Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of nursing and reformer of hospital sanitation methods, was born in Italy on 12 May 1820. She was known as “Lady of the Lamp“. Whenever the noble job of a nurse is remembered, only one name click in mind and that is Florence Nightingale. Her parents William Edward and Frances Nightingale were rich. She resided mostly in Darbyshire and Hampshire in England. She received a thorough classical education from her father.
Florence was good at studies. She was beautiful too. It was expected that she would make a good marriage. But she felt an urge from her heart to serve the sick as if she heard the voice of God. She dedicated her life to the nursing service. She started visiting the homes of the sick and a number of hospitals and nursing home. In those days nursing was not considered a reputed profession for girls of noble families. But Florence was eager to take it as her mission. She received three months’ training at Kaiserwerth. And after that, she was offered to fill up a vacancy as superintendent of the establishment for sick women at Harley Street in London in 1853.
During the Crimean War against Russian by Britain, France and Turkey, Nightingale was stirred by the reports of inadequate nursing facilities at British barrack-hospitals in Turkey. She rushed there and was appointed to oversee the introduction of female nurses into hospitals in Turkey. She went to the Barrack-Hospital in Scutari, with a party of 38 nurses, in 1854. The doctors did not want to take the help of the nurses at first, but within ten days fresh casualties occurred and the nurses proved to do a lot of help.
In the hospitals, the wounded soldiers received Florence Nightingale with love and regard for sincere duty and called her The Lady with the Lamp’. Other nurses were also inspired by her and the service of female nurses in the military hospital was a great success. To show the nation’s gratitude for Florence Nightingale’s sincere work, a public fund was raised in 1856 and with the money (€ 50,000) thus collected Nightingale continued her reform works in the hospitals in Britain. Her greatest achievement was to raise the nursing service to the level of a respectable profession.
In 1860 she established the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Her Notes on Nursing was published in 1859. Later on, it was translated into eleven foreign languages. Being bedridden in her old age, she continued publishing 200 books, She was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1853. She breathed her last on 13 August 1910. And she is still regarded as the ideal personality by the nurses all over the world.