Florence Nightingale

The Florence Nightingale Exhibit is now on display at the HIMSS Innovation Center

As a pioneer of innovation and early proponent of nursing safety, Nightingale’s work created the foundation for our current standards of quality in healthcare.

Dr. Maureen M Mitchell, EdD, RN, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director at the Cleveland State University School of Nursing graciously donated both a book and a letter signed by Florence Nightingale. This unique artifacts are now on display at the HIMSS Innovation Center on the Health IT Timeline.

About the Book

Title: Notes on Nursing: What It Is, And What It Is Not
Author: Florence Nightingale (English 1820 – 1910)
Description: Hand covered bound printed book
Inscription: Mr. Rawlinson, with the grateful regards of F.N., Sept. 1860
Publication Date: 1859 (first edition)

Sir Robert Rawlinson, C.R. Was an eminent figure in the world of imperial healthcare.

Rawlinson and Nightingale were colleagues working to raise the level of medical care for the British Army around the world.

Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing was first published in England in 1859 and in America in 1860. Her book clearly establishes her vision of nursing as a genuine natural healing practice which concerns preventative medicine.

Nightingale wrote about many of the essential beliefs of the natural hygiene movement. She referred to these hygienic beliefs as the "laws of life" that would give mothers knowledge of "how to give their children healthy existences."


About the Letter

Title: A manuscript (handwritten) signed letter from Florence Nightingale
Author: Florence Nightingale (English 1820 – 1910)
Description: Double-sided letter on a single sheet of laid notepaper. It appears to be written in pencil, not uncommon especially in an era before fountain pens.
Addressed to: Mrs. Mary Scharlieb (British 1845 –1930)

Mary Scharlieb was an early and celebrated British lady physician who practiced extensively in India. The letter discusses “…the plans of a proposed female hospital.” At the request of Mrs. Scharlieb, Nightingale offers to provide her with news from Lady Dufferin regarding Mrs. Kadambini Ganguly (Indian 1861 – 1923) and Miss Mary Pailthorpe (British 1858 – 1912) who were prominent female Physicians in Imperial healthcare.

About the Research

The historical and biographical research on Florence Nightingale, her life, her contemporaries, her correspondence, and this 1859 first edition of her book Notes on Nursing: What It Is, And What It Is Not, were prepared by James Corcoran JD AAA ASA RICS, the senior certified appraiser at Corcoran Appraisal Group in Cleveland, Ohio with the assistance of his associate Stuart Smyth.

Corcoran Appraisal Group International also provided the insurance appraisal for this rare volume, a first edition of Notes on Nursing: What It Is, And What It Is Not.

Further Readings

Learn about Top 10 Ten Patient Safety Concerns with "Nurses Embrace a Culture of Safety". The article also includes an excellent quote by Florence Nightingale on the subject of safety: "The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm

Below are listed other featured HIMSS Content which mention Florence Nightingale