Florence Nightingale, a statistician, and an English reformer who was born on 12th May 1820 in Florence, Tuscany, was the founder of modern nursing. From a very young age, Nightingale was active in philanthropy, ministering to the ill and sick people within the village neighboring her family’s estate. By the time she was a teen, it was evident nursing was her calling. She believed that nursing was to be her divine purpose. She had trained a lot of nurses, and at the time of her demise, she was serving as a manager of her trained nurses during the Crimean War, where she led the nurses intending to wounds for the soldiers. Florence Nightingale gave nursing a highly favorable repute and became a portrait of Victorian culture, especially in making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. She came to prominence on 13th August 1910, having lied for 90 years.
According to Baly, Monica, and Matthew, Nightingale being brought up in a wealthy family, she decided to give up her high society lifestyle and devoted her time to serving soldiers and providing treatment to them. Her achievements in the Crimean War were greatly appreciated, in particular by the media at that point, and in professionalizing the nursing roles for women. She came to be famous in 1860 after laying the foundation of professional nursing and the establishment of the main (secular) nursing school in the world at that time at St. Thomas Hospital based in London. Nightingale’s popularity, being an English reformer, was much influenced by her writing skills and much of her published work was based on spreading medical knowledge, which she wrote simple English which made her work easy to read and understand.
Nightingale changed the view of nursing from a mere occupation without much respect and revolutionized the way people saw the field of medicine. Initially, nursing was considered an ordinary activity, something that anyone could do without any training or skills. (Baly, Monica, and Matthew)In 1853, she applied to work at Harley Street Nursing Home, where she had found the working conditions not satisfactory, and the quality of services that were offered was not good since the nurses there were not literate enough and they needed more training to perfect their skills. She made improvements such as better organization and training of the staff, implementing systems that could be used to supply hot water to every floor of the hospital, among others.
She was able to set up recreational activities and rooms for the soldiers as their health improved. In these rooms, she had the chance to educate the soldiers and other aspiring nurses on ways to improve public health systems. The books she wrote concerning medical artifacts empowered many women to pursue the nursing sector. In additional to vastly improving the sanitary conditions of hospitals, Nightingale created some patient services that contributed to improving the eminence of their hospital stay. She inaugurated the creation of an “invalid’s kitchen” where pleasing food for patients with special dietary requirements was cooked. The ideas she had to improve medical care helped a lot of hospitals in the world to improve their medical services. The improvements that she was able to apply changed a lot in the nursing world.
According to Sokoloff, Nancy Boyd, the works of Florence Nightingale are greatly appreciated and incorporated by many hospitals to improve their services. The celebration of the annual International Nurses Day around the world is done on her birthday as a sign of appreciation for her work. Regarding recognition of her revolutionary exertion in nursing, the Nightingale Pledge reserved by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international division a nurse can attain, are named in her honor.
In conclusion, The works of Nightingale revolutionized nursing and brought much more light and respect to professional nursing and in the world today, nurses embrace and appreciate the achievements she made in her lifetime.
Sokoloff, Nancy Boyd, 1982. Three Victorian women who changed their world.
Baly, Monica and Matthew, 2011. Nightingale Florence (1820–1910),