Florence Nightingale Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1820 – 1910 *** Full Name: Florence Nightingale was also known as the Lady with the Lamp and the Angel of the Crimean *** Date of Birth (Birthday): She was born on May 12th, 1820 *** Place of Birth: Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy *** Family background: Her father was a rich landowner called William Edward Nightingale *** Early life and childhood: Florence Nightingale grew up and spent the majority of her life in Hampshire and Derbyshire *** Education: Florence Nightingale was educated by her father *** Florence Nightingale died on August 13, 1910 ***
Florence Nightingale Fact 1: Florence Nightingale was born on May 12th, 1820 in Florence, Italy. She was named after the Italian city where she was born.
Florence Nightingale Fact 2: She was an outstanding nurse who became a war hero after attending to wounded soldiers during the Crimean War.
Florence Nightingale Fact 3: She was born into a wealthy, upper-class British family. Her parents were called William Edward Shore Nightingale and Frances (Fanny) Nightingale. Her father was a wealthy landowner and an avid hunter with a keen interest in politics.
Florence Nightingale Fact 4: She moved with her family to Great Britain in 1921, the year following her birth. She was raised in England at her family home in Embley, Hampshire. The family later relocated to Derbyshire.
Florence Nightingale Fact 5: She was educated by her father, William Edward Nightingale, at their family estate. He taught her various subjects including the languages of French, Italian and German. She excelled in mathematics.
Florence Nightingale Fact 6: She met her lifelong friend, Mary Clarke, during a family tour in Europe. Mary Clark, or 'Clarkey' as Florence liked to call her, was 27 years her senior, she was a hostess who believed that women should be treated as equals to men. She cared little for the views of upper-class women but she liked Florence Nightingale and they began a close friendship in 1838 that would last for 40 years.
Florence Nightingale Fact 7: She believed it was her vocation in life to care for others. From a young age, she had a strong desire to become a nurse. Her rich, upper-class parents opposed her wishes because they believed that a woman of Florence's social stature should become the wife of a man of means. They deemed a career in nursing as an unsuitable job for an upper-class lady.
Florence Nightingale Fact 8: Her relationship with her mother was often strained as they didn't always see eye to eye. Florence Nightingale was a strong minded woman who felt awkward in social situations and unlike her mother, she didn't enjoy being centre of attention. Although she tried to please her mother, she found her dominant and over-controlling.
Florence Nightingale Fact 9: She rejected a marriage proposal from a politician called Richard Monckton Milnes when she was seventeen. She said that she found him romantic and intellectually stimulating, however, her 'moral active nature requires satisfaction, and that would not find it in this life'. More than anything, she wanted to pursue a career in nursing, she felt it was her destiny in life.
Florence Nightingale Fact 10: In 1844, despite her parents' objections, she announced that she would be entering a field in nursing. She joined the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserswerth, Germany as a student nurse.
Florence Nightingale Fact 11: She travelled to many places including Rome, Greece and Egypt. She kept an account of her travels. Whilst sailing on the River Nile, she wrote an account of her experiences. She said that she had been 'called to God'. She wrote the following, 'God called me in the morning and asked me would I do good for him alone without reputation'.
Florence Nightingale Fact 12: She trained at the Institution of Kaiserswerth on the River Rhine for four months. She met Pastor Theodor Fliedner and observed him caring for the sick and needy. The experience deeply affected Florence Nightingale who found it life changing.
Florence Nightingale Fact 13: Her father gave her an annual income of £500 to help support her whilst she pursued a career in nursing. £500 is worth somewhere in the region of £40,000 today. In 1853, she became the superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street, London.
Florence Nightingale Fact 14: The Crimean War began in 1853. Reports of the devastation in Crimea soon reached England. Florence Nightingale received a letter from Sidney Herbert, the Secretary of War, whom she had become friends with in 1847 in Rome. The letter asked her to arrange a team of nurses to attend to the wounded in Crimea.
Florence Nightingale Fact 15: She arranged a team of approximately 38 female volunteer nurses whom she trained. The team included 15 Catholic nuns, and her Aunt Mai.
Florence Nightingale Fact 16: Florence Nightingale and her team of voluntary nurses sailed to Crimea to begin their task of attending to the wounded at the British based hospital in Constantinople. They had been warned that the conditions at the hospital were appalling.
Florence Nightingale Fact 17: The hygiene conditions at the hospital were awful. The building was located on top of a cesspool and the water at the hospital was contaminated. There was a lack of basic supplies and medicine. Stretchers covered the hallways with patients lying in their own excrement. Rodents and bugs infested the place. Diseases such as cholera and typhoid were spreading throughout the hospital and were causing more patient deaths than the wounds which had brought them there in the first place.
Florence Nightingale Fact 18: Florence Nightingale and her team of nurses immediately set about cleaning and sanitizing the hospital from floor to ceiling. The improved hygiene conditions helped to reduce the spread of disease significantly. Their hard work helped to reduce the death count by two-thirds.
Florence Nightingale Fact 19: She worked long, hard hours at the hospital attending to the injured. She became known as 'the Lady with the Lamp' as she would carry a lamp as she walked the hallways during night time hours, taking care of the wounded. She served at the hospital for approximately 18 months during which time she managed to establish a laundry, library, classroom and kitchen.
Florence Nightingale Fact 20: She died on August 13, 1910, at the age of 90. She died during her sleep at her home in Mayfair, London. Her family turned down the proposal of a national funeral as it wasn't what Florence Nightingale would have wanted. She had expressed her wishes for a quiet affair. She is buried at St Margaret's Church in Hampshire.
Influence and Legacy: Florence Nightingale became famous when she organized a team of voluntary nurses to help run a British based hospital in Constantinople during the Crimean War. She managed to reduce the death rate at the hospital by two thirds. She became known as the ‘Angel of the Crimean’ and the ‘Lady with the Lamp’.
Short Facts about Florence Nightingale for Kids
The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous statesman, Florence Nightingale. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of Florence Nightingale with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.