Florence Nightingale Birth Anniversary: Interesting facts of the OG nurse

Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer, statistician and the Founder of Modern Nursing. She became fairly known while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during the Crimean War.

Interesting facts about the Founder of Modern Nursing:

  • Florence was born on 12 May 1860 into a wealthy and well connected British family.

  • Florence was educated by her father. She and her older sister Parthenope benefited from their father's advanced ideas about women's education.

  • Florence displayed an extraordinary ability for collecting and analysing data which she would use to great effect in later life.

  • During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale organised care for wounded soldiers at Constantinople.

  • Florence gave nursing a favourable reputation.

  • She became an icon of Victorian culture especially in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of wounded soldiers.

  • Nightingale believed that God was calling out to her to devote her life to the service of others.

  • Her mother and sister were against her decision of becoming a nurse.

  • As a young woman, Nightingale was described as attractive, slender and graceful. While her demeanour was often severe, she was said to be very charming and to possess a radiant smile.

  • Her most persistent suitor was the politician and poet Richard Monckton Milnes, but after a nine-year courtship she rejected him as she was convinced that marriage would interfere with her ability to follow her calling to nursing.

  • Nightingale rescued a juvenile little owl from a group of children who were tormenting it, and she named the owl Athena. Nightingale often carried Athena in her pocket, until the pet died.

  • Nightingale was of the opinion that women craved sympathy and were not as capable as men. However, she did have several important and long-lasting friendships with women.

  • Some scholars of Nightingale's life believe that she remained chaste for her entire life, perhaps because she felt a religious calling to her career.

  • Florence Nightingale died peacefully in her sleep in her room at 10 South Street, Mayfair, London, on 13 August 1910, at the age of 90.

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