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Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) is an important British woman in history. As a nurse during the Crimean War, a statistician, and social reformer, she laid the foundation for turning nursing into the professional occupation that it is today. Having spent many hours in hospital wards, she also became known as the “Lady with the Lamp”. She was the first woman to be awarded an Order of Merit.
See the fact file below for more information on the Florence Nightingale or alternatively, you can download our 22-page Florence Nightingale worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
PERSONAL AND EARLY LIFE
- Florence Nightingale (05/12/1820 – 08/13/1910) was born in Florence, Italy, as the second daughter of William Edward and Frances Nightingale. She was named after the city of her birth.
- Born into a wealthy family, Florence was educated at home by her father in subjects including history, philosophy, and literature. She excelled in math and languages from an early age and could read and write French, German, Italian, Greek, and Latin.
- Florence did not like the traditional female roles and skills of home management, much preferring to read philosophy and engage in serious political and social debates with her father.
- As a very religious person, Florence experienced a spiritual awakening at the age of 16. While sitting in her parent’s garden, Florence believed she experienced God calling her to reduce human suffering. She viewed nursing as a suitable way to meet this calling.
- Florence had a little experience in nursing from caring only for sick family members and tenants of their land. Her parents were very dissatisfied with her choice, believing that nursing wasn’t proper for a lady of her social standing. She was not put off and went ahead to be trained as a nurse.
- Florence had the opportunity to marry, but she refused a couple of suitors. She felt marriage would enslave her in domestic responsibilities.
- In 1849, Florence refused a marriage proposal from Monckton Milnes. Milnes pursued her for years but she explained her reasons for turning him down, saying that she felt marriage would bind her in domestic responsibilities.
- Florence enrolled as a nursing student in 1850-1851 at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany.
EARLY CAREER AND THE CRIMEAN WAR
- The Crimean War broke out in October 1853 between the Ottoman Empire had Russia due to a series of disputes over sacred places in Jerusalem, as well as the demand of Russia to protect Orthodox Christianity under the sultan of the Ottoman empire.
- The Turkish Ottoman Empire sought the alliance of Great Britain and France against Russia. Though the majority of the battles were fought in the Crimean Peninsula in Russia, the British military base and hospitals for wounded soldiers were established in Constantinople (Istanbul).
- British journalist William Howard Russell of the London Times reported the poor conditions and treatment of the soldiers in the hospitals. The news shocked the British public and they demanded reform.
- In 1854, Florence Nightingale organized a group of nurses to travel to Crimea with the help of her friends, Liz and Sidney Herbert. Florence was aided by using nurses trained by Elizabeth Fry’s school of nurses who campaigned for conducive prison conditions.
- Together with a group of 38 nurses, Florence was based in Scutari, Istanbul. She was stunned with the poor conditions of the wounded soldiers. She observed that there was an inadequate number of beds for the soldiers, unpleasant smells, and rats running around the hospital. She described the hospital as the “Kingdom of Hell”.
- At first, the nurses were tasked with cleaning and sanitizing the hospital and weren’t allowed to tend to the dying men. However, due to the overwhelming number of casualties, doctors eventually asked the nurses to assist.
- Florence was disciplined and organized. She bought equipment using funds provided by the London Times and solicited soldiers’ wives to assist with the laundry.
EXPERIENCES FROM THE CRIMEAN WAR
- Florence created standards for taking care of the sick and wounded. She included necessities such as bathing, proper clothing, and healthy food.
- She would wander the wards at night to check on and support the injured patients, which earned her the title, the “Lady with the Lamp.”
- Florence contracted Crimean fever from contaminated milk for which there was no treatment. She survived but lived with severe chronic pain for the rest of her life.
- The Crimean War ended on 30 March 1856 with the Treaty of Paris. Florence remained for a few months after the war before returning to Derbyshire in August 1856.
- Florence and her team of nurses were greatly acknowledged by the wounded soldiers and when word spread back home, they were praised there too.
- Florence became a national heroine and even received an award from Queen Victoria.
LATER LIFE AND LEGACY
- Florence continued to fight for improving the condition of medical institutions. In 1855, the Nightingale Fund was established. Assisted by the Nightingale Fund, she founded a training school for nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital in London in 1860. By 1862, a training school for midwives was established at King’s College Hospital.
- Florence Nightingale also developed statistical models such as the Coxcomb chart. The chart is used to assess mortality rate.
- Her writings, Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not, became a standard reference book for the nursing profession and people wanting to acquire basic knowledge in nursing aid.
- Florence Nightingale received the title ‘Lady of Grace’ by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. Thus, becoming the first woman to receive the Order of Merit.
- Florence died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90 on 13 August 1910 in Mayfair, London. Her family refused a state burial in Westminster Abbey and she was honored with a memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. She is buried in the graveyard of St Margaret’s Church in East Wellow, Hampshire.
Florence Nightingale Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Florence Nightingale across 22 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Florence Nightingale worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Florence Nightingale (12 May 1820 – 13 August 1910) who is an important British woman in history. As a nurse during the Crimean War, a statistician, and social reformer, she laid the foundation for turning nursing into the professional occupation that it is today. Having spent many hours in hospital wards, she also became known as the “Lady with the Lamp”. She was the first woman to be awarded an Order of Merit.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Florence Nightingale Biography
- Nightingale Word Search
- Florence Fact or Fiction
- A Different Life
- Lady with the Lamp
- Nightingales Among Us
- Nightingale Pledge
- Being a Nurse
- Acting Like Florence
- When I Grow Up…
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Link will appear as Florence Nightingale Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 25, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.