Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, May of 1820 and was named after this city. She was home schooled by her father, a highly educated man. Both Florence's parents were wealthy and loved to travel.
Although Florence's family wanted her to marry, she knew from an early age that this was not for her. She had many callings from God, her first being when she was 17. In 1843, a man who tutored Florence asked her to marry him. She turned him down then and two years later, turned him down again.
In 1842 Florence had her first thoughts about nursing. She became aware of hungry people in towns and villages and was aware of workhouses, hospitals and prisons that were completely overfilled. Florence became concerned for the poor and sick of villages that contained agriculture workers and weavers. She asked her mother for food, bedding and clothes and usually her mother would have helped her out, but not this time.
Florence became unhappy with her life and felt that getting married like her mother wanted would not satisfy her. At the age of 24, she received another calling from God and decided to follow it. She felt she belonged in hospitals caring for the sick. When she asked her parents to learn more about nursing, they were not suitable with the idea and did not agree with it. In 1846, she decided that she might receive training in Germany at a hospital run by deacons and pastors where discipline and supervision was strictly enforced. Florence traveled to Kaiserwerth where she worked with the children in the hospital and attended an operation. Although there was no nurse training at kaiserwerth, she was happy to be helpful assistance to the patients.
In March of 1854, England and France declared...