Florence Nightingale, May 12, 1820 – August 13, 1910. English nurse and statistician, born in Italy to an upper-class English family. After studying nursing in Germany, she went to work in a hospital in London. Became head nurse of the London Charity Hospital in 1853.
At the time of the Crimean War, she fought hard for the British military to open a hospital in the war zone to provide medical care for soldiers. She analyzed the mountains of military records and pointed out that in the Crimean War, British soldiers died from diseases contracted outside the battlefield and from wounds sustained on the battlefield without proper care, while not many actually died on the battlefield. She even used a circular chart to illustrate this information. Nightingale went to work in the Crimean Field Hospital on October 21, 1854 with 38 nurses. She became the head nurse of the hospital and became known as the “Angel of the Crimea”, or the “Angel of the Lamp”.
Thanks to Nightingale’s efforts, the social status and image of nurses, who used to have a low status, were greatly improved and became a symbol of nobility. “Nightingale has also become a synonym for the spirit of nursing. She was the first real female nurse in the world and started the nursing career. “International Nurses’ Day is celebrated on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, to commemorate the founder of modern nursing.
Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Grand Duchy of Tuscany, Florence, to an upper-class English family on her parents’ travels through Europe, and, like her sister Parthenope, was named after her birthplace in Florence.
She always took care of the poor. Nightingale became an advocate for promoting better medical care at a London factory hospital when a poor man died there in December 1844, prompting public censure of the hospital.
Nightingale was born into a wealthy, well-to-do family. Her father, William Edward, was a learned and cultured man, and her mother, Fanny Smith, also from the British royal family, was not only a wealthy family, but also one that had done good deeds for generations and was well known in the countryside. Nightingale’s father graduated from Cambridge University and was well versed in mathematics, English, French, German and Italian languages, natural sciences, history and philosophy, music and painting, in addition to classical literature. Nightingale was educated at home from an early age. Her mother was unhappy with her because she had no intention of marrying. She wavered between being a housewife, a literary scholar and a nurse, and finally chose to become a nurse despite her parents’ opposition. Her father gave her 500 pounds a year so that she could live a comfortable life outside of work.
As a young woman, Nightingale was served at all times, living at balls, salons, and hobnobbing with the aristocracy. Although it seemed an enviable life on the surface, Nightingale always felt a great emptiness in her heart and felt that her life was meaningless. It was only after she decided to choose nursing as her life’s vocation that she felt a strong sense of the fullness of life. Legend has it that Nightingale heard God speak to her to become a nurse before she chose this path.
In the 1850s, Britain, France, Turkey and Russia fought the Crimean War, and the death rate of British warriors in the field was as high as 42%. Nightingale volunteered to serve as a field nurse. She arrived at the front with 38 nurses to serve in the field hospitals. At one point, Nightingale changed the wounded man’s medicine while comforting him, and the wounded man was so moved that he shed tears. At that moment, a major officer came in and called Nightingale out, saying with a face full of disdain: “Miss, you’d better go back to London! If you heal the wounded, they will not be able to go to war again.” “Why?” Nightingale asked, puzzled. “Do you think that a person who does not move and weeps can charge into battle? You and your companions have spoiled them!” “No!” Nightingale said, “In my eyes, they are human beings, brothers, and they are wounded and deserve care and comfort.” She did her best to eliminate all kinds of difficulties, to solve the necessary supplies and food for the wounded, and to provide them with serious care. In just about six months the mortality rate of the wounded and sick dropped to 2.2%. Every night, she made rounds with a wind lamp in her hand, and the sick and wounded affectionately called her “the goddess of the lamp”. After the war, Nightingale returned to England and was revered as a national hero.
In 1860, Nightingale founded the world’s first formal nursing school with a government award of more than 4,000 pounds. In 1901, Nightingale lost her eyesight due to overwork, and in 1907, Nightingale was awarded the Order of Merit by the King of England, becoming the first woman in British history to receive this highest honor, and later initiated the organization of the International Red Cross. on March 16, 1908 Nightingale was awarded the Freedom Prize of the City of London. Nightingale never married, and died in her sleep on August 13, 1910, at the age of 90.
Her life, which spanned the entire era of Queen Victoria, made a superhuman contribution to the creation of nursing. She devoted her life to the reform and development of nursing, and achieved remarkable achievements worldwide. All this made her a great woman of the 19th century who was admired and celebrated by the world.
After her death, in accordance with her will, Nightingale was not given a state funeral. Later generations praised her as “the angel of the wounded” and “the goddess of the lamp” and “the angel of the lamp”.
In history, there have been few people, especially women, who have been able to overcome all difficulties and establish special achievements with persistent faith. Florence Nightingale, the originator of modern nursing and the founder of the modern nursing profession, is one of the most representative great women.
To commemorate her achievements, in 1912, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) initiated national hospitals and nursing schools to commemorate Nightingale’s birth anniversary on May 12 every year, and designated May 12 as International Nurses’ Day in order to honor and remember this great woman. Her story was remade into a movie, the title of which still bears her name. She was a pioneer, a founder of nursing, and made an incomparable contribution for the important nursing career in the medical world!