In 2010 the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery celebrated its 150th anniversary. The world’s first professional nurse training school, established by Miss Nightingale at St Thomas’ Hospital, opened on 9 July 1860.
On 4 November 1854 Florence Nightingale and 38 nurses departed for the Scutari Crimean War hospital in Turkey. The public’s enthusiasm for her work there led to the creation in 1855 of a fund which Nightingale decided to use to establish a nursing training school. By June 1856 the fund had raised £44,039 (equivalent to over £2 million today). In 1858-9, Nightingale chose St Thomas’ Hospital as the location for her school, with the first nurses starting training on 9 July 1860.
The School has seen several mergers in its history. In 1991 it was amalgamated with the Olive Haydon School of Midwifery and the Thomas Guy & Lewisham School of Nursing, creating the Nightingale and Guy’s College of Nursing & Midwifery, and within a year the name changed to the Nightingale College of Health. In 1993 the Nightingale College of Health combined with the King’s College Hospital School of Nursing at Normanby College and formed the Nightingale Institute.
By 1996 all staff and new students of the Nightingale Institute were fully integrated at King’s College London, and in 1998 the Nightingale Institute combined with the Department of Nursing Studies at King’s College London, becoming the Florence Nightingale Division of Nursing & Midwifery. In 1999 the School was renamed the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery of King’s College London.
As part of the School's 150th anniversary celebrations a commemorative website was also produced to document our history, the year's activities, and our students and staff.
School launches ‘Navigating Nightingale’ iPhone app
A new iPhone app, ‘Navigating Nightingale’, was recently launched by the School. The app guides users along the banks of the River Thames to learn more about the life of Florence Nightingale a century after her death. Along the route, important features and buildings are highlighted that retell the story of her pioneering work in sanitation, nursing and hospital reform.
The free app was created in partnership by Dr Rosemary Wall, Research Fellow in History, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery at King’s and Dr Geoff Browell, Senior Archivist at King’s, and AIM25 (Archives in London and the M25 area), Centre Screen Productions and 4Door Lemon, and features a small selection of the many remarkable images and stories drawn from the London archives that participate in the AIM25 project.
The app tour begins at Somerset House, adjacent to King’s College London’s Strand Campus, and takes in the South Bank, Westminster Bridge and the Victoria Embankment, providing revealing insights into the life of Nightingale including her role in the Crimean War, in the rebuilding of St Thomas’ Hospital and the public perception of Nightingale and her work. The app uses advanced ‘complementary reality’ and ‘historical x-ray’ features, animation and exploration of images to re-imagine the London of Nightingale’s time overlaid onto a modern Thames riverbank.
Download the free app by visiting iTunes