Wer war Florence Nightingale?

The Brit Florence Nightingale made history for her self-sacrificing work. Born in Florence in 1820 to wealthy parents, she had to fight hard before she could fulfill her lifelong dream. She wanted to help and care, but at that time women from a good family were condemned to live in a golden cage. Finally her family agreed: she learned to be a nurse.
During the Crimean War, in which she was the lifesaver for thousands of wounded, she got her nickname “The Lady with the Lamp”: At night she walked through the hospitals with the lamp in her hand. Nursing reform in England is associated with her name and she modeled it on Henry Dunant, founder of the Red Cross.

Nursing reform

She owes her first name to her birthplace Florence, her last name is that of a small bird with a powerful voice, the nightingale.

As a nurse, Florence Nightingale reorganized the care of the soldiers against the massive resistance of the medical profession in the Crimean War (1853 – 1856), improved the hygienic and medical conditions and thus reduced the death rate from 42 to 2%.

On her return she founded the first nursing school in London in 1860, teaching according to modern standards. Their experiences have been published in various textbooks. In 1907 Florence Nightingale was the first woman to receive the “Order for High Merit to the British Empire and Mankind” and became an honorary citizen of London.

We owe it to the British nurse that nursing was established as a teaching profession today. Florence Nightingale died in 1910 – a heroine in her lifetime!


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