Florence the Woman

Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness, Harley Street, London

Display No. 56

In 1853 Nightingale secured the role of Superintendent of the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness, located on Harley Street, London.

This was her first professional nursing role. She believed in dressing smartly as Superintendent and would likely have worn this silk shawl.

Silk shawl belonging to Florence Nightingale. Front view of object whole object against graduated grey background.
Science Museum Group Collection

Exhibits from ‘Florence the Woman’

Discover the 200 Exhibits

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!