“Hello” Florence Nightingale – Born 12 May 1820
Florence Nightingale, OM, RRC (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) was a renowned British social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She came to prominence while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War. She was dubbed “The Lady with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night.
In 1860, Nightingale established her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London which was the first non religious nursing school in the world, now part of King’s College London. The Nightingale Pledge taken by new nurses was named in her honour, and the annual International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world on her birthday. Her achievements include improving healthcare for all sections of British society, helping to abolish laws regulating prostitution that were overly harsh to women, and increasing female participation in the workforce.
Nightingale was born to a wealthy upper-class family, at a time when women of her class were expected to focus on marriage and child bearing. Nightingale however, rejected proposals of marriage to focus on her wish to help others. Her father had progressive social views, providing his daughter with a good education and supported her desire to lead an active life.
Starting in her mid thirties, she suffered from poor health, but continued working almost until her death at the age of ninety.