Florence Nightingale was a trailblazing figure in nursing who greatly affected 19th- and 20th-century policies around proper medical care. She was known for her night rounds to aid the wounded, establishing her image as the 'Lady with the Lamp.'

And statistician is best known as the founder of modern nursing. Her experiences as a nurse during the Crimean War were foundational in her views about sanitation. She established St. Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses in 1860. Her efforts to reform healthcare greatly influenced the quality of care in the 19 and 20 centuries.

Her efforts to formalize nursing education led her to establish the first scientifically based nursing school—the Nightingale School of Nursing, at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (opened 1860). She also was instrumental in setting up training for midwives and nurses in workhouse infirmaries. She was the first woman awarded the Order of Merit (1907). International Nurses Day, observed annually on May 12, commemorates her birth and celebrates the important role of nurses in health care.

Nightingale influenced nursing and health care in two ways.

First, there is the impact of her myth. This myth was created when she headed a group of nurses to care for the thousands of British troops dying from disease during the Crimean War (1853-56).
The public revered Nightingale as the Lady with the Lamp, gliding around at night at Scutari Hospital in Turkey embodying selfless care. 

Second, After the Crimean War, she spent most of her remaining 54 years as an invalid in her bedroom.

She wrote insightful reports and papers on reforming the army and improving public health.

So too was her practical guide for women nursing family members at home, Notes on Nursing (1859). Later, her focus was on improving conditions in India.

In all her work, Nightingale aimed to prevent needless deaths from disease, as had occurred during the Crimean War.