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My name is Florence Nightingale. Many people know me as "the lady with the lamp."

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My name is Florence Nightingale. Many people know me as "the lady with the lamp." My history tells that I was seen as an angel of mercy. My contributions to medicine are still very much seen today. I was born May 12, 1820 and Fanny Nightingale in Florence, Italy. William My mother wanted her children to have different names, so her firstborn, my sister, was named Parthenope after an ancient Greek site. I was named Florence after the town in which I was born. My parents were known to be very strong-willed and intelligent people. When I was a year old, my family moved to back to their homeland, Europe. My father had inherited a large amount of money so I grew up in an upscale world of games, guests, excursions, pets and amusements. My father began educating me and my sister when we were quite young. He taught us Greek, French, Italian, and German. I remember very clearly his consistency in teaching me to study history, philosophy, math, ethics and the Bible. I expressed early on my desire to help people when my sister and I were playing dolls. Parthenope had fun taking the dolls apart, while I found amusement in sewing and putting them all back together. I grew up to be known as the better looking sister who was better at school work. ...read more.


I confided to myself that if my parents wouldn't allow me to work in a hospital then I would simply gather information on my own the best I could. While I studied each night, I was able to discover a highly respected institution in Kaiserswerth, Germany that doubled as a college and a hospital for nurses. I finally felt like I had found a solution to my problem. However, convincing my parents to let me go was a whole different issue. In the meantime I read charts and notes on mortality rates and sicknesses. I was able to gain better knowledge of the issues and concerns of Europe, as well as the nursing profession. Five years later I was still in the same spot I had been five years earlier. Every night I prayed and pleaded with God to send me some kind of answer as to where I was supposed to go next. Frustrated, I fell both mentally and physically ill thinking that God had ultimately forgotten about me. My friend, Selina Bracebridge, and her husband saw how down I had been and convinced my parents to let me travel with them to Egypt, Greece and other European countries. I was thrilled! I was going to be right by the hospital in Kaiserswerth. ...read more.


In 1860 the Nightingale Training School and Home for Nurses opened. My school taught two basic principles: that nurses should have sensible training in hospitals and that nurses should live in a home that has morals and discipline. My involvement with my students at my school went beyond just schooling, after their graduation I kept in close touch and helped launch many of their careers. I helped bring the term respectable to the nursing through my school and my past. For the last remainder of my life I was mostly confined to bed because of an illness I had contracted while I was in Turkey. I was not able to keep working as a nurse, however I was still able to push the medical field toward better health standards. I was also able to publish over 100 books about nursing. I became the first woman to receive the Order of Merit from Kind Edward VII. In 1874 I became an honored member of the American Statistical Association and in 1883 Queen Victoria awarded me the Royal Red Cross in recognition of my work. On August 13, 1910, at the age of ninety I passed away. I was buried in Europe, near Embley Park. I am known as one the most influential women in the nineteenth century. Much of my research and reforms in nursing are still in effect today. Today, I am distinctly remembered as a hero of medicine. ...read more.

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