I’m going to talk you about a very well known and admirated English woman of the nineteenth century: Florence Nightingale (1820-1910).
She was an important and celebrated nurse, writer and statiscian.
She devoted herself with so much love to his profession as a nurse (she was convinced it was “a call of God”) that until our time is considered a great symbol of nursing, because of all the medical and hygienic reforms she made.
Florence was born into a rich family, belonging to high society, in Florence, Italy.
She decided to be nurser in 1844, in spite of the family’s opposition, since they expected that she become a wife and mother (victorian values).
She began to educate herself very hard in the art and science of nursing.
The most famous of her actions was her contribution in the Crimean War (1854). She and a 38 volunteer nurses were taken to the Ottoman Empire, where the main British base of operations had been settled.
The British soldiers were dying because of poor higiene and nutrition, and Nightingale fought very hard for improve the sanitary conditions .
Consequently, she helped reducing deaths in the Army during the peacetime and promoted better sanitary designs of hospitals.
During this stage, she got the nickname “The Lady with the Lamp”, because of the article that published the Times:
She is a ministering angel without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.
In 1859, she collected funds and created the “Nightingale Fund” for training the nurses, and then she opened in 1860 the “Nightingale Training School”, in the Saint Thomas Hospital.