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June 16 , 2009

Florence Nightingale: Extending Nursing

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale, Volume 13


Although Florence Nightingale is famous as a nurse, her lifetime’s writing on nursing and to nurses is scarcely known in the profession. Nursing professors tend to “look to the future, not to the past,” and often ignore her or rely on faulty secondary sources.

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Volume 12 related the founding of her school at St Thomas’ Hospital and her guidance of its teaching for the rest of her life. Volume 13, Extending Nursing, relates the introduction of professional training and standards outside St Thomas’, beginning with London hospitals and others in Britain, followed by hospitals in Europe, America, Australia and Canada. Also presented is material on work in India, Japan and China. The challenge of raising standards in the tough workhouse infirmaries is reported, as is Nightingale’s fostering of district nursing. A chronology in this volume provides a convenient overview of Nightingales work on nursing from 1860 to 1900. Both volumes give biographical sketches of key nursing leaders.

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