This Nurse Known as the Lady with the Lamp Revolutionized Health Care
Who: Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing; trailblazing statistician; health care hero; May 12, 1820–August 13, 1910
Why She Dazzles: Florence is famously known as the Lady with the Lamp. She was a compassionate, dedicated nurse who made night rounds to aid the wounded during the Crimean War and ultimately became a world-renowned health care warrior. As a young woman, she knew she wanted to help those suffering and eventually became a nurse, defying her wealthy parents’ desire for her to marry rich. During the Crimean War in 1854, Florence organized and led a team of nurses from England to a British base hospital in Constantinople (now Istanbul). More soldiers were dying in the hospital from disease than from their battle wounds. She and her nurses transformed the hospital and made it cleaner and more sanitary, and the death toll drastically decreased. Florence was also so skilled with data and statistics that she was the first woman elected to the Royal Statistical Society.
Why You Need to Know Her Today: The coronavirus. With health care workers risking their own lives to save others, we should also pay homage to Florence for being the nurse responsible for making hospitals cleaner and safer. She proposed and inspired worldwide health reform that encouraged good patient care, particularly through her writings about health care. Her book Notes on Nursing is still in print today. International Nurses Day is celebrated on her birthday every May.
What She Would Say—Because She Said It Then: “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift—there is nothing small about it.”
Where She May Like to Instagram: The Florence Nightingale Museum in London, where she founded the Nightingale Training School for Nurses. Here visitors can see artifacts celebrating her life and career. Sadly, she was bedridden by her early 40s from an illness she picked up in Crimea, but she continued to train nurses, write, and improve health care as an authority and advocate.
What the Ladies Rocked Then: For Florence’s heroic work in Crimea, Queen Victoria gifted her with an engraved brooch that became known as the Nightingale Jewel. The gold brooch with a red cross, diamonds, and green enamel stood as a badge of royal appreciation.
How You Can Rock It Now: Victorian brooches and earrings often featured gold and semiprecious stones in delicate designs, especially at the beginning of the 20th century when women started wearing lower necklines with upswept hair.
Shop the Sparkle: The Healer
Please Share! How does Florence Nightingale inspire you? #anewlady
Florence Nightingale: Beautiful. Bold. Brilliant.
Buy The Healer earrings today, and 25% of your purchase will go directly to the Florence Nightingale Foundation's White Rose Appeal.