Florence Nightingale: The founder of modern nursing


I have had a larger responsibility of human lives than ever man or woman had before. And I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took an excuse. Yes, I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act, and they make excuses.
     -Florence Nightingale

National Nurses Week focuses attention on the diverse ways America's 3.8 million registered nurses work to save lives and to improve the health of millions of individuals. The first official celebration of nurses took place in 1954, commemorating the 100th anniversary of Florence Nightingale's mission in the Crimean war.
Florence Nightingale was an English social reformer and statistician and is recognized as the founder of nursing as a modern profession. She was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy to an affluent British family. As a young woman, Nightingale was determined to help the sick as she cared for family members and others within her community. She later enrolled as a nursing student, despite her parent’s disapproval of nursing, considering it an unsuitable career for a woman of her social stature.  

In 1854, the British Army asked Nightingale to organize a corps of nurses to tend to the sick and fallen soldiers in the Crimea. This assignment became the foundation of her views about sanitation, as more soldiers were dying from infectious diseases than from injuries incurred in battle. Her writings went on to spark worldwide healthcare reform that greatly influenced the quality of care. 

Florence Nightingale’s focus on personalized patient care and her innovative approach to health care reform awarded her the title of the founder of modern nursing. Her contributions changed the perception of nurses as non-educated caregivers to that of an honorable vocation; a trait that transcends time, as Gallup Polls consistently rate nurses as the most trusted professionals.

National Nurses Week is an important time to celebrate nurses and the vital roles they play in the health of our family, friends, and community. The theme of Nurses Week at McLaren Port Huron is #MPHProud. McLaren Port Huron is proud of its nursing staff and the outstanding work its members contribute.Throughout the pandemic, our nurses worked through unprecedented times with the same determination as Florence Nightingale…they acted when faced with the unimaginable.