Florence Nightingale believed God had a special plan for her life. She was born into a rich family and grew up going to many parties. But Florence believed that God had more important things for her to do. She was especially interested in helping sick people. She cared for the sick farmers on her father’s estate. She saved the life of an old shepherd’s dog that had broken its leg. By the time she was 16, Florence was sure God was calling her to help the sick. She spent much of her time reading books on nursing and visiting hospitals. She wanted to help more, but her family did not like her visiting sick people and “dirty” hospitals.

When Florence’s grandmother became ill, Florence did all the nursing. Her family began to see how important caring for the sick was to Florence and how much it helped her grandmother. After her grandmother died, Florence’s father allowed her to go to Germany and study how to better care for the sick.

In most of the hospitals at this time in history, all nurses did was clean the floors and clean up after patients. But at the school Florence attended in Germany, the nurses were actually taught to care for the patients. Still, nurses were looked down on more than even maids and servants.

Florence Nightingale changed the whole career of nursing, making it an important profession. From reading the Bible she saw how important cleanliness was. Florence went to many other hospitals and helped improve their cleanliness and made them more efficient. She believed God wanted her to do something important, and her life did make a difference in the world: she has come to be known as the founder of modern nursing.