Florence Nightingale, an English philanthropist, born in Florence, Italy, in May, 1820. She is the younger daughter of William Edward Shore, a Sheffield banker, who inherited the estates of Peter Nightingale, and in accordance with the will assumed that surname. Florence early became proficient in the classics, mathematics, modern languages, and music; but her favorite study was the methods of caring for the sick, and while a girl she visited numerous hospitals. In 1849 she underwent a course of training in Pastor Fliedner's school of deaconesses at Kaiserswerth. In 1851 she took charge of a sanatorium for infirm and invalid governesses in London, and soon brought it to a high state of efficiency. In 1854 she went to the army in the Crimea as superintendent of a corps of volunteer female nurses, 92 in number, and organized a hospital at Scutari on Nov. 5. On the 7th they received 600 soldiers wounded at Inkerman, and in three weeks the number was increased to 3,000. In the face of great discouragements Miss Nightingale soon made her hospital a model for thoroughness and perfection of arrangements, and all the other hospitals on the Bosporus were placed under her superintendence.
She suffered a severe attack of hospital fever, and returned to England in September, 1856, with broken health, which has never been fully restored. The queen sent her a jewel and a letter of thanks, a fund of £50,000 was raised to found a school for nurses under her direction, and the soldiers of the Crimean war made a penny contribution to raise a statue in her honor, which she would not permit. She has published " The Institution at Kaiserswerth on the Rhine" (1850), "Notes on Hospitals" (1859), "Notes on Nursing" (1850), "Observations on the Sanitary State of the Army in India" (1863), " Notes on Lying-in Institutions" (1871), and " Life and Death in India " (1874).