The name of Florence Nightingale is synonymous with modern nursing. She is generally known as the founder of this service and was instrumental in revolutionizing the treatment of soldiers.
Born on May 12, 1820, to wealthy, cultured parents, Florence Nightingale, at the age of seventeen, heard the voice of God calling her to, the service of humanity. When she was twenty-four years old she decided to dedicate her life to nursing. Ten years later, when England declared war with Russia, Florence Nightingale set sail for Crimea with thirty-eight nurses, at the special request of Sidney Herbert, Secretary of War in the British Cabinet.
On her arrival she found the hospitals in a filthy state. There was complete disorder and lack of administration. And so began a period of hard work, perhaps unparalleled in history. She made superhuman efforts and remained on her feet almost twenty-four hours a day. Driving herself and her team of nurses mercilessly, she sought .to improve the condition of the wounded soldiers. She worked tirelessly the whole day and made notes at – night. She made it a point to visit the wards every night, flitting quietly from bed to bed with a lamp in her hand. As she passed, the grateful soldiers would kiss her shadow.
When she returned from Crimea, her health started deteriorating and she had to retire from active service. However, not willing to sit idle, she embarked on a crusade for army reform with the help of Sidney Herbert. In July 1860. she opened the Nightingale School for Nursing.
Florence Nightingale never married. She devoted her entire life to the service of mankind. She enjoyed a tranquil old age, marred only by failing eyesight. She passed away peacefully on August 13, 1910. Florence Nightingale is considered an epitome of dedication, sincerity and self-sacrifice. She made the world realize that nursing was one of the noblest professions.