Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy on May 12, 1820 to well educated, wealthy parents. She was raised in Derbyshire, England and received her early education from her father, William Nightingale. In a time when most women did not receive any type of education, he believed his daughter should be educated. He taught Florence different languages such as Italian and Greek as well as other subjects, such as mathematics and history. She excelled in mathematics, a subject that women in particular did not learn. She later used statistics in her nursing career. (George, 1995)
During the time when Florence grew up, women rarely had career outside the home, they were more concerned with family and marriage. She defied her parents when she announced her decision to enter into the nursing profession. She imagined a different life for herself. Nursing was seen as a position for the poorer woman, those who were drunks and not of moral standard. Florence changed the perception of nursing from one that was of unrespectable to a noble profession and respectable career. (www.agnessscott.edu, 2006).
In 1850, Nightingale entered a training program for nurses in Kaisersworth, Germany. She spent three years learning the basics of nursing. After her training was complete, she spent one year in Paris with the Sisters of Charity. (George, 1995)
When the British went to war in Crimea, Nightingale went into action by gathering a group of untrained women and going to a hospital in Scutari. She found horrid conditions suffered by the sick and dying that lacked proper medical equipment and medical supplies. Nightingale organized and cleaned up the hospital, despite the protest from military personnel. She also used her family’s influential power to write letters to the British officials concerning the conditions she had found. She gathered statistical data concerning the conditions of the facility and death rate to argue for reform of the British medical system. (George,...