Wednesday, May 12, 2010

5 Minute Factoids: Florence Nightingale


Today is the birthday of Florence Nightingale, English nurse, writer and statistician. She came to prominence during the Crimean War for her pioneering work in nursing, and was dubbed "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night to tend injured soldiers. Nightingale laid the foundation of professional nursing with the establishment, in 1860, of her nursing school at St Thomas's Hospital in London, the first secular nursing school in the world. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. (Wikipedia)

  • In 1851 she rejected the marriage proposal of politician and poet Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton, against her mother's wishes. Convinced that marriage would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing, Nightingale continued to reject his proposal.
  • She made a comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in Indian rural life and was the leading figure in the introduction of improved medical care and public health service in India.
  • She was named after her birthplace- Florence, Italy.
Want to read more on Nightingale?  Check out this book...

by Gillian Gill
Random House, 2005
592 pages

From Bookmarks magazine:

"Although one of many existing biographies, Nightingales is one of the first to thoroughly examine the relationship between her public and private life. Besides vividly evoking Austenesque mores, Gill creates full-blooded characters, from a sickly sister to a dilettante father."

10 comments:

Hannah Stoneham said...

Very interesting, thank you for posting. My husband is distantly related to Florence Nightingale so i am especially interested her. Have you read the biography of Mary Seacole (I can't remember who it is by)? It is excellent, although they were not the best of friends!
thanks for sharing
Hannah

Milli said...

Interesting. My teacher used to have a song about her..you know, so that we can remember all the facts easily. Great post!

JaneGS said...

Interesting factoids--she seems like such a strong, interesting person and pretty intimidating with her powerful focus on what she saw as her life's work. I loved the fact that she was named for her birthplace.

Connie said...

I've always wanted to read a good Nightingale bio, and this one looks great. You've really piqued my interest--thanks for posting!

SariJ said...

She is an inspiration for all women. From what I know she had to overcome great odds because she was a women. Nightingale did more for our health system than she is given credit for. I am glad to hear there is finally a good bio on her cataloging all that she did.

irisonbooks said...

Whenever I hear her name, I always feel I should read a biography on her. Thank you for the tip.

Jenners said...

I worked for a nursing company that was obsessed with Florence Nightingale and celebrated her birthday every year ... but I've not worked there in a while so it was a nice reminder about all the work she did.

writergal said...

Great post. I've read a few of Florence's writings for nurses. She was an amazing trailblazer.

Lisa said...

What a remarkable woman. Undoubtedly marriage, especially in those days, would have impacted her ability to nurse. Thank heavens she was such a strong person!

Bybee said...

One of my favorite books when I was in elementary school was a biography of Florence Nightingale. I think it was called "The Story of Florence Nightingale." Lovely illustrations.

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