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Florence Nightingale quotes (showing 1-25 of 25)

“I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.”
Florence Nightingale
“I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”
Florence Nightingale
“If I could give you information of my life it would be to show how a woman of very ordinary ability has been led by God in strange and unaccustomed paths to do in His service what He has done in her. And if I could tell you all, you would see how God has done all, and I nothing. I have worked hard, very hard, that is all; and I have never refused God anything.”
Florence Nightingale
“Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.”
Florence Nightingale
“You ask me why I do not write something.... I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.”
Florence Nightingale
“The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not
“Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.”
Florence Nightingale
“Women never have a half-hour in all their lives (excepting before or after anybody is up in the house) that they can call their own, without fear of offending or of hurting someone. Why do people sit up so late, or, more rarely, get up so early? Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have 'no time in the day to themselves.' 1852”
Florence Nightingale
“Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not
“Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.”
Florence Nightingale
“A woman cannot live in the light of intellect. Society forbids it. Those conventional frivolities, which are called her 'duties', forbid it. Her 'domestic duties', high-sounding words, which, for the most part, are but bad habits (which she has not the courage to enfranchise herself from, the strength to break through), forbid it.”
Florence Nightingale
“To understand God's thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose.”
Florence Nightingale
“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.”
Florence Nightingale
“Woman has nothing but her affections,--and this makes her at once more loving and less loved.”
Florence Nightingale, Cassandra
tags: women
“It is often thought that medicine is the curative process. It is no such thing; medicine is the surgery of functions, as surgery proper is that of limbs and organs. Neither can do anything but remove obstructions; neither can cure; nature alone cures. Surgery removes the bullet out of the limb, which is an obstruction to cure, but nature heals the wound. So it is with medicine; the function of an organ becomes obstructed; medicine so far as we know, assists nature to remove the obstruction, but does nothing more. And what nursing has to do in either case, is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not
“To be "in charge" is certainly not only to carry out the proper measures yourself but to see that every one else does so too; to see that no one either willfully or ignorantly thwarts or prevents such measures. It is neither to do everything yourself nor to appoint a number of people to each duty, but to ensure that each does that duty to which he is appointed.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not
“If a nurse declines to do these kinds of things for her patient, "because it is not her business," I should say that nursing was not her calling. I have seen surgical "sisters," women whose hands were worth to them two or three guineas a-week, down upon their knees scouring a room or hut, because they thought it otherwise not fit for their patients to go into. I am far from wishing nurses to scour. It is a waste of power. But I do say that these women had the true nurse-calling—the good of their sick first, and second only the consideration what it was their "place" to do—and that women who wait for the housemaid to do this, or for the charwoman to do that, when their patients are suffering, have not the making of a nurse in them.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing What It Is, and What It Is Not
“What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they can know nothing and think they know a great deal.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes On Nursing
“You do not want the effect of your good things to be, "How wonderful for a woman!" nor would you be deterred from good things, by hearing it said, "Yes, but she ought not to have done this, because it is not suitable for a woman." But you want to do the thing that is good, whether it is "suitable for a woman" or not.

It does not make a thing good, that it is remarkable that a woman should have been able to do it. Neither does it make a thing bad, which would have been good had a man done it, that it has been done by a woman.

Oh, leave these jargons, and go your way straight to God's work, in simplicity and singleness of heart.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes On Nursing
“It seems a commonly received idea among men and even among women themselves that it requires nothing but a disappointment in love, the want of an object, a general disgust, or incapacity for other things, to turn a woman into a good nurse.

This reminds one of the parish where a stupid old man was set to be schoolmaster because he was "past keeping the pigs.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes On Nursing
“I would earnestly ask my sisters to keep clear of both the jargons now current everywhere (for they are equally jargons); of the jargon, namely, about the "rights" of women, which urges women to do all that men do, including the medical and other professions, merely because men do it, and without regard to whether this is the best that women can do; and of the jargon which urges women to do nothing that men do, merely because they are women, and should be "recalled to a sense of their duty as women," and because "this is women's work," and "that is men's," and "these are things which women should not do," which is all assertion and nothing more. Surely woman should bring the best she has, whatever that is, to the work of God's world, without attending to either of these cries.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes On Nursing
“Lo importante no es lo que nos hace el destino, sino lo que nosotros hacemos de él.”
Florence Nightingale
“The most important pratical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe-how to observe-what symptoms indicate improvement-what the reverse-which are of importance-which are of none-which are the evidence of neglect-and of what kind of neglect.”
Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not
“I must strive to see only God in my friends, and God in my cats.”
Florence Nightingale
“The martyr sacrifices herself entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for she makes the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower.”
Florence Nightingale, Ever Yours, Florence Nightingale: Selected Letters


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