Beginning of Modern Nursing

In the realm of nursing, Florence Nightingale is the most well-known name. Her work was crucial in developing modern nursing practice. She worked tirelessly to ensure that the patients in her care had all they needed to get well. 

Her Environmental Theory revolutionized nursing by establishing sanitary working environments for patients and nurses.

Florence Nightingale, the creator of modern nursing, was an English social reformer and statistician. During the Crimean War, Nightingale rose to fame as a manager and educator of nurses, organizing treatment for wounded troops. 

People often associate the beginning of nursing with the work of Florence Nightingale. Let's go back in time to the beginning of modern nursing.

Florence Nightingale: Beginning of Modern Nursing

Florence Nightingale’s Early Life

Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820, the city that inspired her name. Nightingale was the younger of two girls from a wealthy British family who belonged to upper-class social circles. Florence's older sister, Frances Parthenope, was named after her birthplace, Parthenope, a Greek colony now part of Naples.

Florence Nightingale's family resided in Embley, Hampshire, and Lea Hurst, Derbyshire, after returning to England in 1821.

William Smith, an abolitionist and Unitarian, was Fanny's father (and Florence's maternal grandfather). 

William Edward Shore was Nightingale's father (who had changed his surname from "Shore"), and Frances ("Fanny") Nightingale, née Smith, her mother. 

Nightingale's father was a wealthy landowner with two estates: one in Lea Hurst, Derbyshire, and the other in Embly, Hampshire. 

Mary née Evans, William's mother, was a niece of Peter Nightingale. William acquired his estate at Lea Hurst from him and took on the name and arms of Nightingale. 

Being born into a wealthy household had several advantages, such as a decent education for Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale’s Family Tree

Smith/Nightingale Family Tree Infographics

Education of Florence Nightingale

Florence's liberal-humanitarian outlook was instilled in her by both sides of her family. Nightingale's father educated her. "Florence benefited from their father's progressive ideas on women's education," according to a BBC documentary. 

History, mathematics, Italian, ancient literature, and philosophy were among the subjects they studied. 

The modern term for Florence Nightingale education is classical education. Classical education strives to revive a traditional and historic "liberal" education by reinstating a thorough study of the liberal arts, natural sciences, and "great books." 

The more scholarly of the two sisters, Florence showed an outstanding talent for collecting and assessing material from an early age, which she would use to great success later in life."

On tour to Europe in 1838, Nightingale met a significant figure who profoundly impacted her life.

Florence Nightingale’s Early Influences

Florence Nightingale got introduced to the English-born Parisian hostess Mary Clarke, whom she connected with during a family trip to Europe in 1838. "Clarkey" was a lively hostess who didn't care about her appearance. 

While her beliefs didn't necessarily align with her guests, she "couldn't bore anyone," according to Florence Nightingale. 

Despite their 27-year age difference, Clarkey and Florence remained close friends for 40 years. Clarke demonstrated that women could be equal to men, something Florence's mother had not taught her.

Nightingale was a philanthropist from an early age, caring for the sick and impoverished in the village adjacent to her family's land. In February 1837, while visiting Embley Park, Nightingale had the first of several experiences that she believed were divine invitations. 

They generated a strong desire to devote her life to the service of others. Nightingale eventually realized that nursing was her calling, and she considered it to be her divine destiny.

Her parents were unhappy when she told them about her plans to become a nurse and banned her from pursuing the necessary training. A young lady of Nightingale's social position was expected to marry a man of riches. This was to ensure her social standing. 

During the Victorian Era, English women had essentially no property rights, rather than taking up jobs that the higher social classes regarded as lowly menial labor.

Florence Nightingale’s Early Influences

Despite her mother and sister's displeasure, she refused to accept the traditional position of a lady of her rank as a bride and mother. In the face of hostility from her family and the limited social code for affluent young English women, Nightingale worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing.

Nightingale continued her journeys to Greece and Egypt with Charles and Selina Bracebridge. 

Nightingale rescued a small immature owl from a mob of children torturing it in Athens, Greece, and named the owl Athena. Nightingale routinely carried the owl in her pocket till it perished (soon before Nightingale left for Crimea)

Life During the Victorian Era Infographics

Florence Nightingale Work History

Her essays about Egypt, in particular, demonstrate her knowledge, literary flair, and life philosophy. She wrote of the Abu Simbel temples while sailing up the Nile to Abu Simbel in January 1850.

Florence Nightingale Work History

She wrote in her diary near Cairo a week later (as opposed to her much longer letters that her elder sister Parthenope was to print after her return). 

Later that year, she paid a visit to the Lutheran religious community of Kaiserswerth-am-Rhein in Germany. She witnessed Pastor Theodor Fliedner and the deaconesses caring for the sick and poor. 

Her findings were published anonymously in 1851, and she viewed the experience as a watershed moment in her life. She also got four months of medical training at the institute, which served as the foundation for her subsequent care.

Florence became superintendent of the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street, London, on August 22, 1853, a position she held until October 1854. Her father had provided her with a £500 annual allowance (approximately £40,000/US$65,000 in today's money), which enabled her to live comfortably and continue her work.

Florence Nightingale’s Life and Work During the War

Nursing in the Crimean war

The Crimean War broke out in October of 1853. It was a military war between Russia and an alliance of France, the Ottoman Empire, the United Kingdom, and Piedmont-Sardinia that lasted from October 1853 to February 1856.

The rights of the Christian minority in Palestine, which was part of the Ottoman Empire, were the immediate cause of the war. The French advocated the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia advocated the rights of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Longer-term factors included:

  • The Ottoman Empire's fall
  • The Russian Empire's growth during the preceding Russo-Turkish Wars
  • The British and French desire to protect the Ottoman Empire to maintain the Concert of Europe's power balance

Thousands of British troops were dispatched to the Black Sea, where supplies ran out quickly. By 1854, there had been almost 18,000 troops admitted to military hospitals.

In Crimea at the time, no female nurses were working in hospitals. The war office had avoided hiring more female nurses in the past due to their bad image. 

However, during the Battle of Alma, England was outraged at the treatment of their sick and injured soldiers. 

The latter lacked adequate medical care due to hospitals' severe understaffing and suffered cloudy and cruel conditions.

In late 1854, Secretary of War Sidney Herbert wrote to Nightingale, requesting that she form a corps of nurses to care for the injured and fallen soldiers in the Crimea. Nightingale responded to her summons. 

On October 21, 1854, Nightingale and her staff of 38 women volunteer nurses (mobilized by Henry Edward Manning) were transported to the Ottoman Empire. Including her aunt Mai Smith and 15 Catholic nuns. They were under the authority of Sidney Herbert. 

Mary Clarke accompanied Nightingale in Paris. The volunteer nurses were stationed a short distance from the main British camp in Balaklava, Crimea, which Nightingale never visited.

In early November 1854, Nightingale arrived at Selimiye Barracks in Scutari. Her team discovered that overloaded medical workers provided substandard care to wounded soldiers in the face of official indifference.

Nothing could have prepared Nightingale and her nurses for what they found when they landed at Scutari. Despite being warned of the horrific conditions, the British base hospital in Constantinople was in a terrible state. 

The hospital was built on top of a massive cesspool, contaminating the water and the hospital itself. On stretchers strewn across the hallways, patients lay in their feces. 

Essential commodities, such as bandages and soap, became increasingly less. Water had to be rationed as well. Medicines were few, and there was no way to prepare food for the patients because there was no equipment.

Florence Nightingale’s Life and Work During the War

The British Government commissioned Isambard Kingdom Brunel to build a prefabricated hospital in England. It moved to the Dardanelles after Nightingale wrote to The Times pleading for a government solution to the deplorable condition of the facilities. 

Renkioi Hospital, a civilian facility under the direction of Edmund Alexander Parkes, had a death rate less than a tenth of that of Scutari.

Florence Nightingale: Nursing in the Crimean war

According to Stephen Paget of the Dictionary of National Biography, Florence Nightingale decreased the death rate from 42% to 2% by either improving cleanliness personally or appealing to the Sanitary Commission. 

For example, in the war hospital where Nightingale worked, she instituted handwashing and other cleanliness procedures.

Four thousand seventy-seven soldiers died during her first winter at Scutari. Diseases including typhus, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery killed ten times as many men as battle wounds. 

Because of overpopulation, faulty sewers, and a lack of air, the British Government dispatched the Sanitary Commission to Scutari in March 1855, almost six months after Nightingale arrived. 

Nightingale got right to work. She bought hundreds of scrub brushes and assigned the less ill patients to scrub the hospital's interior from floor to ceiling. Nightingale dedicated every minute of her life to caring for the soldiers.

The Lady With The Lamp

Soldiers began to refer to Florence Nightingale as the Lady with the Lamp

Nightingale made her rounds through the dark corridors in the evenings, holding a lantern and ministering to patient after patient. Soldiers began to refer to her as "the Lady with the Lamp" as she moved and comforted them with her never-ending compassion. 

Others simply referred to her as "the Crimean Angel." Her efforts cut the hospital's death rate by two-thirds. The Times story remarked that:

Many people referred to Florence Nightingale as the Crimean Angel

In addition to dramatically enhancing the hospital's sanitary standards, Nightingale established several patient services that helped improve the quality of patients' hospital stays. She set up an "invalid's kitchen" where they prepared delectable food for patients with unique dietary needs. 

Nightingale also set up laundry so that the patients may have clean sheets and towels. She also established a classroom and a library for the intellectual and recreational stimulation of the patients.

The Treaty of Paris terminated the Crimean War on March 30, 1856. Nightingale stayed at Scutari until the hospitals were ready to close, then returned to Derbyshire as a reluctant heroine on August 7, 1856.

Career After the War

Nursing existed before Florence Nightingale's professionalization, but it was a pretty different job. Many nurses were nuns, and they were well-respected. Nursing was often regarded as a vocation of last option, with minimal respect.

Although she is most known for her contributions during the Crimean War, Nightingale's greatest triumphs were in the areas of social transformation in health care and nursing. 

On November 29, 1855, during a public meeting in Crimea to honor Nightingale for her service in the war, the Nightingale Fund was formed to train nurses. 

A flood of kind donations poured in. The fund's honorary secretary was Sidney Herbert, and its chairman was the Duke of Cambridge. 

On July 9, 1860, Nightingale used £45,000 from the Nightingale Fund to open the Nightingale Training School at St. Thomas Hospital. The first trained Nightingale nurses started working in the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary on May 16, 1865. 

Her School of Nursing is now part of King's College London and is known as the Florence Nightingale School of Nurses and Midwifery. 

She predicted that the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital in Aylesbury, near her sister's home Claydon House, would be "the most beautiful hospital in England" in 1866. It would be "an outstanding example to follow" in 1868.

Florence Nightingale also wrote Notes on Nursing in 1859. However, it was developed primarily for the instruction of nurses. 

Though it was intended primarily for the education of people nursing at home, the book became a cornerstone of the curriculum at the Nightingale School and other nursing schools. Nightingale penned the following:

Florence Nightingale promoted and organized the nursing profession 
Florence Nightingale’s Career After the War

Notes on Nursing were very well-received by the general public and are now regarded as a classic introduction to nursing. Nightingale dedicated the rest of her life to promoting and organizing the nursing profession. 

"The book was the first of its sort ever written," Joan Quixley of the Nightingale School of Nursing said in the introduction to the 1974 version. 

It debuted at a period when simple health laws were only beginning to be understood. Its topics were crucial for the well-being and recovery of patients. 

During this same period, nurses were still primarily considered uninformed and unemployable. Because the creator wrote it about modern nursing, the book certainly has a place in nursing history.

As Mark Bostridge has established, one of Nightingale's most notable achievements was the introduction of trained nurses into the British workhouse system from the 1860s forward.

This meant that sick paupers were no longer cared for by other, more capable paupers but by professionally trained nursing staff. In the nineteenth century, nurses were primarily former servants or widows who had no other employment options and were obliged to rely on this work to support themselves.

Caroline Worthington, director of the Florence Nightingale Museum, claims that There was no such thing as nursing when she [Nightingale] first began. Hospitals were places of last resort, with straw-covered floors to absorb the blood. 

When Florence returned from Crimea, she changed nursing forever. She had connections in high places and used them to accomplish her goals. Florence was obstinate, opinionated, and outspoken. But she needed to be to accomplish what she achieved.

Though Nightingale is commonly reported to have fought germ theory throughout her life, a 2008 biography disagrees. It claimed that she was just opposed to contagionism, a forerunner to germ theory. 

According to this notion, diseases could only be spread by touch. Before Pasteur and Lister's experiments in the mid-1860s, few people believed in germ theory, and even later, many doctors remained skeptical.

According to Bostridge, Nightingale produced an article for a textbook in the early 1880s. She argued for stringent procedures aimed at killing germs. Nightingale's efforts inspired nurses in the American Civil War. 

The Union administration sought her advice on how to organize field medical. The United States Sanitary Commission, a voluntary organization, was influenced by her ideas.

Nightingale mentored Linda Richards, "America's first trained nurse," in the 1870s. She was able to return to the US with the training and expertise to create high-quality nursing schools. Richards became a pioneer in nursing in both the United States and Japan.

Florence Nightingale’s Other Notable Contributions to Society

Medical Tourism

Based on her 1856 letters detailing spas in the Ottoman Empire, Nightingale was regarded as a pioneer of medical tourism. The term medical tourism refers to patients traveling overseas to receive medical treatment. 

This term was once associated with people looking for treatment in developed countries for medical conditions they could not handle at home. 

However, it has also come to apply to people from rich countries who travel to developing countries for cheaper medical treatment in recent years. Medical services unavailable or unlicensed in the home nation may also motivate.

Florence Nightingale Crimean War Statistics and Sanitary Reform

Florence Nightingale showed talent in mathematics from an early age and excelled under her father's supervision. 

She pioneered visual data display and statistical graphics. She used techniques like the pie chart, which William Playfair created in 1801. It was a relatively unique manner of displaying data at the time.

Nightingale is credited with creating a pie chart known as the polar area diagram. Occasionally, the Nightingale rose diagram, akin to a current circular histogram, indicated seasonal sources of patient mortality. She named the chart "coxcomb" which she used to explain the statistics clearly.

Florence Nightingale used coxcombs extensively to deliver data

She used coxcombs extensively to deliver data on the nature and scope of medical care conditions in the Crimean War. She presented it to Members of Parliament and civil workers who were unlikely to read or comprehend regular statistical reports. 

In 1859, Nightingale became the Royal Statistical Society's first female member. In 1874, she was inducted into the American Statistical Association as an honorary member.

Her focus shifted to the British Army's health in India. She established that poor drainage, unclean water, overcrowding, and inadequate ventilation contributed to the high death rate. 

Nightingale was a pioneer in introducing improved medical care and public health services in India and has conducted a comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in rural India. 

There was a publication of The Royal Commission on India (1858–1863), which included drawings by her cousin, artist Hilary Bonham Carter, with whom Nightingale had lived. 

Nightingale concluded that the army's and the people's health had to go hand in hand. She campaigned to improve the country's sanitary conditions as a whole.

Nightingale was a pioneer in introducing improved medical care and public health services in India and has conducted a comprehensive statistical study of sanitation in rural India. 

She successfully advocated for the appointment of a Royal Commission to examine the Indian situation in 1858 and 1859. 

Nightingale submitted a report to the panel two years later, and the commission completed its investigation in 1863. "In 1873, Nightingale reported that death among Indian soldiers had decreased from 69 to 18 per 1,000 after ten years of sanitary reform."

The Royal Sanitary Commission, which met from 1868 to 1869, allowed Nightingale to push for mandatory hygiene in private homes. She persuaded the minister in charge, James Stansfeld, to strengthen the proposed Public Health Bill by requiring existing property owners to pay for connection to mains drainage. 

The Public Health Acts of 1874 and 1875 strengthened the existing legislation. She worked with retired sanitary reformer Edwin Chadwick to persuade Stansfeld to delegate law enforcement powers to Local Authorities, removing medical technocrats' central control.

Florence Nightingale Crimean War Statistics and Sanitary Reform

Given the level of knowledge at the time, her Crimean War data convinced her that non-medical measures were more beneficial. 

Historians between 1871 and the mid-1930s believe that drainage and devolved enforcement played a critical role in increasing the average national life expectancy by 20 years. During this time, medical science had no impact on the most deadly epidemic diseases.

Literature and the Women's Movement

While Nightingale got , she is also a key figure in the history of English feminism. She published over 200 books, booklets, and essays throughout her life.

Wilfrid Laurier University published The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale in 2008, book 11 of a 16-volume set. 

The most well-known of these articles, "Cassandra," was first published in 1928 by Ray Strachey. It got featured in Strachey's book The Cause, which provides a history of the women's movement. 

Nightingale left soon after to train at Kaiserswerth's Institute for Deaconesses, indicating that the writing accomplished its initial goal of sorting out ideas.

Her work, like Cassandra's, displays her dread of her ideas being ineffective. During the Trojan War, Cassandra was a princess of Troy who worked as a priestess in the temple of Apollo. When she turned down the god's overtures, he cursed her, telling her that her prophetic warnings would go unheeded. 

Nightingale's writing has been described as "an important text of English feminism, a connection between Wollstonecraft and Woolf" by Elaine Showalter. 


Despite being identified as a Unitarian in some older sources, Nightingale's few comments on traditional Unitarianism are mildly critical. She remained a member of the Church of England for the rest of her life, albeit with some unconventional beliefs. 

Wesleyan faith influenced Nightingale from an early age. She believed that genuine religion should reveal itself in care and love for others. Suggestions for Thought, her theodicy, is a work of theology in which she develops her heterodox beliefs. 

Nightingale doubted the goodness of a God who would damn humans to hell. He believed in universal reconciliation that even those who died without being saved would eventually reach Heaven. With this vision, she would sometimes console individuals under her care.

Nightingale spent most of her life believing that the pagan and eastern religions offered authentic revelation. She was a vocal opponent of prejudice against Christians of many faiths and non-Christian faiths. 

Nightingale thought that religion gave people the strength to do a difficult job and that she would make sure that the nurses under her care attended religious services. She was, nonetheless, a vocal opponent of organized religion. 

She despised the Church of England's role in exacerbating impoverished oppression in the nineteenth century. Secular hospitals, Nightingale argued, frequently provided better care than religious ones.

Nightingale believed that the ideal health professional should be motivated by religious and professional motives. 

She also thought that many religiously motivated health workers are primarily concerned with ensuring their salvation. This motivation is inferior to the professional desire to provide the best possible care.

Florence Nightingale Legacy

Nightingale’s involvement in establishing the modern nursing profession is a lasting contribution. She led by example, demonstrating compassion, dedication to patient care, and careful and deliberate hospital management. 

Her Nightingale School for Nurses, which started in 1860, was the first recognized nurses' training school.

Florence Nightingale Legacy

She's one of a small group of historical figures that are instantly recognizable: the Lady with the Lamp, who tends to the injured and dying.

The Florence Nightingale Medal was established by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1912 and is awarded every two years to exceptional nurses or nursing aides. 

It is presented to nurses or nursing aides for "extraordinary courage and devotion to the wounded, sick, or incapacitated, or to civilian victims of a conflict or disaster" or "exemplary services or a creative and pioneering attitude in the areas of public health or nursing education." 

Every year on her birthday (May 12) since 1965, International Nurses Day has gotten observed.

National Florence Nightingale Award

On International Nurses Day, the President of India bestows the "National Florence Nightingale Award" on nursing practitioners. 

The award, founded in 1973, honors nursing workers who have demonstrated devotion, sincerity, dedication, and compassion in their work.

Nurses say the Nightingale Pledge, a modified form of the Hippocratic Oath, at their pinning ceremony at the end of their training. 

The promise, established in 1893 and named after Florence Nightingale, the creator of modern nursing, is a statement of the nursing profession's ethics and beliefs.

The Florence Nightingale Declaration Campaign, organized by the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH), intends to create a global grassroots movement. It aims to accomplish two United Nations Resolutions for approval by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008. 

They will proclaim 2010 as the International Year of the Nurse (the centennial of Nightingale's death) and 2011 through 2020 as the UN Decade for a Healthy World. 

Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) also aims to raise awareness of Florence Nightingale's fundamental problems, such as preventive medicine and holistic health. Over 25,000 people from 106 countries have signed the Florence Nightingale Declaration as of 2016.

Florence Nightingale inspired many US Army nurses during the Vietnam War

Nightingale inspired many US Army nurses during the Vietnam War, reigniting interest in her life and work. 

The Agostino Gemelli Medical School in Rome, Italy's first university-based hospital and one of the country's most prestigious medical institutions, honored Florence Nightingale's contribution to the nursing profession by naming a wireless computer system "Bedside Florence' built to help nurses.


Florence Nightingale Hospitals - Istanbul Sisli and Kzltoprak Florence Nightingale Hospital in Kadiköy are all affiliated with the Turkish Cardiology Foundation and named after Nightingale.

In 2011, a petition was launched in Derby, England, to rename the former Derbyshire Royal Infirmary hospital after Nightingale. The "Nightingale Quarter," where the hospital was located, is commonly referred to.

Several temporary NHS Nightingale Hospitals were built up during the COVID-19 pandemic to prepare for a predicted increase in the number of patients requiring critical care. The first was at the ExCeL London, and there were several more across England. 

Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic disrupted celebrations for her bicentenary in 2020.

Mseums and monuments

Florence Nightingale is memorialized in Waterloo Place‍

In Waterloo Place, Westminster, London, right off The Mall, a statue of Florence Nightingale by Arthur George Walker, a 20th-century war memorialist, stands. 

In Derby, there are three statues of Nightingale: one outside the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary (DRI), one in St Peter's Street, and one over the Nightingale-Macmillan Continuing Care Unit, located across the street from the DRI. Near the DRI, there is a tavern named after her. 

Historically known as The City Hospital, Derby, the Royal Derby Hospital now houses the Nightingale-Macmillan continuing care unit. In May 2010, the Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas' Hospital in London reopened in time for Nightingale's 100th birthday. 

Claydon House, her sister's family home and now a National Trust site, has a museum dedicated to her.

The Florence Nightingale Museum is located in Istanbul's northernmost tower of the Selimiye Barracks structure. Relics and reconstructions relating to Florence Nightingale and her nurses are on display in numerous of the museum's rooms.

When Nightingale arrived in Crimea in May 1855, she frequently traveled by horseback to check hospitals. She was then transferred to a mule cart and was said to have averted significant damage when the cart tipped over in an accident. 

She next employed a robust Russian-built black carriage with a weatherproof hood and curtains as her next mode of transportation. After the war, Alexis Soyer returned the carriage to England and donated it to the Nightingale training school.

The hospital got bombed during World War II, and the carriage was damaged. It was renovated and moved from Claydon House to the Army Medical Services Museum in Mytchett, Surrey, near Aldershot, where it is now on exhibit. 

A statue of Florence Nightingale is seen in Japan's Chiba University

A statue of Nightingale is seen in Japan's Chiba University, a bust in the Philippines' Tarlac State University, and a figure in Aldershot's Gun Hill Park. Other nursing schools, such as the one in Anápolis, Brazil, are named after Nightingale. 


Apart from her monuments, there is a phonograph recording from 1890 kept in the British Library Sound Archive preserved Florence Nightingale's voice for posterity. Here is part of the recording, which was made in support of the Light Brigade Relief Fund and is accessible to listen to online:

Florence Nightingale’s phonograph recording from 1890

Theater and Film

Florence Nightingale's life story is depicted in a gripping historical drama film. The Lady with the Lamp film, directed by Reginald Berkeley and starring Edith Evans, was the first theatrical adaptation of Nightingale. 

It premiered in London in 1929. It drew heavily on Lytton Strachey's biography of her, and Eminent Victorians, for character development.

Florence Nightingale's life story is depicted in drama film

The Victoria Cross, a biographical silent film starring Julia Swayne Gordon as Nightingale, was also released in 1912. Florence Nightingale, starring Elisabeth Risdon, was released in 1915. 

Kay Francis portrayed Florence Nightingale in the 1936 film The White Angel. Anna Neagle starred in The Lady with a Lamp in 1951. 

Florence Nightingale, an animated film about her work as a nurse in the Crimean War, was released in 1993 by Nest Entertainment.


There is also a television show on Florence Nightingale's life that is based primarily on her own words and depicts the actual and unexpected narrative of this remarkable woman. 

The BBC's 2008 Florence Nightingale, starring Laura Fraser, emphasized her independence and sense of religious calling. 

In contrast, Channel 4's 2006 'Mary Seacole: The Real Angel of the Crimea' portrays her as narrow-minded and opposed to Seacole's efforts.


Florence Nightingale was the first historical woman to appear on banknotes

In addition, Nightingale was the first historical woman to appear on banknotes. From 1975 to 1994, the portrait of Florence Nightingale appeared on the reverse of the Bank of England's £10 Series D banknotes.

Alan Turing and Nikola Tesla also appeared in different banknotes in countries.

Florence Nightingale in two pounds


Florence Nightingale’s scarce photograph of her shot at Embley

Another interesting thing about Nightingale is that she had a strong aversion to being photographed or having her portrait painted. In 2006, the Florence Nightingale Museum in London discovered a scarce photograph of her shot at Embley during a visit to her family home in May 1858. 

Dreweatts auction house in Newbury, Berkshire, England, sold a black-and-white portrait taken by Lizzie Caswall Smith at Nightingale's London townhouse in South Street, Mayfair, for £5,500 on November 19, 2008.


Nightingale's first biography was published in England in 1855. Her executors permitted Edward Tyas Cook to write the official life in 1911, published in two volumes in 1913. 

Eminent Victorians, one of Lytton Strachey's four relentlessly provocative biographical essays, included Nightingale. According to Strachey, Nightingale was a passionate, motivated lady who was both personally disagreeable and admirable in her accomplishments.

In her 1950 biography, Cecil Woodham-Smith, like Strachey, relied primarily on Cook's Life, despite having access to additional family material stored at Claydon. 

Mark Bostridge published a significant new life of Florence Nightingale in 2008. He based almost entirely on unpublished material from the Verney Collections at Claydon and archival documents from about 200 archives worldwide. 

Lynn McDonald published some in her planned sixteen-volume edition of Florence Nightingale's Collected Works (2001 to date).

Other Recognitions of Florence Nightingale

Following a UK-wide vote, Nightingale was placed number 52 in the BBC's selection of the 100 Greatest Britons in 2002. Nightingale was named 17th in The Top 100 Historical Persons in Japan by the Japanese public in 2006.

Several Anglican churches have a feast day dedicated to Nightingale in their liturgical calendars. Every year on August 13, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America honors her as a Renewer of Society alongside Clara Maass.

A double-lancet stained glass window made by artist Joseph G. Reynolds honors Nightingale's achievements with six vignettes from her life. It was unveiled in 1983 at Washington National Cathedral.

The USS Florence Nightingale (AP-70) cargo ship

The USS Florence Nightingale (AP-70) was a Moore-McCormack Lines class C3-M cargo ship built by Mormacsun for the Maritime Commission. Mormacsun was a Moore-McCormack ship from May 1941 to December 1941, when she was transferred to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) for the duration of WWII. 

The ship served as the WSA agent until September 1942. It was transferred to the United States Navy and commissioned as the Florence Nightingale, becoming an Elizabeth C. Stanton-class transport ship. 

She is one of the few ships in the United States Navy named for a woman, Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in nursing. In 1946, the ship was returned to WSA and then to Moore-McCormack. It was renamed Mormacsun until sold to operate as Japan Transport and Texas.

The USS Florence Nightingale got commissioned into the US Navy in 1942.

Florence NIghtingale: The US Air Force C-9A "Nightingale" aeromedical evacuation planes

The US Air Force began operating a fleet of 20 C-9A "Nightingale" aeromedical evacuation planes based on the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 platform in 1968. In 2005, the final of these planes got decommissioned from service.

Florence Nightingale: The asteroid 3122 Florence

The asteroid 3122 Florence got named after her in 1981. The UK, Alderney, Australia, Belgium, Dominica, Hungary, and Germany featured Nightingale on postal stamps.

The Florence Nightingale Medal is an international honor that nurses or nursing aids can get just like Alfred Nobel’s Nobel Prizes to celebrate excellence.

The Florence Nightingale Medal is an international honor for nurses and nurse aids

The Church of England honors Florence Nightingale with remembrance on August 13. The coronavirus epidemic hampered celebrations for her bicentennial in 2020. The NHS Nightingale hospitals were named in her honor.

Florence Nightingale was the first woman to obtain the Order of Merit. She was given the title of Lady of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem during her lifetime. Emmanuelle Charpentier and Maru Nihoniho also received the same award in today’s generation.

Florence Nightingale’s Award and Recognitions Infographics

Florence Nightingale’s Personal Life

Florence Nightingale’s Personal Life

Nightingale believed that women wanted sympathy and were not as capable as men. However, much of her work improved women's lives worldwide. 

She chastised early women's rights campaigners for lamenting a "lack of employment opportunities for women." At the same time, lucrative medical jobs, under the supervision of Nightingale and others, remained unfilled indefinitely.

She favored the acquaintance of strong men, claiming that they had gone above and beyond to assist her in achieving her objectives. She used masculine pronouns to describe herself, such as "a man of action" and "a man of business."

She did, however, have some significant and long-lasting female friendships. She maintained a long connection with Irish nun Sister Mary Clare Moore, with whom she had worked in Crimea later in life. 

Nightingale was regarded as lovely and graceful as a young woman. While she had a serious demeanor, she was reputed to be quite charming and have a beautiful smile. 

Richard Monckton Milnes, a politician, and poet, worldwide, was her most persistent suitor. Still, she rejected him after a nine-year courtship, believing that marriage would interfere with her ability to pursue her profession as a nurse. Nightingale explained why she turned him down. 

She added that while he intellectually and romantically aroused her, her " character" demanded something more than a household life.

Nightingale and Sidney Herbert, a politician who had served as Secretary of War, became lifelong friends. During the Crimean War, Herbert would be Secretary of War once more. He and his wife would play a key role in supporting Nightingale's nursing work in Crimea. 

She was Herbert's most trusted counsel throughout his political career. At the same time, some have accused her of hastening Herbert's death from Bright's Disease in 1861 due to her reform program's burden. 

Much later, Nightingale had a close relationship with professor Benjamin Jowett, who may have wanted to marry her. She struggled with her self-definition and her family's expectations of an upper-class marriage between 1850 and 1852.

Some Nightingale biographers believe she was chaste throughout her life, possibly because she felt a religious calling to her profession.

Nightingale’s Death

From 1857 forward, Nightingale was bedridden and depressed regularly. According to a recent biography, the reason was brucellosis and accompanying spondylitis.

Most experts now agree that Nightingale had a very severe case of brucellosis. Despite her symptoms, she was highly prolific in social reform. 

During her bedridden years, she also accomplished groundbreaking work in hospital planning, which swiftly spread worldwide. In her final decade, Nightingale's production slowed significantly. 

Due to her condition, she wrote very little, though she maintained an interest in current events.

Florence Nightingale passed away at the age of 90

Florence Nightingale passed on at the age of 90, quietly sleeping in her bed at 10 South Street, Mayfair, London. 

She left behind a vast amount of work, including several hundred previously unpublished notes. Francis William Sargant sculpted a memorial to Nightingale in Carrara marble in 1913.

Key Takeaways: Florence Nightingale

Florence was ahead of her time to preserve people's lives through clean air, healthy diets, and nurturing environments.

I have learned so much about her, but let me share these fundamental lessons.

  • Follow your dreams

Florence Nightingale was born into a comfortable existence in England to a wealthy, aristocratic family. She was supposed to marry young and well and have children, but she believed as a 17-year-old that she had a goal and wanted to devote her life to helping others.

  • Familiarize yourself and your work with facts and data

Make your argument irrefutable. This is something that everyone should do, not just those who label themselves "researchers."

  • Commitment

Florence Nightingale didn't have a job; she had a mission. Before taking her team of young nurses to Crimea, she did not inquire about pay and benefits. She suffered working conditions that would be deemed unacceptable in today's society.

Despite this, she never suffered "burnout," and her dedication to her job profoundly impacted the world of healthcare. When it comes to chasing your aspirations, you should be fully devoted and conceive of them as a mission to complete.

If Nightingale had lived in our time, she would have urged us to remember that we can overcome any hurdle. And make the world a better place if we face the problems with courage and commitment and refuse to make excuses or give up trying.

Florence Nightingale didn't have a job; she had a mission. Before taking her team of young nurses to Crimea, she did not inquire about pay and benefits. Nightingale suffered working conditions that would be deemed unacceptable in today's society. 

Despite this, she never suffered "burnout," and her dedication to her job profoundly impacted the world of healthcare.

Nightingale made it possible to have beer conditions in our healthcare systems. For that, we are forever indebted to her input in modern nursing.

Key Takeaways: Florence Nightingale