Florence Nightingale.

Florence Nightingale was born on 12 May 1820 in Florence, Italy the year after Queen Victoria was born. She was raised in Derbyshire, England. Her father did not educate her at a school but at home where she was given a classical education which was unusual for a girl.

When Florence was young she was very interested in nursing and in 1849 she started studying hospital systems in England and in Europe. In 1850 she began training as a nurse at the Institute of St Vincent de Paul in Alexandria, Egypt. It was a Roman Catholic hospital. After that she went to Paris, France and then she finished her studies at the Institute for Protestant Deaconesses at Kaiserwerth, Germany.

Florence was so well trained that she became superintendent of the Hospital for Invalid Gentlewomen in London in 1853.
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In 1854 the Crimean war broke out. When Florence read about the appalling conditions at the British Hospital barracks she immediately wrote to the British Secretary of War volunteering her services to work in the hospitals. Unaware of this the Minister of War was proposing that she should take charge of all nursing operations at the War front.

Florence set off with 38 British nurses for Scutari (now part of Istanbul, Turkey) and found the following shocking conditions.

1. The men can lie in filth for 2 weeks before being seen by a doctor.


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