The Legend Of Florence Nightingale
She became known as “the lady with the lamp” for her efforts in caring for the wounded as a hospital nurse, but Florence Nightingale truly made her mark beyond the hospital walls: She established nursing as a profession for women by completing nursing training in Germany, despite her parents’ feelings about women of her class working as nurses. Here is a closer look at how Florence Nightingale became a pioneer in her field, making an impact on modern nursing and leaving an inspiring legacy.
A Commitment to Serve
Nightingale came from a wealthy family, a background that did not require her to work. However, she felt that nursing was her calling, and she was determined to get trained as a nurse instead of settling into marriage and life as a housewife. Her parents allowed her to train in Kaiserswerth, Germany, for three months before she became a superintendent at a hospital on Harley Street in London.
During the Crimean War, Nightingale was appointed to manage a team of military hospitals in Turkey and learned how to train women as nurses to meet the demand for medical care of wounded soldiers. She was completely dedicated to her role and spent many long nights taking care of sick and wounded soldiers. She earned her unofficial title for the lamp she carried around the dark hospital hallways as she made her rounds.
A Strong Legacy
It wasn’t until later in her career that Nightingale combined her leadership and nursing skills to establish her own nursing training program. In 1860, she created the Nightingale Training School for nurses serving in St. Thomas’ Hospital in London. Nightingale also published “Notes on Nursing,” which outlines specific principles and guidelines about hospital planning, sanitation, food service, personal hygiene, and other aspects of hospital operations. Many of her original principles are now used in modern nursing, and later editions of the book are still available today.
Florence Nightingale was one of the most influential women of her time, a pioneer in her profession, and a completely selfless example of making efforts to serve others. She became an advocate for trained nursing principles and helped influence public policy. Today, the Florence Nightingale International Foundation, a registered charity in the United Kingdom, pays tribute to Florence Nightingale with its efforts to “advance nursing education, research, and services for the public good.”
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