The Lady with the Lamp
Florence Nightingale by Henry Hering (late 1856-1857), copied 1950s by Elliott & Fry half-plate glass negative. ©National Portrait Gallery, London
Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift—there is nothing small about it.
— Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale (1820 – 1910), Soultype 4, is known as the founder of modern nursing. She considered her work a spiritual calling, and by bringing the wisdom of her soul to everyone she met and everything she did, she altered the course of medical history. Nightingale transformed the nursing profession and medical protocols by:
Providing superior medical training to nurses, teaching them how to care for patients, and making these two things paramount criteria for hiring nurses.
Successfully bringing professional female healthcare providers into the medical community.
Improving medical protocols which resulted in drastic reductions in the death rate.
Opening the Nightingale Training School for Nursing, a science-based professional nursing school and the first non-religious training in the world .
Formulating statistics that proved the need for improvements in health and social systems, including creating the Polar Area Graph that helped people see and understand statistical information.
During the Crimean War, the hygienic nursing methods she introduced were responsible for reducing the death rate from 42% to 2%. Singlehandedly, she challenged Britain’s all-male medical practitioners, who did not believe women were capable of helping them. Despite Britain’s Victorian culture having little faith in her because she was female, she persevered and succeeded in making transformative changes.
Nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backwards.
— Florence Nightingale
The photo of Florence Nightingale above shows the Facial Expression of Strength for Soultype 4. It is an expression of calmness, gentleness, profound receptivity, and depth. As a Soultype 4, Nightingale had the ability to be deeply connected to herself and others, and she brought this compassionate closeness to everyone she encountered. Through the relationships she created, transformation happened,
As you read this article, embrace her soul wisdom. Nightingale was able to stay present with herself and follow the light of her own soul’s strength. This always created magic, and we all have the opportunity to make this choice.
Like a fiery comet, Florence Nightingale streaked across the skies of l9th-century England and transformed the world with her passage. She was a towering genius of both intellect and spirit, and her legacy resonates today as forcefully as during her lifetime. (Introduction)
Nightingale worked sometimes 20 hours each day. Soon even the most hardened officers noticed the effects of her commanding authority and healing presence. She had an utter disregard of contagion and spent hours over men who were dying of cholera or other fevers. When she walked the wards at night with her lantern, the soldiers saluted her. She talked to the soldiers and cheered them with her calm voice, warm smile, and gentle touch. (p. 129)
— Barbara Montgomery Dossey, PhD, RN
Florence Nightingale, Mystic, Visionary and Healer
Florence Nightingale checking on her patients and administrating medicine at Scutari Hospital during the Crimean War. She became lovingly known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp.’ Colored lithograph by J.A. Benwell. Public Domain Mark
Nightingale trained nursing staff to become professional healthcare providers. The changes she made elevated the foundation for nursing care, transforming it into a recognized profession. Nightingale introduced hygienic protocols for the first time, in addition to providing food and comfort for the injured.
Florence Nightingale (center) with her brother-in-law Sir Henry Verney and a group of nurses from the Nightingale Training School, 1886. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
A prolific writer, Nightingale spent a lifetime meticulously documenting her knowledge and experiences so that she could leave an enduring legacy capable of supporting humanity for generations. She emphasized the need to understand the emotional and physical consequences of illness.
Nightingale authored over 200 books, along with numerous articles and pamphlets, and she wrote over 14,000 letters. One of her books, Notes on Nursing – What It Is and What It Is Not, helped people learn how to care for one another through the lens of compassion. Her approach was not only holistic but highly popular at the time, and tens of thousands of copies were sold.
Throughout her life, Nightingale uplifted social and healthcare causes in a way that always included and honored humanity’s spiritual nature. Her legacy continues to inspire essential aspects of being human.