Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale, 1820–1910, English nurse, the founder of modern nursing, b. Florence, Italy. Her life was dedicated to the care of the sick and war wounded and to the promotion of her vision of an effective public health-care system. In 1844 she began to visit hospitals; in 1850 she spent some time with the nursing Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul in Alexandria; and a year later she studied at the institute for Protestant deaconesses in Kaiserswerth, Germany. In 1854 she organized a unit of 38 woman nurses for service in the Crimean War; by the end of the war she had become a legend. With the testimonial fund collected for her war services she established (1860) the Nightingale School and Home for training nurses at St. Thomas's Hospital, London. She was called "The Lady with the Lamp" because she believed that a nurse's care was never ceasing, night or day; she taught that nursing was a noble profession, and she made it so. Florence Nightingale was the first woman to be given the British Order of Merit (1907). She wrote Notes … on Hospital Administration (1857), Notes on Hospitals (1859), Notes on Nursing (1860), and Notes on Nursing for the Labouring Classes (1861). After her death the Crimean Monument, Waterloo Place, London, was erected (1915) in her honor, and the Florence Nightingale International Foundation was inaugurated (1934).

See M. Vicinus and B. Nergaard, ed., Ever Yours, Florence Nightingale: Selected Letters (1989); biographies by C. Woodham-Smith (1950, 1983), E. Huxley (1975), B. M. Dossey (2000, repr. 2009), H. Small (2000), G. Gill (2004), M. Bostridge (2008), and L. McDonald (2010); studies by F. B. Smith (1982), M. E. Baly (1986, repr. 1998), and S. Dengler (1988).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Florence Nightingale: Selected full-text books and articles

Florence Nightingale: An Introduction to Her Life and Family By Florence Nightingale; Lynn McDonald Wilfrid Laurier University Press, vol.1, 2001
An Introduction to the Social History of Nursing By Robert Dingwall; Anne Marie Rafferty; Charles Webster Routledge, 1988
Librarian’s tip: "Florence Nightingale: Woman and Myth" begins on p. 35
Essays on Women, Medicine and Health By Ann Oakley Edinburgh University Press, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Florence Nightingale begins on p. 96
Nursing and Social Change By Monica E. Baly Routledge, 1995 (3rd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "The Influence of Florence Nightingale"
Nursing, the Finest Art: An Illustrated History By M. Patricia Donahue Mosby, 1996 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Nightingale Revolution" begins on p. 197
Florence Nightingale - Fantasy and Fact By Timko, Michael The World and I, Vol. 18, No. 7, July 2003
Western Medicine: An Illustrated History By Irvine Loudon Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Florence Nightingale begins on p. 198
FREE! Eminent Women of the Age: Being Narratives of the Lives and Deeds of the Most Prominent Women of the Present Generation By James Parton; Horace Greeley; T. W. Higginson; J. S. C. Abbott; James M. Hoppin; William Winter; Theodore Tilton; Fanny Fern; Grace Greenwood; E. C. Stanton S.M. Betts, 1869
Librarian’s tip: "Florence Nightingale" begins on p. 11
Death or Glory: The Legacy of the Crimean War By Robert B. Edgerton Westview Press, 1999
British Medicine in an Age of Reform By Roger French; Andrew Wear Routledge, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Florence Nightingale begins on p. 231
A Second Treasury of the World's Great Letters By Wallace Brockway; Bart Keith Winer Simon & Schuster, 1941
Librarian’s tip: "Florence Nightingale, Amid the Horrors of the Crimean War, Jolts England With the Facts [A Letter to Sir William Bowman]" begins on p. 421
The Great Victorians By Hugh Massingham I. Nicholson & Watson, Ltd., 1932
Librarian’s tip: "Florence Nightingale: 1820-1910" begins on p. 319
Victorian Writing about Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World By Elaine Freedgood Cambridge University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Two "The Rhetoric of Visible Hands: Edwin Chadwick, Florence Nightingale and the Popularization of Sanitary Reform"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Author Advanced search


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.