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Florence Nightingale Florence Nightingale was born into privilege and wealth Born in Florence Italy on May 12 1820 she received her name from the city of her birth It is noteworthy that Florence was considered an unusual name at the time but this changed with the fame of Miss Nightingale Although born in Italy she grew up in Derbyshire Hampshire and London where her parents kept large comfortable homes Nightingale was the offspring of parents of upper-class power and influence She was the younger of their two daughters and her upbringing was a classical education and social prominence Miss Nightingales classic education included history multiple languages economics astronomy science philosophy and mathematical skills Mr Nightingale took upon himself the classical education of Florence while Mrs Nightingale taught her the social skills and leadership qualities Florence became increasingly unhappy with her upper-class lifestyle Victorian England afforded women of upper-class means to a life of little education but an emphasis on proper male-female roles A womans role in 19th century England was to be subservient to her husband and avoid occupational ambitions The Nightingale family ignored the custom of offering little education to their girls On February 7 1837 Florence said she heard the voice of God tell her that she had a mission Nine years later she discovered her mission In 1846 a friend sent her the Year Book of the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses at Kaisersworth Germany which is a training school for nurses Four years later Florence left for Germany to attend the institute during 1850 and again returning to Germany in 1851 These two brief periods were the only formalized medical training she received Miss Nightingales mother never supported her nursing desires and Mr Nightingale opposed her nursing aspirations but gave his blessing after becoming ill and receiving attentive care from his nursing student daughter In 1853 Nightingale received an unpaid position of Superintendent of Nurses at the Institution
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