Also Known As
Lady with the Lamp
Lea Hurst, Lea
social reformer and statistician; founder of modern nursing
Florence Nightingale was born in Italy but spent most of her childhood in Derbyshire. From a Unitarian family Florence was encouraged in her education and could speak several languages. At 16 she felt she had a spiritual vocation to reduce human suffering and by 1851, against her family wishes, she was learning rudiments of nursing in a protestant institution in Germany.
In 1853 she became a superintendent of the Institution for Sick Gentlewomen in London and proved her talent in improving efficiency in its operation. After the outbreak of the Crimea War political attention was given to the poor conditions of the medical establishments for wounded British soldiers. Florence was asked by the Secretary of the War to bring a small party of nurses to the Barrack hospital at Scutari Turkey, where she set about improving the care standard.Here she gained the reputation as being the ‘Lady with the Lamp ‘ as she toured the wards in the evenings. Upon her return to Derbyshire in 1856 Florence had won the respect of the British public and medical establishment.
Because she made records about all aspects of overseeing the day to day occurrences at the Barracks Hospital a Royal Commission was instigated to investigate the findings. Subsequently this led to medical reforms including nursing education, district nursing, midwifery, environmental improvements and hospital epidemiology informing health in the British Empire. Florence died 1910 and is buried in East Wellow Hampshire.
Place of Birth
Place of Death
Great niece of Peter Nightingale of Lea
Lea Hurst, Derbyshire
Authorised Form of Name
Nightingale; Florence (1820-1910); social reformer and statistician; founder of modern nursing
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