40 Famous & Inspirational Florence Nightingale Quotes on Life and Nursing

40 Famous & Inspirational Florence Nightingale Quotes on Life and Nursing

Florence Nightingale. Coloured wood engraving, 1855“, by Wellcome Collection gallery (2018-03-29), licensed under CC BY 4.0

“The Angel of Crimea” and “The Lady with the Lamp” are the decorative titles given to Florence Nightingale, whose compassionate soul can never be forgotten. The British nurse played a major role in saving the lives of British soldiers drying from infections caused by wounds they sustained during the Crimean war. Together with her volunteering nursing team, Nightingale worked day and night to improve the unsanitary conditions of the British hospital where soldiers received treatment, reducing death tolls by more than two-thirds. Today’s nursing profession emerged from her actions and commitment, gaining prominence and excellence in the healthcare industry.

Florence Nightingale published her writings about her work during the war, which was a significant contributor to health reforms that were adopted all over. Consequently, her words have been used as inspiration on matters regarding life and nursing. Florence Nightingale’s quotes have been a cherished source of wisdom since the Victorian era and are still relevant today. For that reason, Turtle Quote brings you some of Florence Nightingale’s famous quotes on life and nursing.

Florence Nightingale Quotes on Life

“Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift – there is nothing small about it.”

Florence Nightingale, VIA AMERICAN GEM SOCIETY

“By mortifying vanity we do ourselves no good. It is the want of interest in our life which produces it; by filling up that want of interest in our life we can alone remedy it.”

Florence Nightingale, VIA Women Imagine Change: A Global Anthology of Women’s Resistance from 600 B.C

“Mankind must make heaven before we can ‘go to heaven’, in this world as in any other.”

Florence Nightingale

“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.”

Florence Nightingale, via christians united for israel

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.”

Florence Nightingale

“Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.”

Florence Nightingale, via ons voice

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.”

Florence Nightingale, via ons voice

“There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain.”

“Life is a hard fight, a struggle, a wrestling with the principle of evil, hand to hand, foot to foot.”

Florence Nightingale, via A Call to Compassion: Taking God’s Unfailing Love to Your World

“The night is given us to take breath, to pray, to drink deep at the fountain of power. The day, to use the strength which has been given us, to go forth to work with it till the evening.”

Florence Nightingale

“Why do people sit up so late, or, more rarely, get up so early? Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have no time in the day to themselves.”

Florence Nightingale

“I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”

Florence Nightingale

“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.”

Florence Nightingale

“I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”

Florence Nightingale

“The world is put back by the death of everyone who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality.”

Florence Nightingale

“Our first journey is to find that special place for us.”

“Being in charge is not how you can always do the right thing by yourself, but how you can provide for the right thing to always be done.”

Florence Nightingale

“A human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place.”

Florence Nightingale

“Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch.”

Florence Nightingale

“If I could give you information of my life it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service.”

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale Quotes on Nursing

“And what nursing has to do in either case, is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.”

Florence Nightingale

“Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day. If her face, too, so much the better.”

Florence Nightingale

“Wise and humane management of the patient is the best safeguard against infection.”

Florence Nightingale

“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.”

“If a nurse declines to do these kinds of things for her patient, ‘because it is not her business’, I should say that nursing was not her calling.”

Florence Nightingale

“No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this – ‘devoted and obedient’.”

Florence Nightingale

“For the sick it is important to have the best.”

Florence Nightingale

“Unless we are making progress in our nursing every year, every month, every week, take my word for it we are going back.”

Florence Nightingale

“The most important practical lesson than can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.”

Florence Nightingale

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.”

Florence Nightingale

“Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses….we must be learning all of our lives.”

Florence Nightingale

“Nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backwards.”

“The amount of relief and comfort experienced by the sick after the skin has been carefully washed and dried, is one of the commonest observations made at a sick bed.”

Florence Nightingale

“The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for they make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower.”

Florence Nightingale

“May we hope that the day will come … when every poor sick person will have the opportunity of a share in a district sick-nurse at home.”

Florence Nightingale

“Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, never intended … to take in the whole sick population.”

Florence Nightingale

“I use the word nursing for want of a better.”

Florence Nightingale

“Nursing ought to signify the proper use of fresh air, light, warmth, cleanliness, quiet, and the proper selection and administration of diet-all at the least expense of vital power to the patient.”

Florence Nightingale

“Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.”

Florence Nightingale

“Unnecessary noise is the most cruel abuse of care which can be inflicted on either the sick or the well.”

Speaking of powerful and inspirational women, you’ll also love reading these Malala Yousafzai quotes on education and women empowerment.

Facts about Florence Nightingale

Born on May 12, 1820, Florence Nightingale was lucky to be educated in an era when not many women had access to education. However, her father ensured she received the best education and even took it upon himself to teach her subjects like English, Mathematics, and Science.

Growing up, Florence believed that God had called her to serve as a nurse, and therefore, she turned down suitors and never married or had children.

Due to her devotion to nursing, she is famously remembered for her work during the Crimean war. She was famously nicknamed “The Lady of the Lamp” because she would continually make rounds at night visiting her patients while carrying a little lamp.

After the Crimean war, Nightingale published her writings about nursing. A famous compilation of her notes is in her book ‘Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not‘. However, many people don’t know that she also wrote a novel called Cassandra about the lives of women of her class.

Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria in 1883 for her contribution. 

She was also the first woman to be awarded the Order of Merit in 1907 and is believed to be the founder of modern nursing. 

Unfortunately, Florence Nightingale’s health deteriorated during her later years in life, keeping her often bedridden. She later passed on in 1910, aged 90. 

Her birthday marks International Nurses Day, celebrating nurses all over the world.

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