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Florence Nightingale was born 200 years ago on May 12, 1820, in Tuscany, where her parents were on holiday.

As Prime Minister Boris Johnson tells us in this fascinating three-minute video, she became the mother of modern nursing during the Crimean War and trained other women to become ‘ministering angels’. Newly-qualified American nurses still recite the Nightingale Pledge. India gives a Florence Nightingale Award to a deserving nurse every year. An asteroid bears her name, as does a Dutch airliner:

It is only fitting that our (now mothballed) temporary hospitals for coronavirus patients in England bear her name.

Boris also paid tribute to the excellent care that today’s nurses, men and women, provide to patients in their care. Therefore, it is also fitting that Florence Nightingale’s birthday is International Nurses Day.

It is worth pointing out that the key to successful nursing, as Florence Nightingale discovered early on, is personal hygiene, both for themselves and for their patients.

Therefore, we can apply a few lessons from her work to ourselves at home: washing our hands and staying clean. It’s an enduring message from an extraordinary woman.

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