Widgets May 12 ~  A Splendid Gift Florence Nightingale

"Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small about it." ~ Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Nothing small in how Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) lived and shared her life.

Born on this day in Florence, Italy, she was raised in England and defied her wealthy parents to become a nurse. Nightingale single-handedly elevated the profession to excellence and helped reform hospital sanitation procedures.

"Heaven is neither a place nor a time," she once said.

She became a national heroine as a nurse at Scutari Hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War (1854-1856). With compassion, she tireless walked the hospital halls at night, carrying a light. Wounded soldiers called her the "Lady of the Lamp." Her light has come to symbolize the care and concern for the sick and wounded.

Horrified by the hospital's unsanitary conditions, she took action. With data, charts, and statistics she collected proof that lives could have been saved if military and city hospitals practiced better sanitation methods.

"It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm," she wrote in Notes on Nursing (1859).

In addition to her exhaustive research, Nightingale initiated sanitary improvements and purchased supplies with her own money, saving thousands of lives.

Hailed as a national heroine, she was the first woman to be given the British Order of Merit.

She said, "I think that feelings waste themselves in words; they ought to be distilled into actions, and into actions which bring results."

Florence NightingaleCelebrate the splendid gift of life!