Home > Why Florence Nightingale?
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Why Florence Nightingale?

Timeless montage includes rare view of Nightingale's face with her eyes looking directly at onlookers. Centered over her left eye is her famous wedge diagram indicating the causes of death of British soldiers in the Crimean War (1854-1856). Adapted from the book cover, Dr. Barbara Dossey's Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer Commemorative Edition, 2010 (F. A. Davis) used with permission. Read more >>

Now more than ever before, the depth & breadth of her legacy is keenly relevant to 21st century nursing, healthcare & the personal, community, national & global issues determining health.

This understanding shaped NIGH from its beginnings in the late 1990s & continues to inform everything we do to increase NIGH’s work in the world.

The name of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) has been revered and respected — across the world — for more than a century. Even today, her contributions to nursing theory, education, practice, research, statistics, public health, and healthcare reform are foundational and inspirational. And, her contributions to human health still continue to be revealed.

Nightingale was a consummate health policy advocate who influenced the world's political leaders of her time. She was an ardent environmentalist who changed conditions that caused disease. She was a global networker who corresponded with thousands of people around the world about furthering and promoting health issues. She was an effective communications and media expert who impacted upon public awareness to change how people understood and valued health in her time. She knew the critical importance of self care and renewal.

“You must inform public opinion…” Florence Nightingale, 1893

From her own deep and prolonged experience with personal health issues, she advocated for all nurses to be continually renewed to sustain their effective, compassionate and caring practices. She called all these approaches “Health Nursing.” Today, in our 21st century ‘global village,’ these broader insights from Nightingale can become innovative approaches developed by nurses who seek to impact and influence the factors which will determine and sustain the health of humanity in our time.

Highest Recommendation! The “Collected Works of Florence Nightingale“ — Dr. Lynn McDonald, Editor

Commemorative Edition: Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer — Dr. Barbara Montgomery Dossey

Florence Nightingale Today: Healing, Leadership, Global Action — Dossey, Selanders, Beck & Attewell

Illuminating Florence: Finding Nightingale's Legacy in Your Practice — Alex Attewell

Download NIGH's Why Nightingale? powerpoint. Permission to use with full attribution to NIGH, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

Hear an historical recording, conducted by Thomas Edison's assistant in London, Col. George Gouraud, at Nightingale's home on 30 July 1890.

“When I am no longer even a memory, just a name,
I hope my voice perpetuates the great work of my life.
God bless my dear old comrades of Balaclava
and bring them safe to shore.” - Florence Nightingale

FN statue

At the Crimean War Memorial in London, UK with Dr. Susan Hassmiller, Senior Advisor for Nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, taken on her 2010 Nightingale Journey. This statue is one of only two of non-royal women in Central London.

Flo with Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the 2010 Nightingale Centenary opening of the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, UK