Lesson 94 – Florence Nightingale

Curso de Inglés Gratuito C2




IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).



  • Social reformer
  • Statistician
  • The founder of modern nursing
  • Upper-class
  • Well-connected
  • She rebelled against
  • Expected role
  • A woman of her status
  • She announced her decision
  • To enter the field
  • She served as a nurse
  • Tending to wounded soldiers
  • Volunteer nurses
  • Medicines were in short supply
  • Hygiene was being neglected
  • Overworked
  • Poor care
  • Mass infection
  • Appalled by these conditions
  • A plea for a government solution
  • The poor condition of the facilities
  • Prefabricated
  • It helped reduce cases of fatality
  • Typhus
  • Typhoid
  • Cholera
  • Dysentery
  • Battle wounds
  • Lack of sanitation
  • Overcrowding
  • Defective sewers
  • Lack of ventilation
  • Highlighting these issues
  • The Sanitary Commission
  • To flush out the sewers
  • A notable reduction in the death rates
  • She never claimed any credit for this
  • To advocate
  • Living conditions
  • Working class homes
  • Her wartime work
  • At her disposal
  • To recover from disease
  • It takes a higher place
  • Every one ought to have
  • The general reading public
  • It became the cornerstone of
  • Key achievements
  • The workhouse system
  • Sick paupers
  • The American Civil War
  • She was approached for advice
  • Field medicine
  • She mentored
  • High-quality
  • Matrons
  • Leading hospitals
  • Bedridden
  • She suffered from depression
  • She remained productive
  • Hospital planning
  • It slowed down considerably
  • Blindness
  • Declining mental abilities
  • She died peacefully in her sleep
  • A large body of work



– Florence Nightingale –


Lesson 94 – Florence Nightingale 

Florence Nightingale was a celebrated English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing. She was born in 1820 to a rich, upper-class, well-connected British family in Florence, Italy. Her family were opposed to her working as a nurse, particularly her mother and sister, but Florence rebelled against the expected role for a woman of her status to become a wife and mother and worked hard to educate herself in the art and science of nursing. She announced her decision to enter the field in 1844.

She travelled through Rome, Greece and Egypt writing extensively about her experiences. In 1847, she met Sidney Herbert, with whom she became close friends. Herbert and his wife helped facilitate Nightingale’s nursing work in the Crimea where she served as a nurse during the Crimean War, tending to wounded soldiers. On 21 October 1854, she, thirty-eight women volunteer nurses that she trained, and fifteen Catholic nuns were sent to the Ottoman Empire. They found that medicines were in short supply, hygiene was being neglected and the medical staff, overworked. The poor care of the wounded soldiers resulted in mass infection and death. Nightingale, appalled by these conditions, sent a plea for a government solution to the poor condition of the facilities. The government replied by building a prefabricated hospital.

Although the hospital helped reduce cases of fatality, ten times more soldiers died from illnesses such as typhus, typhoid, cholera and dysentery than from battle wounds. Nightingale perceived lack of sanitation as an existing problem, with overcrowding, defective sewers and lack of ventilation. Highlighting these issues, the Sanitary Commission were sent out by the British government to flush out the sewers and improve ventilation. There became a notable reduction in the death rates, though Nightingale never claimed any credit for this. With the firm belief that many more fatalities could be prevented, Nightingale worked to advocate further sanitary living conditions that would define her career and earn her a place in the history books. By working on the sanitary design of hospitals and introducing sanitation in working-class homes she was able to reduce peacetime deaths.

In recognition of her wartime work, the Nightingale Fund was established, which allowed for the training of nurses. With £45,000 at her disposal, Nightingale was able to set up the Nightingale Training School at St Thomas’ Hospital. The first trained Nightingale nurses began work on 16 May 1865 at the Liverpool Workhouse Infirmary. In 1859, Nightingale wrote Notes on Nursing, in which she stated:
“Everyday sanitary knowledge, or the knowledge of nursing, or in other words, of how to put the constitution in such a state as that it will have no disease, or that it can recover from disease, takes a higher place. It is recognised as the knowledge which every one ought to have – distinct from medical knowledge, which only a profession can have.”

The book, which was written for the education of those nursing at home, sold well to the general reading public and became the cornerstone of the Nightingale School. Considered the first of its kind ever to be written and a classic introduction to nursing it has earned its place in the history of nursing. One of Nightingale’s key achievements was the introduction of trained nurses into the workhouse system which meant that sick paupers would receive care from properly trained nursing staff.

Nightingale’s work served as an inspiration for nurses in the American Civil War and she was approached for advice by the Union government, who required assistance in organising field medicine. She also mentored Linda Richards, who, in turn, established high-quality nursing schools and became a great nursing pioneer in the USA and Japan. By 1882, several Nightingale nurses had become matrons at several leading hospitals, including, in London (St Mary’s Hospital, Westminster Hospital, St Marylebone Workhouse Infirmary and the Hospital for Incurables at Putney) and throughout Britain (Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley; Edinburgh Royal Infirmary; Cumberland Infirmary and Liverpool Royal Infirmary), as well as at Sydney Hospital in New South Wales, Australia. In 1883, Nightingale was awarded the Royal Red Cross by Queen Victoria.

From 1857 onwards, Nightingale was intermittently bedridden and suffered from depression. Despite her symptoms, she remained productive in social reform, pioneering work in the field of hospital planning. Nightingale’s output slowed down considerably in her last decade. She wrote very little during that period due to blindness and declining mental abilities, though she still retained an interest in current affairs.

In 1910, at the age of 90, Florence Nightingale died peacefully in her sleep in Mayfair, London. She left a large body of work, including several hundred notes which were previously unpublished.



Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 



Relative clauses fall under 2 categories: Identifying and Non-identifying:

Identifying Relative Clauses: Identify which person or thing is referred to and therefore there is no comma separating the object of the relative clause.

Non-Identifying Relative Clauses: Reveal extra information. They join sentences and therefore we can use a comma to separate the groups of words.

THATApple is the only company that makes the iPods.NOT USED
WHOHolly Golightly is the character who receives elocution lessons in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”.Holly Golightly, who is the main character, is played by Audrey Hepburn in the film adaptation.
WHICHThat is the book which you borrowed from the library.The book, which you borrowed, is very difficult to get hold of.
WHOSEIsn’t that the person whose dog won’t stop barking?The neighbour, whose dog won’t stop barking, is moving out next week!
WHEREI especially enjoyed the part where he sings the song.NOT USED
“Whom” is not very often used. In spoken English, “whom” is often replaced by “who”. “Whom” is the correct form, but is less and less used.

The person, whom he is speaking to, is French.

The person who he is speaking to, is French. (Non-identifying relative clauses)

That is the person whom I was talking about.

That is the person who I was talking about. (Identifying relative clauses)



  • Related Pronunciation Video Lesson and interactive exercise(s):


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