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Florence Nightingale

Born in 1820 - Died in 1910

Florence Nightingale<BR> Enlarge

Florence Nightingale was the daughter of a well-to-do family in England. They wanted her to become a socialite* ; to learn to give big parties and serve tea. Florence, however, had other plans. When she told them she didn't want this kind of life, her parents became very angry and her sister went into hysterics.*

By the time she was 12, she was determined to "do something worthwhile". She liked books. She enjoyed caring for sick farmers on her father's estate. Once she even saved the life of an old shepherd's dog that had broken its leg.

At the age of 16, she was sure that God was calling her to serve others. She used every spare minute to learn from nursing books she had secretly obtained. She visited hospitals in London and the surrounding area.

Her parents didn't want her working in those "dirty" hospitals, but she was determined. They did many things to try to change her mind. Her sister pretended to have fainting spells. Her mother accused her of being immoral.*

She finally reached an agreement with her father. If he would let her go to Kaiserwerth (KI zer wirth) hospital in Germany to study, she wouldn't tell anyone her plans. This way, her family wouldn't have to be "embarrassed"* by her actions.

She was an excellent student, and after her graduation, she returned to London and got a job running a hospital.

During the Crimean (cry ME un) War, she was put in charge of nursing. She went to the battlefield with 38 nurses. The hospital was a huge, dirty barracks* building. She got men to clean it up and managed to get the supplies they needed.

Nightingale diagram showing
causes of death in the war

She carried a lamp as she walked the halls of the battlefield hospital and became known as the "lady with the lamp".

She saved thousands of lives. People called her a ministering angel in the hospitals, but she herself became ill with a disease she got there.

In her later years she was not able to travel, but people came to her from all over the world for her advice.

During the Civil War, the United States asked her advice about setting up military hospitals.

She became known as the founder* of modern nursing.

This biography by Patsy Stevens, a retired teacher, was written in 2001.

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From Word Central's Student Dictionary
by Merriam - Webster

(Pronunciation note: the schwa sound is shown by ə)

Pronunciation: 'sO-shə-"lIt
Function: noun
: a person well-known in fashionable society

Pronunciation: his-'ter-iks
Function: noun singular or plural
: a fit of uncontrollable laughter or crying

immoral, wicked
Pronunciation: 'wik-əd
Function: adjective
1 : morally bad : EVIL
2 : given to mischief : ROGUISH
3 : very bad or unpleasant such as a wicked storm

embarrassed, embarrass
Pronunciation: im-'bar-əs
Function: verb
1 : to cause to feel confused or distressed...

Pronunciation: 'bar-əks, -iks
Function: noun singular or plural
: a building or group of buildings in which soldiers live

Pronunciation: 'faun-dər
Function: noun
: one that founds or establishes...

Research Links

Florence Nightingale
story and quiz with cartoon pictures

Florence Nightingale
Timeline Part 1 from Country Joe McDonald

Florence Nightingale
Timeline Part 2

Florence Nightingale, The Lady With the Lamp

Florence Nightingale Museum in London

The Lady With the Lamp
from BBC

Florence Nightingale
from Wikipedia

Florence Nightingale's Influence on Nursing
New York Academy of Medicine

Nursing Pledge

NOTES ON NURSING What it is, and what it is not
by Florence Nightingale

Invention of the Hospital(audio) and Nightingale's Graph (audio)
Engines of Our Ingenuity.

Song about Florence Nightingale
(listen to the live performance in London sung by Nick Saloman)


Press "Go" to search for books about Florence Nightingale


Order the following books from Amazon.

Please Help, Miss Nightingale
by Stewart Ross (selected pages) Order here

Florence Nightingale (A Photo-illustrated Biography)
by Lucile Davis (selected pages) Order here

Florence Nightingale
by Sarah Tieck (selected pages) Order here

Learning about compassion from the life of Florence Nightingale
by Kiki Mosher (selected pages) Order here

The Private Life of Florence Nightingale (Novel)
by Richard Gordon (selected pages) Order here

The Life of Florence Nightingale
by Sarah A. Tooley (public domain, 1905, full view) Order here

Notes on Nursing
by Florence Nightingale (public domain, 1860, full view) Order here

Florence Nightingale
by Shannon Zemlicka (selected pages)

Florence Nightingale, Lady With the Lamp, Graphic Library
by Trina Robbins (selected pages)

Florence Nightingale, First Biographies
by Lola M. Schaefer, Wyatt Schaefer (selected pages)

Florence Nightingale, History Maker Bios
by Susan Bivin Aller (selected pages)

Life and Times, Florence Nightingale
by Emma Lynch (selected pages)

A Picture Book of Florence Nightingale
by Alexandra Wallner, John Wallner (selected pages)

Start-up Connections, Florence Nightingale
by Stewart Ross (selected pages)

Credits and Solutions

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, and

Puzzles on these pages courtesy of
Songs of Praise and Armored Penguin

* Word Match Solution

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VeRy GoOd SoUrCe To gO To
Florence was fascinating. Thank you for sharing what you know about her.
hello, I saw many biography about our holy saint nurse madam Florence nightingale but did she write her own autobiography??? if she did write it, what was book title or any other nurses wrote their own autobiography not biography??? sun-hae kim

See the Collected Works of Florence Nightingale.

it is really awesome it helped me a lot for my project thanks again :)
This is an outstanding resource! Thank YOU! I am using your resources for emplyee games for Nurses Week at our hospital. Thanks!
doesnt help really no author or publisher
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