Nursing & Midwifery

Florence in her own words: A Calling to Nurse

Display No. 193

“What is it to feel a calling for any thing? Is it not to do your work in it to satisfy your own high idea of what is the right, the best…This is the “enthusiasm” which every one, from a shoemaker to a sculptor, must have, in order to follow his “calling” properly. Now the nurse has to do, not with shoes, or which chisel and marble, but with human beings; and if she, for her own satisfaction, does not look after her patients, no telling will make her capable of doing so”.

Florence Nightingale, ‘Notes on Nursing’, 1860.

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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!