- The Queen Admired Her
Before leaving Crimea, Nightingale received a brooch from Queen Victoria as a sign of royal appreciation and personal thanks. Eventually, in 1856, Nightingale met the Queen in person. In 1883, Nightingale met the Queen again when she was awarded the Royal Red Cross in Windsor.
- She Was an Author and an Educator
In 1859, Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing was published. Her book covered a variety of patient-care principles, and many nursing students read it to this day. In 1860, she founded The Nightingale Training School in London, a school where many of the finest nurses of the 19th century were trained. Today, it still exists as an academic school within King’s College London.
- She Trained America’s First Nurse
Linda Richards, who is widely regarded as America’s first trained nurse, attended Nightingale’s school in 1877. It’s said that Nightingale personally worked with Richards during her time there. When Richards returned to the United States, she played a major role in establishing nursing schools across the nation. After that, Richards traveled to East Asia where she helped to establish and supervise Japan’s first training school for nurses.
- She Improved Sanitation in England
Most nurses know that one of the ways Florence Nightingale saved lives during the Crimean War was by making conditions more sanitary for patients. What many don’t know, however, is that she pushed for similar improvements outside of the hospital setting. Her efforts paid off when legislation forcing existing buildings to connect to main drainage passed as part of the Public Health Act of 1874.
- She Was an Order of Merit Recipient
To be a bit more specific, Florence Nightingale was the first woman ever to be made a member of the Order of Merit, which was established by King Edward VII in 1902. The Order of Merit aims to celebrate those who have achieved great things in the fields of science, education, literature, or art. It’s a very exclusive honor, with only 24 living members in the order at any given time. Obviously, Nightingale was very deserving of that honor.
- Her Family Turned Down a National Funeral
Sadly, on August 13, 1910, Florence Nightingale passed away in her London home. An offer was extended for a national burial at Westminster Abbey, but Nightingale’s family declined. Instead, in accordance with her last wishes, Nightingale was buried in her family’s plot at St. Margaret’s Church, East Wellow, in Hampshire, England.
Do you know any other interesting facts about Florence Nightingale? If so, be sure to share them by posting a comment below!