When this enchanted woman was born, women did not have any personal freedom or economic rights in the society. That time was absolutely unfavorable for women`s education or women`s rights. Moreover, the almost devastated Europe was passing through its hardest times. Winning all those adversities, that little woman stood tall. The resolute and conscious woman had to fight against the society, family and even her own personal life to progress towards her desired goal. This kind, generous yet firm-minded woman has became one of the examples of women`s independence in Europe even though she was not associated with the rights of women. During that darkest period of Europe, she roamed around the war camps alone with a lamp, spent many days and sleepless nights by serving the wounded and disease-stricken patients. She was known as `the Angel of Crimea` to the distressed soldiers of Crimean War.
She`s none other than Florence Nightingale, who changed the definition of humanitarian service. Today is her 198th birth anniversary. In 1820, she was born in Florence, Italy to a noble English couple. It has not been easy for Florence to establish her childhood dream to be engaged in the care of the sick patients. Because nursing in Europe at that time was considered as a very low profession. Florence Nightingale had to fight with society, family and surroundings in order to pursue her dream. Not only did she devote herself to human service, but also after her untiring efforts, nursing has become one of the most respected occupations. She has not only established `nursing` as an honorable profession, but has laid the foundation of modern nursing by her book named `Notes on Nursing`.
Nightingale`s greatest achievement was her outstanding service to the soldiers of Crimean War. More than 18,000 soldiers were admitted to Military Hospital within a year after the war had started in 1853. Florence and her team appeared to the severely tormented soldiers like the blessings of the creator.
In order to establish nursing as a career, Florence Nightingale established nursing training schools and women`s medical colleges in London and New York. After the war, she established many charitable organizations. She also got rewards for her tireless labor in human service. In 1883 Queen Victoria awarded her the title of `Royal Red Cross`. She received the Order of Merit in 1907 as first female. She was called `The Lady with the Lamp` because of her outstanding contributions in the Crimean War. Many scholars have addressed her as the ‘Angel of God’.
The successors of Nightingale have to take an oath named `Nightingale Pledge` to respect her. Since 1974, her birthday (May 12th) has been celebrated as `International Nurses Day`. Several hospitals, nursing institutes, museums have been established in honor of her outstanding work in different countries of the world.
Florence Nightingale is the name of an ideology. She has established through her job that nursing is not a career, it’s a service. Even from an influential family she left the luxury and comfort and was engaged in the service throughout her life. Wherever there was helplessness, the darkness of the torment, she stood there with her light of generosity and comfort.
On the birthday of this great human being, the world remembers her with great respect.