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Today's Featured Biography

Florence Nightingale

      A very distinguished lady nurse, who has been in half the hospitals in Europe, once said to me: "To Florence Nightingale, who was my own first teacher and inspirer, we owe the wonderful change that has taken place in the public mind with regard to nursing. When I first began my hospital training, hospital nursing was thought to be a profession which no decent woman of any rank could follow. If a servant turned nurse, it was supposed she did so because she had lost her character. We have changed all that now. Modern nursing owes its first impulse to Florence Nightingale."

      I don't suppose that any of my young readers have ever seen a hospital nurse of the now nearly extinct Gamp type; but I have. I have seen her, coarse-faced, thick of limb, heavy of foot, brutal in speech, crawling up and down the stairs or about the wards, in dresses and aprons that made me feel (although quite well and with a good healthy appetite) as if I would not have my good dinner just then. These were the old-fashioned "Sairey Gamps." But Florence Nightingale has been too strong for even the immortal "Sairey." Go now through the corridors and wards of a modern hospital; every nurse you meet will be neat and trim, with spotless dress and cap and apron, moving quickly but quietly to and fro, doing her work with kindness and intelligence.

      It was in 1820, the year George the Third's long life quite faded out, that the younger of the two daughters of William Shore Nightin...

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