Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was born on May 12, 1820, 200 years ago. A confident and competent woman herself, she used all her considerable gifts to revolutionize the care of wounded British soldiers during the Crimean War, earning respect, gratitude, and honor worldwide. After the war, she established nursing and midwifery schools in England and wrote tirelessly on nursing, hospital management, and public health.
Florence Nightingale said, “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear!” Her courage, determination, and generous service promoted healing and wholeness in the society and the world. She is recognized in the ELCA’s calendar as a renewer of society.
Only God knows how many people’s lives have been improved, even saved, by Florence Nightingale and the millions of nurses who have followed in her footsteps.
The message is an excerpt from a Women of the ELCA monthly devotion by Audrey Novak Riley. Today we remember Florence Nightingale, who died in 1910; and Clara Maass, who died in 1901, renewers of society.