Tue, 12 May 2020
MAY 12 is International Nurses Day – a fitting time to honour all the nurses worldwide, who are at the moment at the forefront of dealing with coronavirus.
The date was chosen because it is the birth date of Florence Nightingale the pioneering nurse, writer and statistician. She was born in Tuscany on May 12, 1820, and was the second daughter of William and Frances Nightingale.
In 1825 the Nightingales moved back to England and settled at Embley Park, near Romsey, Hampshire. Today, the house is a private school.
Florence Nightingale was tutored by her father and proved herself to be a more than able pupil. She very early on decided that her learning had to be put to some practical use and recorded: “On February 7th, 1837, God spoke to me and called me to His service.”
She was intent on becoming a nurse and in August she was appointed superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street, London.
Florence Nightingale is best known for her contribution to caring for injured soldiers during the Crimean War, where she earned the name 'The Lady with the Lamp'. She became a national figure and is regarded as the founder of modern nursing.
She was also a skilled mathematician and recognised the importance of health data. She became the first woman to be honoured by the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association made her an honorary member.
When she returned from the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale stayed at Embley Park before settling in London, although she often returned to her childhood home for visits.
After her death in London in 1910, her body was brought by train back to Romsey and her coffin carried from the station to the church at East Wellow where she is buried.