Florence Nightingale – The First Travel Nurse?

by Angela Stevens on April 27, 2009

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When you think of Florence Nightingale, what comes to mind? For me, I remember learning about her in school as the founder of modern nursing.  Against her family’s wishes, she became an educated woman and dedicated herself to nursing.What I don’t remember learning about Florence Nightingale is her extensive travels while studying and practicing in the field of nursing. Born in Tuscany, Florence was raised and educated in England.  She advocated for improved medical care for the poor there.

Florence Nightingale photo via Public Domain

Throughout her life and her career, Florence Nightingale traveled to places like Crimea, France, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. She revolutionized nursing practices wherever she traveled, improving hospital conditions and reducing death rates.

Hospitals and foundations around the world have been named after Florence Nightingale, a tribute to her life as a travel nurse.  During the Crimean War, she became known as the Lady with the Lamp, tending to the sick and injured soldiers after dark. She brought other female nurse volunteers with her to Crimea, more women who helped to pioneer the field of travel nursing.

Would you like to follow in Florence Nightingale’s footsteps?


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed Hird 11.01.10 at 8:56 am

Great article on FN as a travel nurse. Florence Nightingale had an amazing impact that has continued to inspire tens of millions of people around the world. To check out the article “Florence Nightingale: Mother of Nursing”, click on http://bit.ly/agInhG

Joseph 02.15.11 at 7:51 pm

I am not sure how much she travelled, once her war work was over. I think she stayed on a day divan a lot. But there is a small Florence Nightingale museum in the Barracks Hospital in Scutari that is well worth visiting. She spent time there during the Crimean War and relics remain.

Nurse Anesthetist Schools Guide 05.04.11 at 6:57 pm

A trend of importing nurses due to the lack of local talent is commonplace today. I wonder what Florence Nightingale can say about that.


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