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She was born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820. She got her name from the city of Florence.
At that time women didn’t work. They served tea and gave parties. Florence didn’t like this lifestyle.
As a young woman Florence felt that God had called her to help others. She wanted to be a nurse but her parents did not want to her to become one. She was interested in books and medicine and wanted to go to university. At first her family was against it, but after many emotional battles her father agreed. She got a good education in Germany and started to work in a hospital when she came back to England.
March 1854 brought the start of the Crimean War when Britain, France and Turkey declared war on Russia. Florence Nightingale left England and became a nursing administrator of the English General Hospitals in Turkey. She took 38 other nurses with her. Together they went to battlefields and organized hospitals.
Military officers and doctors objected to Nightingale's views on reforming military hospitals. Nightingale received very little help from the military until she used her contacts at “The Times” to report details of the way that the British Army treated its wounded soldiers.
In 1856 Florence Nightingale returned to England as a national heroine. She had been deeply shocked by the lack of hygiene and elementary care that the men received in the British Army. Nightingale therefore decided to begin a campaign to improve the quality of nursing in military hospitals. In October, 1856, she had a long interview with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the following year gave evidence to the 1857 Sanitary Commission. This eventually resulted in the formation of the Army Medical College.
The wounded soldiers called her an angel because at night she went from one bed to another with a lamp. Florence Nightingale has stated in history as “the Lady with the Lamp”, the first professional nurse who saved thousands of lives.
The most solemn and famous monument to the memory of Florence Nightingale is probably the one in Waterloo Place, London , which is a part of the Crimean War Memorial.
Florence Nightingale Medal are got for qualified male or female nurses and also for male or female voluntary nursing aides who are active members or regular helpers of a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society or of an affiliated medical or nursing institution.
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