Florence Nightingale helped make hospitals cleaner and more efficient, she helped make nursing an important, respected profession, and helped change the world around her into a better, more caring place. Would you like to be in a dirty, smelly hospital with fleas and rats? Would you want to have a nurse care for you who knows nothing about diseases or nursing? Well that's the way it would be--if it wasn't for a woman pioneer set out to improve hospital conditions. That woman was Florence Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy. She was named after the city that she was born in. Her mother loved gaiety, and Florence, Italy had the reputation of being the gayest city in Europe. Florence had a sister named Parthenope who was born one year prior to Florence's birth. She was born in Naples, Italy. Parthenope was also named after the city she was born in.
Parthenope is Greek for Naples. Florence and Parthenope were seldom called by their full names. Florence was called Flo, and Parthenope was called Parthe or just Pop.
Florence and Parthenope's parents were Fanny and William Nightingale. They were both from England. Her father was a Unitarian and a Whig who was involved in the anti-slavery movement. As a child, Florence was very close to her father, who without a son, treated her as his friend and companion. Florence's mother, Fanny Nightingale, also came from a Unitarian family. Both Florence and Parthenope were born while they were on vacation in Italy.
The Nightingales were a very rich and wealthy family. Flo and Pop grew up with a very privileged childhood. They had many gardens to play in, ponies to ride, and numerous cats, dogs, and birds to take care of. They lived in...