The Influence of Florence Nightingale and Catherine McAuley in the History of Nursing

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Florence Nightgale and Catherine McAuley both played major roles in the history of nursing.

To begin with, Catherine McAuley always played an interest on serving others with education. She was a firm believer that everyone deserves to be equally educated, willing to give help to the poor and those in poverty in Dublin, where she was born. Catherine wanted to care for the poor and help educate them. Growing up just outside of Dublin, Catherine’s father was known to be very wealthy, always giving to the poor and feeding and clothing them. Catherine’s father sadly passed away when she was at the young age of 5. Catherine’s mother then passed away from a fever when she was just in her teens leading Catherine to temporarily live with a protestant family known as the Armstrong’s where she was well cared for along with her sister and brother at the time. Catherine still remained catholic and always took after her father. She brought food and clothing to the poor and always taking part in charity. She then met a Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan, where she moved in with them. After Catherine was caring for Mrs. Callaghan she sadly passed away, then shortly after Mr. Callaghan also passed away, where he left her with a large amount of money. Catherine wanted to find a place where she could provide housing for the poor, and making them easily visible for the rich to hire them for work, where she bought a house on a busy street known as Baggot Street in Dublin housing the poor.

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Catherine also traveled to France teaching large classes of students. In 1827, Catherine opened schooling for the poor, and provided housing for women. Catherine continued her charity throughout Dublin where she also began visiting the poor and the sick in the hospitals of Dublin. Catherine then professed religious vows along with two other women beginning the religious institute of the Sisters of Mercy. This led to further serving the poor, sick and uneducated where she traveled to several parts of the country overseas to serve others, and also provided charity during a Cholera outbreak in 1832 where many were dying where her and the sisters provided there care. Catherine will always be remembered by her kind acts of care, serving the poor, and providing housing and education in hopes to diminish poverty and increase stability for all of those in need.

Florence Nightingale, known as an astonishing historical figure of nursing, was born in Florence, Italy where she was brought up from a wealthy family. Florence had always believed she was meant to be a nurse where she decided to go away to nursing school at the Institution of Protestant Deaconesses in Germany. Shortly after graduating, Nightingale worked as a nurse in a hospital in London where she was then shortly promoted to the hospitals superintendent. She also volunteered caring for others during a major Cholera outbreak, where the disease was rapidly spreading due to lack of sanitation causing the disease to continuously spread to others. Nightingale’s main priority was to increase proper hygiene and sanitation techniques, leading her practices to decrease death rates within hospitals and health care. The Crimean war then broke out in the year of 1853, leading thousands of soldiers ill and wounded in need of hospital care. Nightingale came to the rescue where she traveled to the British base hospital in Constantinople. The findings and conditions of the hospital were awful, soldiers lying in their own body excretions and almost on top of one another. There was lack of clean linens, food, water, and soap, leading to more deaths from infections rather than from the injuries due to the war.

Nightingale put an end to all of this by cleaning and disinfecting the hospital, providing clean linens and nutritious meals for the soldiers, and providing the hospital with her sanitation skills. She spent all of her time caring for the soldiers with her sanitation techniques, and moving through the dark as she made her rounds with her light lamp where she was named “The Lady with the Lamp”. Nightingale’s astonishing work decreased the death rate of the hospital overall by two-thirds. Once the war had ended, she returned back home where she was given an award of $250,000 from the British government which she used to open a hospital along with a nursing school. Nightingale influenced so many women to take on the profession of nursing, including the wealthy upper class woman. She continued to dedicate her life to help improve the care of others with her intelligence on proper hygiene and sanitation techniques where she helped promote ideas on properly administering health care within hospitals.

Both Nightingale and McAuley had tremendous effects on others. To begin with, both women had the ability to influence other woman dramatically in a beneficial way. For instance, Nightingale influenced woman to go into the amazing profession of nursing, whereas McAuley influenced women to take part in caring for the poor and charitable events helping those in need. Second, both women took part in caring for the poor and those in need of care. Both of these empowering women resemble highly significant figures of our history making an impact within nursing care. Nightingale and McAuley also both genuinely enjoyed serving and caring for others deeply having a passion for caring for those in despair. Lastly, both women played a significant role in educating others to help benefit there lives and providing individuals with more knowledge to live a better life. Florence Nightingale and Catherine McAuley have led me to want to empower others in such ways they both have, and increased my knowledge of the benefits of serving others.

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