Florence Nightingale Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Thomas Philip
Florence Nightingale is one of the most famous women in history. In this lesson you will learn about her childhood, what she wanted to be in life, and how she accomplished that.

Florence's Early Years

Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820 in Florence, Italy. Now you know how she got her first name. Her family was from England, but Florence was born while her parents were traveling through Italy. She came from a wealthy family and had an older sister named Parthenope.

As a child, Florence loved to learn. Her father taught her history, philosophy, and math. She also loved learning languages and was multilingual, meaning she could speak several different languages. Impressively, Florence was able to read and write French, Italian, Greek, German, and Latin.

Florence Nightingale

Growing Up

When she was around 16 years old, Florence received what she described as 'calls from God'. She knew through these calls that she needed to spend her life taking care of other people. The way she wanted to make that dream come true was by becoming a nurse. Florence saw nursing as a way to serve both God and people.

However, her family did not want her to become a nurse. In those days, it was poor women and uneducated women who went on to become nurses. Florence's parents and sister thought that she was much too smart to become a nurse. They wanted her to get married and be a wife and mother. Florence was so determined to help others that against her parents wishes she went to Germany in 1851 to study nursing.

When she came back to England in 1853, she was able to get a job as the head of a nursing organization, where she worked hard to improve the care for patients and the building. By this time Florence was doing exactly what she wanted to, which was to help other people! She didn't stop there though.

Crimean War

Things weren't always peaceful in the world during Florence's lifetime. You see, in 1853, the country of Russia was trying to take over neighboring countries. Florence's country of England and others decided that wasn't right and decided to help protect the countries from Russia. This war between Russia and the European countries was called the Crimean War.

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