Florence Nightingale, "Lady with the Lamp", pioneer of modern nursing

Brief life sketch of Florence Nightingale and her achievements

Born on 12th May 1820 in Florence  - Italy  and hails from a wealthy family.  She was the lover of pet animals and was tending wounded birds and animals.  She travelled all over Europe along with her parents, and had the opportunity to gain varied experiences, and fortified her knowledge.  She had the divine call to serve the suffering humanity in the then days.  Accordingly her heart moved despite her parents compulsion for a marriage.  She had the ability to learn various languages in Europe.  She visited Kaiserworth Institute in Germany and had the acquaintance in nursing activities with Pastor fieldnor and was able to gather a band of nurses to serve the wounded soldiers and other deserving personnel.  In 1854-56 the Crimean war broke out and where in her services were well known to Sydney Herbet – the then secretary of war and were summomed to carry on the services in the war field. She carried a lamp in her hand, attended each sick and wounded soldier and hence derived today  “ The Lady with the Lamp “ deemed eternal from generation to generation.


A U.S.Navy recruiting poster from World War-II,showing a Naval nurse with a hospital ship.

Achievements  :

  1. Sanitary conditions were improved in the army barracks and her suggestions were accepted all over the world.

  2. She brought down the death rate from 22 – 20 per 1000 population.

  3. She was strict and could not get cooperation from army doctors in spite of prevailing situation.  She had shown improvement in sanitary conditions.

  4. Established a school of nursing at St.Thomas Hospital, London and became the full pledged training center even today.

  5. At scutari, there was no provision of electricity and carried a lamp in her hand, and attended each sick and wounded soldiers and hence derived name as “ Lady with the Lamp “ stood eternal for generations.

  6. Has written a booklet on “ What is Nursing and What is Not "

  7. Started a new chapter in renaissance of nursing or epoch making history in nursing and was named as doyen of nursing.

  8. She received quite a number of gifts, presents and other articles from various countries in view of her  recognition,  to be used for the sick and wounded and for the up liftment of health status.

  9. She sacrificed her life for sick and suffering of the mankind, on the whole and the pledge endorsed by her stood as the monument which was accepted all over the globe and observed by the nurses on the eve of her birthday and in “Lamp Lighting Ceremonies performed in various institutions / colleges and became the “Founder of Modern Nursing”