Young Florence and Parthenope Nightingale, 1836

- Image ID: HRP5MY
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: HRP5MY
Florence Nightingale and her sister Parthenope, watercolor portrait by William White, 1836. Florence Nightingale (May 12, 1820 - August 13, 1910) by sheer force of character created the movement that led to professional status for nurses. Her career began when she nursed her mother through a terminal illness, Her formal exposure to medicine was a 3 month course at the Institute for Protestant Deaconesses in Germany. She came to prominence while serving as a manager of nurses trained by her during the Crimean War, where she organized the tending to wounded soldiers. She gave nursing a highly favorable reputation and became an icon of Victorian culture, especially in the persona of "The Lady with the Lamp" making rounds of wounded soldiers at night. After the war she established the Nightingale School and Home for training nurses at St. Thomas's Hospital. Much of her published work was concerned with spreading medical knowledge. Some of her tracts were written in simple English so that they could easily be understood by those with poor literary skills. She died peacefully in her sleep, in 1910, at the age of 90.