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In she went to Kaiserwerth in Germany to learn. Florence Nightingale did an excellent job of reorganizing the hospital. As a result of her work Sidney Herbert the Secretary of War invited her to go on a mission to soldiers wounded fighting the Russians. At that time Britain, France and Turkey were fighting Russia.

Florence Nightingale

Nightingale sailed with 38 nurses to Turkey on 21 October They arrived in November. Florence found military hospitals were dirty and bare and great numbers of soldiers were dying of diseases. She worked very long hours to bring order and cleanliness to the hospitals and she became a heroine to the British public. They raised 45, pounds a huge sum in those days to help her.

Florence Nightingale returned to Britain in She was commissioned to investigate the living conditions of British soldiers in peacetime. She greatly raised standards of nursing.

Promoter of the Red Cross

Every probationer who entered the school was interviewed by Florence and supervised by her. In old age Florence Nightingale suffered from ill health and she went blind. By the mids Florence was an invalid.


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Today, nurses are recognised as important , super-skilled professionals. But one woman changed all that… meet the amazing Florence Nightingale. Florence Nightingale was born in the city of Florence, Italy , on 12 May whilst her parents were enjoying a long honeymoon. William Nightingale was a wealthy banker and was able to provide his family with a very privileged life. They had servants and two lovely houses — a winter home in Hampshire and a summer home in Derbyshire.

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But William was keen for his daughters to learn, and gave them lessons in lots of different subjects, including science, history and maths. Daily life was spent seeing to servants, entertaining guests, reading, sewing and attending social events. But Florence saw something very different for her future.


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She wanted to be a nurse. In , he gave in, and allowed Florence to study nursing at a Christian school for women in Germany.

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There, she learned important skills in caring for patients and the importance of hospital cleanliness. Great for teachers, homeschoolers and parents alike! British troops went off to fight in the Crimea — an area in the south of Russia, now part of Ukraine. News soon reached home of soldiers dying from battle wounds, cold, hunger and sickness, with no real medical care or nurses to treat them. When they arrived, the nurses found the Army hospital in Scutari the area where wounded soldiers were sent in a terrible state.

It was overcrowded and filthy, with blocked drains, broken toilets and rats running everywhere. Imagine the smell!


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Not surprisingly, disease spread quickly and most of the soldiers died from infection. Florence knew that the soldiers could only get well again if the hospital conditions improved. With funds from back home, she bought better medical equipment and decent food, and paid for workmen to clear the drains.

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And together with her team, she cleaned the wards , set up a hospital kitchen and provided the wounded soldiers with quality care — bathing them, dressing their wounds and feeding them. As a result of all the improvements, far fewer soldiers were dying from disease. Florence Nightingale truly cared for her suffering patients. After newspapers wrote about her work in the Crimea, people thought of her as a heroine.

Florence Nightingale biography

Queen Victoria wrote her a letter to say thank you for everything she had done. Cool, eh? But Florence had no care for fame, and even though the war was over, there was still work to be done. She set about writing letters to important people telling them what was wrong with Army hospitals, and in September she met with Queen Victoria to discuss ways to improve military medical systems.

Huge reform took place — the Army started to train doctors, hospitals became cleaner and soldiers were provided with better clothing, food and care. Go, Flo! Not only did the school provide excellent nurse training, it made nursing a respectable career for women who wanted to work outside the home. Florence suffered from illness for much of her later life, largely because of all her hard work helping sick people.