International Women’s Day 2024 – Florence Nightingale

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2024, I have chosen to write about Florence Nightingale, who is a historical inspirational figure.

Who is Florence Nightingale?

Florence nightingale is often described the ”saintly nurse”.  She was born on the 12th May 1820, with the name Florence being after the Italian city of her birth. She grew up in the English Countryside with her family in Hampshire and Derbyshire.

Florence was born in a wealthy and well-connected British family and her upbringing included extensive education including history, mathematics, literature and philosophy. Due to her social standing it was expected that Florence would marry and live a life of domesticity.

What did she do?

By 1844, Florence had decided that nursing was her desire in life and this was her future. Her family initially refused her proposed training in Salisbury however, she persevered and in 1850 her father finally allowed her to train as a nurse in Germany. By 1843 she became superintendent at a Women’s hospital.

She is notable for her work while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War. She significantly worked to reduced death rates by providing improvements to both hygiene and living standards. The number of deaths reduced from 41% to 2%! This ultimately changed the way that people who were injured and sick were treated.

She became an icon of Victorian culture, often being referred to as the “The lady of the lamp”.

Florence also started the first nursing training school in the world, located in London. This was known as the St. Thomas’s Hospital.

My thoughts..

The work that Florence undertook was not only inspirational, but changed the way that modern medicine works. She not only saved countless lives, but she also paved the way for future nurses.

Florence was resilient and continued with her dream, regardless of her families’ views. She continued with her work and training and has become a pivotal point of history for not only women, but modern medicine.


Emily Facer

March 2024

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