Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

 

Florence Nightingale (1820 –1910) was a celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a highly favourable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of “The Lady with the Lamp” making rounds of wounded soldiers at night.

She went to St Thomas’ Hospital in London which was the first secular nursing school in the world.  The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour.

Florence was of the opinion that women craved sympathy and were not as capable as men.  She criticized early women’s rights activists for decrying an alleged lack of careers for women at the same time that lucrative medical positions, under the supervision of Nightingale and others, went perpetually unfilled.

Florence was a prodigious and versatile writer. In her lifetime much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She also helped popularize the graphical presentation of statistical data. Much of her writing, including her extensive work on religion and mysticism, has only been published posthumously.

 

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