Florence Nightingale Biography and Activities for Kids

At the age of thirty-one, Florence Nightingale educated herself and trained for nursing....

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A rich family
Florence's father was William Nightingale, a rich banker. William and his wife Fanny went to Italy after they married in 1818. Florence was born in Italy on 12th May. She was named after the city of Florence.

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What Florence Nightingale did
Florence Nightingale made hospitals cleaner places. She showed that trained nurses and clean hospitals helped sick people get better. She was the of modern nursing.

In addition to quickly helping the wounded soldiers, Florence worked feverishly to improve the overall condition of the hospital and surrounding support buildings in the Scutari area. She virtually took over the operation of the hospital and had sewer and water systems fixed and purified, insured a supply of clean bandages, bedding and other supplies and instituted a strict nursing timetable to insure that the soldiers were cared for and attended to on a regular basis to improve recovery.


Florence Nightingale was born of wealthy parents in the Italian city of Florence on May 12, 1820. She became a very personable, witty and confident person. Florence led an exciting and privileged life, playing with rich friends and visiting many interesting places.

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Home a heroine
People in Britain gave money to a to help the 'Nightingale Nurses'. When Florence came home in 1856, people called her a . The Sultan of Turkey sent her a diamond bracelet! Queen Victoria wrote a letter of thanks.

Florence Nightingale was named after the place of her birth in Italy

Florence Nightingale was a famous English woman who changed history through her pioneering efforts in the areas of nursing, mathematics/statistics and the recognition of professional women.

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In 1860 the Nightingale Training School for nurses was opened at St Thomas's Hospital in London. Florence's book Notes for Nursing helped many student nurses.

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Florence Nightingale returned to Britain in 1856. She was commissioned to investigate the living conditions of British soldiers in peacetime. In 1858 she published her findings as . In 1860 Florence Nightingale opened the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St Thomas Hospital. She greatly raised standards of nursing. Every probationer who entered the school was interviewed by Florence and supervised by her. In old age Florence Nightingale suffered from ill health and she went blind. By the mid-1890s Florence was an invalid. However she was awarded the Order of Merit in 1907. Florence Nightingale died on 13 August 1910.

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Florence published Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army (1857) and Notes on Nursing/Hospitals (1859), which described her experience and innovative ideas on caring for the sick. Convinced that all nurses should have superior training as she and few others had, Florence instituted the Nightingale Training School for Nurses at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London in 1860. Graduates of her school were called Nightingale Nurses.