Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 at the Villa Colombaia in Florence, Italy to a very wealthy and well-established British family. Her father, William Nightingale was a landowner and her mother, Frances Nightingale was a traditional, obedient housewife. At the time that Florence lived, women were not educated and were not expected to do much but marry young, have children, and look after their husbands and homes. Nevertheless, Florence was very close to her father as a child and he noticed she was a smart and different child than most, so he took the responsibility to educate her. He taught her many languages including French, Italian, Greek, German, and Latin. Also, he taught her mathematics, history, and philosophy. As she grew into her teenage years, Florence experienced feelings of worthlessness and depression and was very unhappy and unsatisfied with her life. Unlike her mother, Florence rebelled against the traditional role of becoming a wife, and had bigger plans in her mind. Florence was bothered by the purpose of her life as an upper class woman because she was curious whether she had any responsibility to the poor and what caused poverty.
At the young age of 17, Florence claimed she felt a calling from God that she will embark in a great journey. At age 25, Florence professed to her parents that she wants to dedicate her life to nursing, but her parents were very displeased with this career choice because it was looked down upon. Finally in 1851, at the age of 31 Florence’s father gave her permission to pursue her dreams and Florence went out into the world and forever changed the meaning of nursing. She traveled to Kaiserwerth, Germany where she spent two years training how to become a nurse at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses.
What really put Florence Nightingale on the map as a leader, was her journey with 38 other nurses to Turkey during the Crimean War in 1854. Before this journey, women have never before served in the military hospitals. Florence Nightingale proved she was a leader by, “ utilizing intellect, personal motivation, available opportunities, and the strength of her own persona to create a permanent professional transformation. One of the most effective tools that she employed was advocacy both for individuals and for the nursing collective” (Selanders & Crane).
Florence’s seminal issue was concern she had for the wounded soldiers after word got out that the living conditions were not great, and that soldiers were dying due to fatal infections. Florence offered her services by writing to the secretary of state at war for the British government asking permission to lead a group of nurses down to Scutari, Turkey and offer nursing care. The secretary of state at war granted Nightingale permission, and she was off on a journey that would change how nursing was looked at. When she arrived to the military hospital, she witnessed appalling living conditions. Nightingale and her group of nurses got to...