TODAY IN HISTORY: Florence Nightingale is born (May 12, 1820)
On May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale, the pioneer of modern nursing was born into privileged English society.
From the beginning of her life, Florence felt a calling for the nursing profession and this posed a scandal with her privileged family because nursing was considered a profession for the poor and ill-educated.
Nightingale was put in charge of nursing British and allied soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. She spent many hours in the wards, and her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded established her image as the “Lady with the Lamp.” During the Crimean War, Florence is credited with saving many lives that would have otherwise died on the battlefield.
She revolutionized the nursing profession and trained nurses as they tended to fallen soldiers using techniques of triage, sanitation and organization. Her efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school—the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London
Florence Nightingale returned home to England a heroine and a national figure. Her book “Notes on Nursing” became the definitive text on her new methodologies. She died at age 90 and was offered a burial at Westminster Abbey, which her family declined.
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