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#IND2017: Facts you may not know about Florence Nightingale - Nursing Heroes - Nurses Arena Forum

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#IND2017: Facts you may not know about Florence Nightingale by Idowu Olabode : May 12, 2017, 03:48:54 PM
Today is International Nurses Day, which is recognised around the world as a chance to celebrate the work nurses do.

Each year, ICN will prepare and distribute the International Nurses Day kit, which contains educational and public information materials for nurses to use.

The UK marks the day by holding a ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London, where a symbolic lamp is passed between nurses and onto the High Altar, which signifies the passing of knowledge from one nurse to another.

In January 1974, May 12 was chosen as the day as it is the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth – the woman who is seen as the founder of modern nursing.

Here are some facts you may not know about the woman who was hailed as a heroine in Victorian times.

Nurses from the Liaoning Hospital of Chinese Armed Police light candles before pictures of Florence Nightingale in Shenyang to mark International Nurses Day

1. Florence grew up in a wealthy family in Romsey, Hampshire, mingling with other rich children and spending her time attending parties and seeing friends.

2. That all changed on February 7 1837, when she was 16 – she became convinced that the voice of God was calling to her, and believed that He wanted her to carry out special work.

3. When she reached her twenties, she began to believe that God wanted her to be a nurse, after taking an interest in how the sick people in the villages around her home were taken care of.

4. Her parents were shocked and angered at her decision to go to Salisbury hospital and learn about how to become a nurse.

5. At the time, nurses generally came from poor families.

6. She eventually received training while visiting Kaiserwerth, which is now Germany, as she visited a hospital famous for training nurses and attended for three months.

7. When she returned home, she put her new skills to good use, as her parents had become ill.

8. At the age of 33, she took a job running a small private hospital in Harley Street, London.

9. When her father realised she was serious about helping the sick, he promised to pay her £500 a year – which was an enormous sum of money during Victorian times.

10. In 1854, during the Crimean War, one of Florence’s friends – who was a member of the government in charge of the military – asked her to get a group of nurses together and head for the Crimea, in Turkey.

11. At first, the doctors didn’t want the help of Florence and her 38 nurses, but as wounded soldiers increased in number, they changed their minds.

12. Florence changed the dirty conditions of the hospital by cleaning the drains, arranging for a supply of drinking water and getting clean sheets and bandages for the hospital stores.

13. As she grew in popularity, the soldiers called her the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, as she would walk down the hospital wards at night to check on her patients.

14. When she returned to England in 1856, she was seen as a national heroine.

15. Many Victorians had ornaments of her in their homes, and she received thousands of letters from the public to thank her for the work she had done during the war.

16. She met with Queen Victoria in Balmoral, Scotland, and they discussed improvements that could be made to military hospitals.

17. In 1860, she set up the Nightingale Training School for nurses at St Thomas’s Hospital, London.

18. Those who completed the training were known as Nightingale Nurses.

19. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross from Queen Victoria, and the Order of Merit in 1907 from King Edward VIII. This was the first time a woman had been awarded the Order of Merit.

20. She died in 1910, aged 90, and was buried in a Hampshire churchyard with a simple tombstone.

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