered her family's estate. It was clear to Florence when she was 16 that nursing was her calling. At that time, nursing was seen as menial and lowly labor - certainly not an honorable profession. Her upper-class parents wanted her to marry someone respectable.

Education

At age 24, Florence defied her parents' wishes and left England to enroll as a nursing student at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserwerth, Düsseldorf Germany. Upon her return to England in the early 1850's, she took a job at a London Hospital. After her impressive work there, she was promoted to superintendent after only a year.

Florence Nightingale became known as a reformer and advocator for public health due to her work at greatly improving sanitary conditions after an outbreak of cholera.

Crimean War - "Lady with the Lamp"

Florence became a living legend as the "Lady with the Lamp". Her work during the Crimean War from 1854 until 1856 was well-known as she led nurses who cared for thousands of soldiers. She and her team of nurses improved the unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds, which helped save the British army from medical disaster. She was also a visionary health reformer, a brilliant campaigner, the most influential woman in Victorian Britain and its Empire, second only to Queen Victoria herself. Upon Florence Nightingale's return from the Crimean War, the Queen rewarded her work by presenting her with an engraved brooch that came to be known as the "Nightingale Jewel" and by granting her a prize of $250,000 from the British government.

Achievements

Florence Nightingale's greatest achievement was to make nursing a respectable profession for women. Her writings on hospital planning and organization had a profound effect in England and across the world. She published over 200 books, reports and pamphlets. Florence died at the age of 90, on 13th August 1910. She became one of the most famous and influential women of the 19th century. Her writings continue to be a resource for nurses, health managers and planners to this day.

Nursing has certainly come a long way since the time of Florence Nightingale. We should not forget the courage and perseverance of the Lady with the Lamp who remains the most famous nurse in history. This inspirational figure helped to transform nursing into the highly respected profession it is today.

Happy Birthday, Flo!!!!!

More Fun Facts! Watch Florence Nightingale - Mini Biography... [video=youtube_share;o0FWqDlOYYs]

Trivia questions for you....

  • How did Florence Nightingale get her nickname, "The Lady With the Lamp"?
  • What was her sister's name?
  • What animal did Florence Nightingale carry with her, even when doing hospital rounds?
  • Was Florence Nightingale ever married?
  • What is the name of the nursing school Florence Nightingale opened in 1860?
  • How did Florence Nightingale get her name?
  • What was the cause of death for Florence Nightingale?
  • Where is Florence Nightingale buried?

Related Topics...

Florence-Nightingale-Birthday-Worlds-Famous-Nurse.pdf

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13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and works as a Retired/Disabled Nurse and Blogger.

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I've always found it fascinating that Florence Nightingale suffered from manic depression, yet accomplished so many great deeds during the course of her career. She didn't have an easy life, nor a particularly happy one, but we all owe her an enormous debt of gratitude for elevating the profession and laying the foundation for the generations of nurses that followed her, as well as those which are yet to be born.

Happy birthday, Miss Nightingale!

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

Thanks for adding that detail that I was not aware of. :)

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

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Happy Birthday Flo! Sadly, I'd need the google to answer the trivia questions so I'll have to leave that to our more astute members or perhaps current students . . . . .

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

Happy Birthday Flo! Sadly, I'd need the google to answer the trivia questions so I'll have to leave that to our more astute members or perhaps current students . . . . .

It's OK to guess. It's not a test. Although extra credit will be given for creative answers. LOL

Gotta love extra credit.......back in the dark ages when I was in school.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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Off the top of one's head:

How did Florence Nightingale get her nickname, "The Lady With the Lamp"?

During the Crimean war Miss. Nightingale made her night rounds on the wards via oil or candle lamp. This lead to several media articles of her work in such places as the Times praising her as a ministering "angel with a lamp".

What was her sister's name?

What animal did Florence Nightingale carry with her, even when doing hospital rounds?

Was Florence Nightingale ever married?

No, Miss. Nightingale never married much to the dismay of her family. She was pushed to marry a cousin but declined/got out of it again much to the angst of her family who saw the match as a way of aligning two branches of the family. There would be other subsequent offers of marriage, but they were declined as well.

What is the name of the nursing school Florence Nightingale opened in 1860?

The Nightingale Training School for Nurses, St. Thomas Hospital

How did Florence Nightingale get her name?

She was born in Florence, Italy

What was the cause of death for Florence Nightingale?

Varies depending upon sources, but the most common given cause was brucellosis.

Where is Florence Nightingale buried?

A churchyard in Hampshire after her family declined Westminster Abbey.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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Not knocking the excellent body of work produced by FN, but her movement of nursing education and governance into hospital has cast a pall over the profession that had lasting consequences.

More than one hundred years later though hospitals no longer educate a bulk of nurses in most countries, they still exert tremendous control over the profession, especially in the United States. Indeed some wonder if nursing will ever reach autonomous professional status in any part of the Untied States at least for one reason, a large part of the profession cannot practice independent of hospitals and therefore that body still maintains a strong control.

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nursel56 has 25+ years experience and works as a Home health, private duty.

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I've posted this before so I hope nobody minds me posting it again here but I find it just fascinating for some reason - the actual voice of Florence Nightingale in a scratchy old 1890 audio..what she says is so sweet.

'When I am no longer even a memory, just a name, I hope my voice may perpetuate the great work of my life. God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava and bring them safe to shore."

Florence Nightingale 2nd rendition, 1890: greetings to the dear old comrades of Balaclava

DGTG off the top of one's head! I'm in awe!

OK my creative answer is that her pet was an owl! Haha no wait it really was an owl that she rescued as a baby that fell off the Parthenon in Athens.

Edited by nursel56
trivia

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

Thanks for posting that, nursel56!!

Here is the same recording via youtube. This one includes some photos as well.

[video=youtube_share;ax3B4gRQNU4]

Edited by tnbutterfly

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tnbutterfly is a BSN, RN and works as a Content/Community Director @ allnurses.

13 Followers; 116 Articles; 193,726 Visitors; 5,325 Posts

DoGoodThenGo.........your knowledge of Florence Nightingale is impressive!!!

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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DoGoodThenGo.........your knowledge of Florence Nightingale is impressive!!!

You all knows I likes my "vintage nurse" research, and how much more vintage can you get than FN? *LOL*

The marriage bit was easy as one remembers it from the made for television production about FN staring Jaclyn Smith. Flo's sister is seen with her mother at a window looking on as FN in the garden sends her cousin off/rejects his offer of marriage, "a whole branch of the family, gone" the sister says.

In real life FN's father was supportive of his daughter emotionally and more importantly financially. It was that latter support that allowed FN to remain in a comfortable unmarried state befitting her birth, something many similar women of her era couldn't manage. For them it was marriage or be farmed out as the only *respectable* careers for well born but financially distressed women: governess, lady's companion, selling needlework/handicrafts and or roaming from married sister's or brother's home playing the "maiden aunt" bit.

Aside from whatever calling FN had to nursing and so forth there was the very real fate of all married women in that period. All that a wife had or would get belonged to her husband. Indeed her husband was lord and master far as God and the law could make him. A husband could have *ordered* FN to cease her nursing activities and to behave in a manner suited to a married woman of her rank. Or, simply tied her to the home with endless pregnancies and children. Both of which wore many a woman of the era down and in many cases the former lead to their death.

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DoGoodThenGo works as a Entrepreneur - Business Owner.

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Made for TV bio of Florence Nightingale starring Jaclyn Smith and Timothy Daltonhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiWylyqRs80

Edited by DoGoodThenGo
Content

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