Florence Nightingale died on this day in 1910. She is honored throughout the world as the founder of the modern profession of nursing.
Trained as a nurse in Germany, she briefly superintended a hospital In London.
In 1854, responding to God’s call and animated by a spirit of service, she volunteered for duty during the Crimean War and recruited 38 nurses to join
her. As they worked in British field hospitals to organize the first modern nursing service, they radically reduced the high death toll and infection rate that had prevailed there. Wounded soldiers called Florence “the Lady with the Lamp” from her late-night rounds to check on them.
After returning to England, Florence Nightingale founded an institution in London for the training of nurses and published her main work, Notes on Nursing. She became a major advocate for public health in India and the role of statistics in medical care.
A lifelong Anglican, her religion sustained her through extended ill health. During her final years, unable to leave home, Florence Nightingale engaged in spiritual conversation with prominent religious leaders and regularly received Holy Communion.
Pray for nurses everywhere.
The Rev. Charles Hoffacker is a retired priest of the Diocese of Washington