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Florence Nightingale 2014: President honors legendary figure (+Video)

The world is celebrating today, May 12, which is International Nurses Day, a day for remembering the birth of the legendary nurse Florence Nightingale. Born in Florence, Italy, she is regarded as the driving force behind the modern concept of the profession of nursing.

WASHINGTON - AUGUST 10: U.S. President Barack Obama walks out of the Oval Office before making a statement encouraging the House of Representatives to pass a $26 billion spending bill to avoid layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters, nurses and
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Citing a report from ABP today, President Pranab Mukherjee, current President of India, today presented the National Florence Nightingale Awards to nursing personnel at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Speaking on the occasion, the President said, “Nurses are the largest workforce in the healthcare industry in India. Nursing services and capacity building have expanded considerably since Independence and their roles and responsibilities have multiplied over the years.”

The International Day of Nursing or International Nurses Day is a memorial day dedicated to nurses' contributions to society, sponsored by the International Council of Nurses. This day celebrates the members of the health team who work in roles involving care, recovery, rehabilitation, disease prevention and health promotion, both in care services and health programs. International Nurse Day is celebrated on May 12 because it corresponds with the birth of Florence Nightingale, who was the founder of the school of professional nursing. Florence Nightingale is considered the mother of modern nursing.

Biography writes that Florence Nightingale was born on May 12, 1820, in Florence, Italy. She was the younger of two children. Nightingale's affluent British family belonged to elite social circles. At 17, she began visiting the poor and sick people to help them. This did not please her parents, who took pride in socializing with people of prominent social standing.

At 23, she discovered her true calling: nursing. However, at the time, the profession was not well regarded in society.

She came to prominence while serving as a nurse during the Crimean War, where she tended to wounded soldiers. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night.

On August 13, 1910, aged 90, Nightingale died in her sleep shortly after contracting "Crimean fever." In honor of her accomplishments, The Florence Nightingale Museum at St Thomas' Hospital in London was reopened in May 2010 in time for the centenary of her death.

The Florence Nightingale Museum, which sits at the site of the original Nightingale Training School for Nurses, houses more than 2,000 artifacts commemorating the life and career of the "Angel of the Crimea." To this day, Florence Nightingale is broadly acknowledged and revered as the pioneer of modern nursing.

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