Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of Florence Nightingale quotes and sayings on nursing, life, death, war, peace, giving, devotion, health, heaven, motivation, nurses, passion, suffering etc.

75 Powerful Florence Nightingale Quotes On Nursing, Life & More

Quick Facts

Famous As: Statistician

Born On: May 12, 1820

Died On: August 13, 1910

Born In: Florence

Founder / Co Founder: Modern nursing

Died At Age: 90

Popularly known as ‘the lady with the lamps’ by one and all, Florence Nightingale is the mother of modern nursing. She was an active social reformer from England. Nightingale received the tag due her dedicated efforts to tend the wounded soldiers during the Crimean War, thus becoming an icon during the Victorian Era. There is a school of thought which believed that due to the dire necessity of a heroic public figure during the Victorian Era, her feats during the Crimean War had been glorified by the media. However, her role in professionalization of nursing in healthcare for women has never been questioned. She established the first secular nursing school in the world at St Thomas' Hospital in London which is now part of King's College London. This pioneer in modern nursing went on to receive honorable accolades such as Royal Red Cross, Lady of Grace of the Order of St John and Order of Merit. ‘The Florence Nightingale Medal’, the highest international honor in the field of nursing, was named after Nightingale as a tribute for her outstanding contribution in the medical discipline. Let us go through some of the famous quotes highlighting her thoughts and sayings.

I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.

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

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

Florence Nightingale

You ask me why I do not write something.... I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?

Florence Nightingale

To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

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

Woman has nothing but her affections,--and this makes her at once more loving and less loved.

Florence Nightingale

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm. It is quite necessary nevertheless to lay down such a principle ...

Florence Nightingale

What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they can know nothing and think they know a great deal.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

For the sick it is important to have the best.

Florence Nightingale

Jesus Christ raised women above the condition of mere slaves, mere ministers to the passions of the man, raised them by His sympathy, to be Ministers of God.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

Remember my name-- you'll be screaming it later.

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

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

Florence Nightingale

The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe - how to observe - what symptoms indicate improvement - what the reverse - which are of importance - which are of none - which are the evidence of neglect - and of what kind of neglect.

Florence Nightingale

Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God - to endeavour to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness.

Florence Nightingale

Volumes are now written and spoken upon the effect of the mind upon the body. Much of it is true. But I wish a little more was thought of the effect of the body on the mind.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

Never give nor take an excuse.

Florence Nightingale

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

That Religion is not devotion, but work and suffering for the love of God; this is the true doctrine of Mystics.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

To understand God's thoughts, one must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose.

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

Nature alone cures. ... what nursing has to do ... is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

Badly constructed houses do for the healthy what badly constructed hospitals do for the sick. Once insure that the air in a house is stagnant, and sickness is certain to follow.

Florence Nightingale

She said the object and color in the materials around us actually have a physical effect on us, on how we feel.

Florence Nightingale

The very elements of what constitutes good nursing are as little understood for the well as for the sick. The same laws of health or of nursing, for they are in reality the same, obtain among the well as among the sick.

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

Life is a hard fight, a struggle, a wrestling with the principle of evil, hand to hand, foot to foot. Every inch of the way is disputed. 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

I use the word nursing for want of a better. It has been limited to signify little more than the administration of medicines and the application of poultices. It 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

We know nothing of the principle of health, the positive of which pathology is the negative, except from observation and experience. And nothing but observation and experience will teach us the ways to maintain or to bring back the state of health. It is often thought that medicine is the curative process. It is no such thing; ... nature alone cures. ... And what [true] nursing has to do ... is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.

Florence Nightingale

No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this-'devoted and obedient.' This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

The 'kingdom of heaven is within,' indeed, but we must also create one without, because we are intended to act upon our circumstances.

Florence Nightingale

I have learned to know God. I have recast my social belief... All my admirers are married; most of my friends are dead; and I stand with all the world before me, where to choose a path to make in it.

Florence Nightingale

Sick children, if not too shy to speak, will always express this wish. They invariably prefer a story to be told to them, rather than read to them.

Florence Nightingale

Women have no sympathy and my experience of women is almost as large as Europe.

Florence Nightingale

A hundred struggle and drown in the breakers. One discovers the new world. But rather, ten times rather, die in the surf, heralding the way to that new world, than stand idly on the shore.

Florence Nightingale

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

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

God spoke to me and called me to His Service. What form this service was to take the voice did not say.

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

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

Florence Nightingale

If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed-sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing.

Florence Nightingale

I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women... no woman has excited passions among women more than I have.

Florence Nightingale

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

Florence Nightingale

Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. Far the greatest things grow by God's law out of the smallest. But to live your life, you must discipline it.

Florence Nightingale

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

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 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

I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.

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 what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing.

Florence Nightingale

A dark house is always an unhealthy house, always an ill-aired house, always a dirty house. Want of light stops growth and promotes scrofula, rickets, etc., among the children. People lose their health in a dark house, and if they get ill, they cannot get well again in it.

Florence Nightingale

Never speak to an invalid from behind, nor from the door, nor from any distance from him, nor when he is doing anything. The official politeness of servants in these things is so grateful to invalids, that many prefer, without knowing why, having none but servants about them.

Florence Nightingale

Everything you do in a patient's room, after he is 'put up' for the night, increases tenfold the risk of his having a bad night. But, if you rouse him up after he has fallen asleep, you do not risk - you secure him a bad night.

Florence Nightingale

Do not meet or overtake a patient who is moving about in order to speak to him or to give him any message or letter. You might just as well give him a box on the ear. I have seen a patient fall flat on the ground who was standing when his nurse came into the room.

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; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God's spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.

Florence Nightingale

The symptoms or the sufferings generally considered to be inevitable and incident to the disease are very often not symptoms of the disease at all, but of something quite different-of the want of fresh air, or of light, or of warmth, or of quiet, or of cleanliness, or of punctuality and care in the administration of diet, of each or of all of these.

Florence Nightingale

May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, practical work, the difficulties, and the joys of organizing nursing reforms, and who will lead far beyond anything we have done!

Florence Nightingale

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

A woman cannot live in the light of intellect. Society forbids it. Those conventional frivolities, which are called her 'duties', forbid it. Her 'domestic duties', high-sounding words, which, for the most part, are but bad habits (which she has not the courage to enfranchise herself from, the strength to break through), forbid it.

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 what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I have never refused God anything.

Florence Nightingale

People talk about imitating Christ, and imitate Him in the little trifling formal things, such as washing the feet, saying His prayer, and so on; but if anyone attempts the real imitation of Him, there are no bounds to the outcry with which the presumption of that person is condemned.

Florence Nightingale

Statistics is the most important science in the whole world: for upon it depends the practical application of every other science and of every art: the one science essential to all political and social administration, all education, all organization based on experience, for it only gives results of our experience.

Florence Nightingale

The family uses people, not for what they are, nor for what they are intended to be, but for what it wants them for- its own uses. It thinks of them not as what God has made them, but as the something which it has arranged that they shall be.

Florence Nightingale

People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect. Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients, are actual means of recovery.

Florence Nightingale

The account he gives of nurses beats everything that even I know of. This young prophet says that they are all drunkards, without exception, Sisters and all, and that there are but two whom the surgeon can trust to give the patients their medicines.

Florence Nightingale