Florence Nightingale: Life and Death

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The name Florence Nightingale remained in the memory of her distant descendants as a symbol of self-sacrifice, kindness, and nobility. Two years after the death of the great nurse, a medal was established in her honor, and soon her birthday turned into the birthday of nurses of all countries. Florence and her sisters received an excellent education, no one prevented the girls from studying, and the Nightingale sisters were fluent in ancient Greek and Latin, as well as spoke French and German. When teaching children, their father tried to pay special attention to the exact sciences and grammar. Thus, Florence stood out with a brilliant education against the background of aristocratic peers who were more worried about fashion and marriage.

Life and Death

Florence was born in the spring of 1820, she was named after the city in which she was born, Florence. Her parents were English aristocrats, not limited in funds, and much of the time traveling. Florence’s father came from a noble and wealthy family, and he had several luxurious family estates. Soon the girl entered the high society of France, where it was more interesting for her to stay while being away the hours reading or talking with educated people. The only reason that could make the girl attend the next reception was her friendship with an Englishwoman named Marie Clark. Miss Nightingale immediately fell in love with Marie, because both women advocated gender equality. As a result, Florence decided to abandon the joys of aristocratic life in favor of charity and became a nurse in a hospital for the underprivileged (“Florence Nightingale”). Hence, the desire for diversity in life as well as life motivated Nightingale to turn from a rich aristocrat into a reasonable and innovative sister of mercy.

The profession of a nurse was not very revered in stiff England, because the representatives of this profession worked either as prostitutes or were alcoholics. Because of this, Florence's initiative was met with refusal from her parents and Nightingale respected the opinion of her parents. Only in 1844 did she decide to try again to achieve her goal and told her parents that she was going to find a job and as soon as possible. Florence has always been very religious, as a result, she began to work in the German community, helping the poor pastor, who gave all her strength to help the disadvantaged, the girl looked after the sick day and night (Bostridge 174). This experience was a special milestone in her biography, Nightingale would later talk about it in an anonymous publication that appeared in England in 1851.

Nightingale gave all her strength to help the sick, did not spare her health, and could work for days, with the onset of maturity, Florence increasingly felt unwell due to a zoonotic infection, which is also known as "brucellosis". Despite depression and partial paralysis, the brave nurse continued to work she ran a nursing school and worked on scientific and journalistic articles. With the advent of the new century, the woman's condition deteriorated sharply, which affected her performance: she became blind, followed by a violation of cognitive functions. Exhausted and weak, Florence spent more and more time in bed. Despite illness and pain, Nightingale lived a long and exciting life, dying at the age of 90 in the summer of 1910 (“Florence Nightingale”). The apparent goal of Nightingale was to change the system of charity and the sisterhood of mercy in order for all the poor and sick to receive what was intended for them. Through almost a century of her life, she managed to do some significant progress.


Florence Nightingale is a philanthropist, reformer, and creator of modern nursing, her name has become a household name for a kind and unselfish person. Florence is an aristocrat who left the bohemian world for medicine to help ordinary people, and Nightingale gained fame through writing textbooks for nurses, as well as charity. The Nightingale Museum appeared in the St. Thomas Hospital in Britain, dedicated to the life and work of a brave girl who devoted her life to other people, a special exhibition in Istanbul tells about the Crimean period in Nightingale's life.

Works Cited

"Florence Nightingale". HISTORY, 2022, https://www.history.com/topics/womens-history/florence-nightingale-1.

Bostridge, Mark. Florence Nightingale. Penguin UK, 2015.

June 27, 2022


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