Saturday, August 26, 2006

That Troublemaker Florence Nightingale

Can you imagine saying to your daughter, "I can't believe you want to be a nurse. I'm so ashamed. What are people going to think?"

Well that's what Florence Nightingale heard from her family when she told them how badly she wanted to be a nurse back in the 1800's. During this time only poor women, sometimes homeless or prostitutes were nurses. Not upstanding citizens of the community.

Florence's desire to be a nurse was even stronger when she met Elizabeth Blackwell. Dr. Blackwell was the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the US. You can imagine what Dr. Blackwell had to go through and the prejudice she endured to become a doctor. I can just imagine her talking to Florence about her desire to become a nurse -– and the pep talks she gave her.

Florence had to actually sneak to study nursing because her family was so horrified of this interest she had. Thanks to Florence's determination to do what she loved to do - nursing - it would take Florence 6 years to get her fathers permission to become one. Now Florance is widely known as a pioneer in nursing and hospital reform.

What would have happened had Florence given it to alridiculeiducle for wanting to be a nurse so bad. What would have happened to nursing as we know it? And what would have become of Florance?

Isn't it interesting that now we look at Florence Nightingale as someone to admire. Weird how that works isn't it?!


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