A brief history
Florence Nightingale, was born in Florence Italy, on the 12th May 1820. Florence served as a manager and trainer of nurses and was put in charge of nursing British and Allied Soldiers during the Crimean war. She spent many hours in wards giving care to wounded soldier’s, and her night rounds established her as “the Lady with the Lamp”.
The Nursing uniform
She recognized the dilemmas and challenges that the nurses faced and demanded proper training and better hygiene practices. She also created the first nursing uniform. The nurse’s uniform was a full length dress with long sleeves and an apron. The uniform was introduced to protect the nurses from infection. In those days nurses did not have gloves or masks to protect them.
In 1860 she established the first scientifically based nursing school at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London and was instrumental in setting up training for Midwives and Nurses in the workhouse infirmaries. She was awarded the Order of Merit in 1907 for her work. International Nurses day was introduced annually on the 12th May, Florence’s birthday, to observe the importance of Florence Nightingale’s work and the Nurses in the Health Care.
A beret, which was worn by student nurses, as part of the uniform for the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in the early twentieth century.
The Florence Nightingale Museum
The Florence Nightingale Museum was set up in the grounds of St Thomas’s Hospital. This year they are celebrating her Bicentenary with an exhibition of a collection of almost 3000 artefacts, relating to Florence Nightingale’s life and work, including the Iconic Black Dress and The Lamp she carried around the wards during the Crimean war.
Florence Nightingale’s Lamp, can be seen at the Florence Nightingale Museum Collection.