Florence Nightingale was a British nurse and the founder of modern nursing.

She was born in Italy to English parents and trained in Germany as a nurse.

During the Crimean War, more deaths occurred in hospitals than on the battlefield. Nightingale came to prominence while serving as a manager and trainer of nurses during this war, where she organized care for wounded soldiers.

She was awarded a medal by Queen Victoria for her work during the Crimean War.

Victoria Cross

In 1860, Florence Nightingale laid the foundation for professional nursing by establishing her nursing school at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. This institution was the world’s first secular nursing school and is currently integrated into King’s College London.

Florence Nightingale’s pioneering contributions to nursing are commemorated through the Nightingale Pledge, taken by new nurses, and the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international distinction in nursing, named in her honor. International Nurses Day is also celebrated annually on her birthday.

In addition to her nursing achievements, Nightingale was a prominent social reformer. Her efforts included advocating for improved healthcare across British society, advocating for better hunger relief in India, contributing to the abolition of harsh prostitution laws affecting women, and promoting expanded opportunities for women in the workforce.

Her birthday, the 12th of May, is observed as International Nurses Day.