By Mindy Longhurst
Florence Nightingale by far is the most iconic pioneer of nursing history. Like many nurses, she believed that is was her destiny to work as a nurse. She followed the direction she received from Heavenly Father. However, unlike most nurses she transformed the way that healthcare was provided on and off the battlefield saving hundreds of lives.
Nightingale was asked from the Secretary of War Sidney Herbert to help nurse during the Crimean War. While helping with the war efforts, she went to Scutari, which was a major battle site. While there, she was surprised at the poor conditions the sick were in. The sick were sitting in their own filth. At this point, it is said that more soldiers were dying from infectious diseases than wounds. This was unacceptable. Florence Nightingale and her crew worked together to clean up the hospital and take care of the ailing men.
By the time the war had finished, Nightingale had dramatically helped to improve the conditions of the soldiers. She decreased the death rate by 2/3 and helped with the sanitation and food conditions for the soldiers. As a result of her hard work and diligence, she was given a brooch and monetary compensation from Queen Elizabeth.
Even though she was bedridden for a majority of her life, she spent the rest of her life trying to improve those around her. Nightingale mentored others and wrote novels about nursing and about statistics. She transformed the way that nursing was viewed. Nightingale changed nursing and pioneered the way for today’s modern health care.
For more information about the life of Florence Nightingale, please visit https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/florence-nightingale and http://exhibits.lib.byu.edu/nightingale/index.html.