Nursing & Midwifery

A Gift from Florence Nightingale, 1879

Display No. 114

Helen Blower attended the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1874. An excellent student, in 1875 she was appointed as Sister on a project to introduce Nightingale-style nursing at Montreal General Hospital in Canada.

The project was plagued with troubles and the group returned to London in 1878. Blower was appointed Assistant Matron of St Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1879 and that same year Nightingale gave her this set of instruments.

Set of instruments given to Helen Blower. Florence Nightingale Museum Collection

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Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!