Tuesday, March 08, 2005


Florence Nightingale's career in nursing began in earnest in 1851 when she received four months' training in Germany as a deaconess of Kaiserwerth. She undertook the training over strenuous family objections concerning the risks and social implications of such activity, and the Catholic foundations of the hospital. While at Kaiserwerth, Florence reported having her most important intense and compelling experience of her divine calling.
On August 12, 1853 Nightingale took a post of superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street, London, a position she held until October 1854. Her father had given her an annual income of £500 - roughly $50,000 in present terms - that allowed her to live comfortably and to pursue her career.
Her most famous contribution was during the Crimean War, which became her central focus when reports began to filter back to Britain about the horrific conditions for the wounded. On October 21, 1854 Nightingale and a staff of 38 women volunteer nurses, trained by Nightingale and including her aunt Mai Smith, were sent to the Crimea, with the authorisation of Sidney Herbert


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