After the war
After the war, Florence Nightingale didn’t rest. There was a fund set up in her name to train nurses, and she used money from it to set up a school for nursing – one which still exists today as part of King’s College in London. Using her platform, she spread the principles of sanitation and cleanliness, training nurses not just in the UK but on other countries too. Her work included the introduction of nurses to the workhouses, providing orphans, poor people and those with disabilities with a system of actually trained nurses who could offer genuine help. Her books were used as training manuals in nursing schools, as well as widely read by people who undertook nursing at home for sick relatives.
While she has been criticized at times for not being at the forefront of medical science, it’s important to remember that she never considered herself a doctor and never thought of herself as part of the medical profession in the same way. She was a nurse and her main contact was with patients, sometimes even in conditions where doctors wouldn’t attend to them. The whole concept of sanitation was championed by her and still proves of prime importance in our hospitals today. She was the first proper nurse in the way that we understand the term today, and we owe her our admiration.