Florence Nightingale (Florence12 may 1820 – 13 August London1910) was a British nurse, social reformer, Statistician and mystica.

The young Florence had, as intelligent and educated daughter of a very wealthy English family, all the cards for success in the better circles. However, as a teenager she heard the "voice of God" and she knew that she wanted to lead the empty existence not of the aristocracy but the fate of the poor, sick and injured wanted to improve. As a protest against the restrictions that were put in it at the time as her wife, she wrote a feminist classic: Cassandra. This book influenced include the philosopher John Stuart Mill and author Virginia Woolf.

Despite strong opposition from her family, born in Florence Italy did experience in taking care of the sick. Nursing as a subject had to be invented yet. She spent a short time in the deaconesses House in the German Kaiserswerth and at the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul in the neighborhood of Paris. After her return in England , she focused on the reorganization of a small hospital in London. This versatile woman has become known as the founder of modern nursing, but her most important contributions they behind the scenes.


[hide]*1 Crimean War

Crimean War[Edit]Edit

When during the Crimean War William h. Russell, the correspondent of The Times, the guardian mention degrading situations under the sick and wounded British soldiers, offered Florence, as 34-year-old nurse, her services.

Supported by Minister of war Sidney Herbert left Florence at the head of a group of 38 nurses to Scutari (the old name for a district in the Asian part of Istanbul, nowÜsküdar). With patience, tact and, above all, many organisational ability knew they order in the Hospital Department of the Selimiye barracks and reached that the care of the wounded significantly improved. Yet in her hospital died relatively most soldiers. They called for an investigation, which found that a faulty sewage system was the cause. Here she has her life long a strong awareness of the importance of hygiene ("the servant of civilization") whatsoever. However, it took a while for them the discovery of contemporary Louis Pasteur, that infections are caused by bacteria, accepted.

[1][2]The polar diagram such as Nightingale that introduced

To convince the Government that the vast majority of soldiers not died as a result of acts of war but by the lack of good health care, developed in the mathematics and statistics very gifted Nightingale a diagram to present the relevant data. She was the inventor of the pool chart,[1introduced the use of statistics in health care and was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society.

After returning to England, she founded in 1856 a nurse school on St. Thomas Hospital in London, one of the first training in this area and the most influential. In 1859 she wrote Notes on Nursing, What It Is, and What It Is Not, the first modern Handbook for nursing the sick. Its belief that health is not merely the absence of disease, but the situation in which a man can develop his or her talents, though, the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO) defined.

Social reformer[Edit]Edit

The second half of her life she herself was ill (probably brucellosis), which did not prevent her to lead a team of scientists. Based on their research, she wrote reports and developed theories that have led to important social reforms. It was said that they had more knowledge than her two ministries together. She used her popularity with the people to put pressure on the Government to adopt certain laws. To this end, she worked together with, among others, the novelist Charles Dickens and the Anglican Archbishop. With AWE became the politically speaking about ' Nightingale power '. By her commitment to health care, education and income security for all is an important founder of the modern welfare State has become. Nightingale had a holistic vision: a disease or crime is always also a symptom of a deficit in society: "the sickest people live always in the worst homes."

For the general public continued her work as a social reformer rather hidden. As a result, they are much more lives saved than through its nursing work in the Crimean War. Estimates are in the millions.

Through her pioneering work was in the then colony of British India (now India) created a Department of Health. She came on for the poor, oppressed farmers there, one of the first underlined the importance of irrigation to crop failures and suggested a form of micro-credit. She got the nickname ' Governor of the Governors of India '. They also accompanied Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a leader of the Indian independence movement and Gandhi's mentor. Gandhi influenced the American Reverend Martin Luther King in his fight for equal civil rights. King inspired in turn the antiapartheidsbeweging in South Africa. An important leader of this, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in the memorial service in London at the hundredth anniversary of the death of Nightingale (in 2010) the sermon.


Nightingale was witty and witty, but because of her passion, and also because of her illness, she could sometimes seem brusque on its surroundings. How bad they felt, they continued to write. There are more than 10,000 letters of its preserved and many reports, articles and books. She knew seven languages, including Greek, Latin and Hebrew and collaborated on the revised Plato translation of her friend, the Oxford scholar Benjamin Jowett. She also translated important texts of Mystics.

She wrote an original theological work, Suggestions for Thought, in which she describes her Christian motives also, with insights from Oriental religions. They saw no contradiction between faith and science. Man has according to her part in God's being, but with many limitations in the field of health, knowledge and righteousness. It is the command of humanity to using science to extend these restrictions so that more and more people to live their divine nature. Suffering is the incentive to progress to come. So she found war ' horrible ' but suggested at the same time that the Crimean War had led to an enormous improvement in nursing. By connoisseur Evelyn Underhill is counted to the mystics.

In 1907 the first wife Florence got the high Order of Merit, a Royal decoration. That was three years before her death in 1910. She was 90 years old. King Edward VII refused initially to grant the award because she was a woman. Its influence and power was for a woman who is not a member of the Royal family was without precedent. Her male strongholds as the army reform and health care called, next to admiration, resistance on and sometimes outright enmity. Especially since the eighties of the twentieth century, some biographers the emphasis which resulted in a distorted view of Nightingale, also in several BBC documentaries. Lynn McDonald, editor of her collected works, the factual inaccuracy of this negative image shown.

The woman with the lamp[Edit]Edit

Because they are in the Crimean War, often at night with a lantern the round did down her patients, she was known as the woman with the lamp (The lady with the lamp). That nickname comes from the Santa Filomena dedicated to her poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. She has been given her own day on the liturgical calendar of the Anglican (12 August) and the Lutheran (13 August, her death anniversary) Church.There is then a church service with a light ceremony held.

International influence[Edit]Edit

Many heads of State, including the German Emperor and the Dutch Queen Sophie, knocked at her up for advice. Her nursing work in the Crimean War inspired Henri Dunant in 1863 to the founding of the Red Cross.Nightingale was thereupon critical because they found that caring for soldiers is the responsibility of Governments and not scroll into the shoes of volunteers. She has many convinced that women can do "real work"-a new thought in her time. So she was an example for the American reformer Dorothea Dix, of health care, for countless women who received injuries during the American civil war and for the nurses in the Viet Nam war. Already during her trained nurses swarmed by Nightingales life over the world, from Canada to Australia and Japan, in order to bring good nursing.

Many of her suggestions regarding hospital architecture, such as individual departments to reduce the risk of infection (pavilions) and the importance of light and good ventilation, have become commonplace. Other proposals are still not or hardly accomplished, such as the importance of prevention ("gezondenzorg is as important as health care") and its belief that hospitals should publish their results so that every year that are mutually statistically compared and can be improved. The Faculty of statistics at the University of Oxford regularly organizes the "Florence Nightingale Lectures". Worldwide, there are numerous associations of nurses named after her, such as the Florence Nightingale Foundation who scientific research. Her birthday, 12 may, is international day of nursing declared. Worldwide, there are more than fifty biographies of her appeared.

Nursing and midwifery In Europe have Bachelor's programmes (to colleges and universities) are organized in the Florence Network. This network existed In november 2009 from 38 bachelor's programmes in 17 European countries.

In theological terms, anticipated Nightingale the American ' social gospel ' movement. They saw the creation as an ongoing development, an evolution. This would later become the main theme of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and process theology are the American. Her belief that we have to help God to that development, comes back at twentieth-century authors like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Etty Hillesum. She walked on these thinkers and moves forward but direct influence is not identifiable. Though she wrote a lot and wide so that they prepare in which these views helped the theological ground root could shoot.

Mary Seacole[Edit]Edit

In the shade of Florence Nightingale in the Crimea operated a nurse from Jamaica: Mary Seacole (1805-1881). She was called "the black Nightingale" called. However, that robs her of her own name and identity, typical of the time of slavery. There is sometimes claimed that Nightingale would look down at her, but there is no evidence for. The two women met only once. Seacole requested a meal and shelter, which Nightingale gave. For the Seacoles work, precisely in the years since slavery was abolished, is lately more interest. Incidentally, the Member of Parliament William Nightingales grandfather wore Smith, in collaboration with William Wilberforce a key enabler of the abolition of slavery-' the open ulcer of the world ' as his granddaughter who with a nurse term mentioned.

Recent literature[Edit]Edit

  • Mark BostridgeFlorence Nightingale, The Woman and her Legend. Penguin Books 2008.
  • Lynn McDonaldFlorence Nightingale at First Hand. Continuum Books 2010.
  • Jean-Jacques Suurmondthe spirituality of Florence Nightingale. Macdonald Publishing House, 2010.

Wilfried Laurier University Press recently by the in Waterloo, Canada released the collected works of Nightingale: The Collected Works of Florence Nightingale. This series, edited by Lynn McDonald and Gérard Vallée, France 16 parts and is also accessible via the internet. Four sections deal with religion and war and India respectively, two about nursing, and the remaining parts about her family, her European voyages, politics and society, women, public health and the improvement of hospitals.

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