Florence Nightingale: Why she kicks ass

  • She was a statistician, feminist, writer and the founder of modern nursing.
  • She served as a nurse in the Crimean War, tending to wounded soldiers and often making nights rounds (thus she was known as “The Lady With The Lamp”).
  • In 1860, she established the first secular nursing school in the world.
  • International Nurses Day is celebrated annually on her birthday (12 May).
  • She advocated for improved healthcare for all sections of British society; improving healthcare and advocating for better hunger relief in India; helping to abolish laws regulating prostitution that were overly harsh to women; and expanding the acceptable forms of female participation in the workforce. 
  • She was a pioneer in the visual representation of mathematics and statistics, and she was the founder behind the Polar Area Diagram
  • In 1859 Nightingale was elected the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and she later became an honorary member of the American Statistical Association.
  • She made a comprehensive statistical study of hygiene in Indian rural life and was the leading figure in the introduction of improved medical care and public health service in India; “After 10 years of sanitary reform, in 1873, Nightingale reported that mortality among the soldiers in India had declined from 69 to 18 per 1,000”.
  • From her mid thirties, she suffered from chronic poor health, but continued working almost until her death at the age of ninety.