Women’s History Month: Spotlight on Women in Medicine

This collection of books celebrating women in medicine was organized by library student worker, Lilah Heyman '21, in collaboration with School of Nursing student and member of the Student Library Advisory Board, Minasdine Rene '21.

Graphic also printed as a poster and will be on display in the Library for the month of March

Minasdine Rene'21, an undergraduate student in the School of Nursing, suggested that we feature Florence Nightingale saying "Her story is truly inspiring". The following text was written by Minasdine:


Born in 1820, she is known as the pioneer of modern nursing. She revolutionized healthcare during the 19th century. Prior to Nightingale, mortality rate was high due to poor hygiene. She was able to lower mortality rate in England and worldwide and improve conditions for nurses and patient care. She researched and implemented practices to improve environmental settings for patient health. She educated nurses and because of her practices and dedication to the healthcare system, nursing became a well-known and respected profession.

Florence Nightingale, [between 1900 and 1910, from a photo taken between 1860 and 1870], photomechanical print, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

5 facts about Florence Nightingale:

  1. Treated the wounded soldiers during the Crimean war along with other nurses. She applied her sanitary conditions and reduced hospital death rates by two thirds. She educated the nurses on how to properly take care of the soldiers.
  2. She is also known as Lady with the Lamp”. During her work at Scutari (Crimean war), she would do her rounds by checking on the wounded men holding a lamp or light in her hand.
  3. The current hygiene practices that we have today is because of her. She was able to control cholera outbreak due to her sanitary practices. She made handwashing, bathing, and other infection control practices mandatory
  4. Her birthday is celebrated around the world as international Nurse’s day on May 12.
  5. A quote to live by: “I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse” (Florence Nightingale).

Want to learn more about Florence Nightingale? Here are some resources:

Bio on Britannica Academic (library database)

Streaming Film (via the library database, Films on Demand)

Notes on Nightingale: the influence and legacy of a nursing icon (print book)

Florence Nightingale: the making of an icon (print book)

Collected Works of Florence Nightingale (ebook series)

Information from the National Army Museum

Graphic also printed as a poster and will be on display in the Library for the month of March