Story of Florence Nightingale

Story of Florence Nightingale


  • Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy.
  • Her parents were visiting Florence, in Italy.
  • She was named after the city.
  • Florence’s parents were very rich.
  • Florence had an older sister named Parthenope.

Florence Nightingale Childhood

  • Florence’s childhood was happy.
  • Like many girls of the time, Florence did not go to school.
  • But she was a good student.
  • Her father taught her foreign languages, history and math.
  • Florence wanted to nurse the sick.
  • At the time, nurses were often uneducated old women.
  • Her parents would not let her be a nurse.
  • But as she grew older, Florence’s parents wanted her to marry a rich young man and settle down as girls of her age were expected to do.


  • She was sure that she wanted to be a nurse and help people.
  • In the beginning, Florence read books and reports about health and hospitals.
  • She learnt and became an expert to treat the sick and make them better.
  • When she was 26, Florence went to Germany with some friends to visit a nursing school in Kaiserswerth.
  • To say, this was where she wanted to study.
  • In 1851, Florence’s parents let her go to Kaiserswerth.
  • Then she went to Paris, France, to work as a nurse.
  • Later, she worked at a hospital for sick women in London.

Crimean War

  • In 1854, Nightingale heard about the bad conditions for soldiers injured in the Crimean War between Britain and Russia.
  • Most of the injured soldiers were sent to Scutari.
  • Nightingale gathered together supplies and a group of nurses to help.
  • So, they traveled to Scutari Hospital in Turkey.
  • Sick people had unhealthy food and there were no beds.
  • To say, she made the ward cleaner and the men were happy to have better food.  

The lady with the lamp

  • They called Nightingale “The lady with the lamp” because she walked around the hospital every night comforting patients.
  • When the war ended in 1856, Nightingale was famous.
  • Even Queen Victoria wanted to meet her.
  • Everyone wanted Nightingale’s advice about hospitals and health.

Later life

  • In 1860, she set up the Nightingale School for Nurses in London.
  • Nightingale became sick and suffered from Crimean Fever, she was often bedridden over the rest of her life.
  • She spent most of her time at home, but people came to ask her for advice about hospitals.
  • Nightingale was blind for the last ten years of her life.  She was sick for a long time, but she kept working until she lost her sight.
  • She died in 1910. 


  • Today, hospitals have become cleaner and looked after by trained nurses.  
  • One main reason is because of the hardwork and dedication of Florence Nightingale. 
  • During her life, nursing had become a respected profession. 
  • Finally, Her birthday is celebrated as International Nurses Day.