"History of Florence Nightingale"
Florence Nightingale is regarded as the founder of the
modern nursing profession. She was a visionary pioneer
who changed the way that the injured and sick were treated.
She was an inspiration in the founding of the Red Cross.
Born in 1820 in Florence, Italy (her British parents
named her after the city), she seemed destined to become
a great leader in health care. When she was 17, she had
a "mystical experience"- a calling from God.
At the age of 31, returning from a trip to Egypt and
Greece, she traveled to Germany where she visited a hospital
and school for deaconesses - a visit that would change
her life. She returned the following year to receive three
months' training to become a nurse. Two years later, against
her parents' wishes, she visited hospitals in Paris, and
the same year she was appointed Superintendent of the
Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness in London.
Then, a year later in 1854, came the Crimean War. Florence
Nightingale was appointed by her friend, Sidney Herbert,
the Minister of War, to direct the introduction of female
nurses in military hospitals in Turkey. She took 38 nurses
and started a program of sanitary science - bringing cleanliness
and order to the wards, laundry and kitchen. The mortality
rate declined and recovery of the wounded improved dramatically,
as did morale.
On her rounds in the wards, during the Crimean War, she
carried a lantern to light her way and to examine the
wounded soldiers. She soon became known as the "Lady
with the Lamp."
Four year after the close of the war, in 1856, Florence
established the Nightingale School for Nurses in London
with money raised in tribute to her. This marked the beginning
of professional education in nursing.
In 1883, Queen Victoria awarded her the Royal Red Cross,
and in 1907, she became the first woman to receive the
Order of Merit. She died in 1910 at the age of 90.
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