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Who Was Florence Nightingale and What Did She Do?

I'm Rachelle, a.k.a "TheMotleyChick," a lover of eclectic but ordinary people, situations, and topics. I love sharing helpful resources.

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Many people have heard of the name Florence Nightingale, and they know that she is a historic figure.

However, there are not a lot of people who know exactly who she was, or how she left her mark on future generations.

Most people who know her name realize that she was a nurse, but they cannot state any other facts about this historic heroine.

Some people even believe that she is a myth.

Her gifts to women's history, and human history overall are legendary indeed, but alas. . . she is not a myth.

Florence Nightingale was a living, breathing person whose contributions continue to save the lives of millions of people

Artists Rendition of Florence Nightingale Nursing Sick Soldiers

Artists Rendition of Florence Nightingale Nursing Sick Soldiers

Florence Nightingale was a 19th Century nurse who first gained recognition for her medical contributions to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War (October 1853 - February 1856).

This was no small task because conditions for soldiers during the Crimean War are known to have been exceedingly gruesome.

Upon voluntary arrival to the Ottoman Empire during the war, Nightingale and her personally trained staff of nearly 40 nurses noticed the unsanitary conditions under which wounded soldiers were kept.

She and her staff cared for the soldiers, and made sanitary changes that resulted in a dramatic reduction to the mass infections that ravaged the wounded.

Her ideals about proper sanitation were documented and eventually instituted into normal medical practice.

Today, we know that proper hygiene and sanitation are key elements to proper health care, but it was Florence Nightingale who first made the world aware of the issue.

Among other key accomplishments, Florence Nightingale was a prolific writer, and a mathematician, both of which were highly unusual endeavors for affluent women during the period of time in which she lived.

Additionally, Nightingale is sometimes coined as “the mother of nursing” because she established one of the first official training programs for the profession.

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in the city of Florence, Italy to wealthy British parents. She died on August 13, 1910, at 90 years of age.

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Gilbert Arevalo from Hacienda Heights, California on March 14, 2017:

Rachel, very nice summary on the historical significance credited to Florence Nightingale. You helped sharpen my history knowledge.

Suzie from Carson City on August 24, 2014:

Rachel....Very interesting. In your 2nd paragraph, I will assume you meant to include the word "DON'T"......exactly know who she was.... And in my case, you would be partially correct.

I knew she was a Nurse and that she tended to soldiers at a time in History. I appreciate the additional information you have provided via this educational hub. Good read. Up+++

Ashley on February 25, 2014:


stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on July 01, 2012:

Dear Rachelle : Noticed this hub about Florence Nightingale. I thought she might have been and elegant government agent for the British, or U.S. government. Thank you for the knowledge that she was a wonderful nurse that brought about the creation of Hygiene among the ill. God Bless You.

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on November 29, 2011:

@ Admiral_Joraxx - Ahhh...a singer, I actually never thought about that one. Thanks for the vote up

Admiral_Joraxx from Philippines on November 29, 2011:

So, she was the mother of nursing? Her name likely suggest that she was a singer. I thought before. Thanks for sharing this information. 1 vote up for this.

Rachelle Williams (author) from Tempe, AZ on November 29, 2011:

@ ronhi - She is an inspiration to me as well.

@ romari - This is why I created this hub, now you know that she is not a bird! :)

Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes from Heaven on November 29, 2011:

I thought florence nightingale is a

ronhi from Kenya on November 28, 2011:

Very informative. She is indeed an icon and even though am not a medic, she is still an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Voted up, awesome, useful, interesting

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