Florence Nightingale was born on the 20th of May 1820 in Florence an died on the 13th of August 1910 in London.
She was born into a rich upper-class family.
She was a British nurse an got known because of her engagement during the „Crimean Wars“. She is especially known in Great Britain. She is also called „Lady with the Lamp“.
On her birthday we are celebrating the „international day of nursing practice“.
At the age of 25 she told her parents that she wanted to be a nurse. Her parents were shocked about her decision, because at this time only poor people became nurses. So they forbade her to become one.
1851 she was able to make a „training“ for three months about nursing practice.
In 1853 she bought a hospital called „Establishment for Gentlewomen during Illness“ and designed it like she thought a hospital should be.
The Crimean Wars:
She knew about the catastrophic situation for the injured soldiers because of an article which was released in a newspaper.
Florence Nightingale offered the British government to care for them because she wanted to help and got the qualification.
On the 21st of October in 1854 she left England with 38 other nurses towards Krim. They were sent to Turkey were the main British camp was based.
It was quite difficult for her to help because the army thought that civil persons should not join a war even not to care for wounded soldiers.
Nobody thought that it was his job to care for them. They lay in barracks without any hygienic standard. Neither the bedclothes nor the bandages were regularly changed.
If the injured soldiers did not bring their own „army dishes“ back from battlefield they were not able to get a new one. –> So they had nothing to eat from.
In the beginning Florence Nightingale did not do any medical work she did daily work, like boiling out the bandages our change bedclothes.
During the day she spent most of her time fighting with the doctors and the chief members of the army, who thought that it was not her job to care for the wounded men. So she was only able to visit the hurts at night.
That is the reason why she is also called „Lady with the Lamp“, she went around with a kerosene lamp to find her way in the night.
Her effort during the war took three years. After that time she had to go back to England because she got very ill herself.
Her tireless engagement during the „Crimean Wars“ inspired Henry Dunant to create the „Red Cross“.
Back to England she still lived with her family and had a sufficient income.
Because of her work during the „Crimean Wars“ she was very famous although she did not like her celebrity. She got an enormously donation about 50.000 Pounds, which she used to found a school for nurses. It was the first school for nursing practice.
All over the world such nurse schools were built like hers.
She also elaborated a statistic system for hospitals. Already as a young lady she was very interested in maths especially in statistics. She developed a statistical system for social affair, for example the data of births and dyings of population.
That is the reason why she got elected, as the first woman into the „Royal Statistical Society“ in Great Britain. Later she got the honorary membership for the „American Statistical Association“
Also the institution of mobile nurses are based on the idea of Florence Nightingale.
The effects of Florence Nightingales life and ideas today you can see in many institutions.
- „Red Cross“
- „Convention of Geneva“ which controls the correct behaviour with refugees, the civil population and the injured soldiers in wars.
- The modern nursing practice –> that to be a nurse is a respected job.
- The statistic construction of nursing practice and the first modern social data of population.
- On her birthday the 20th of May we are celebrating the „International day of nursing practice“