The Florence Nightingale Foundation - Registered in England and Wales with Charity Reg No. 229229 and in Scotland with Charity Reg No. SC044341
A company Limited by Guarantee Registration No. 518623


History of the Florence Nightingale Foundation

The story of the Florence Nightingale Foundation is inextricably linked with the early history of the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and the Florence Nightingale International Foundation, as well as with the League of Red Cross Societies in Geneva and its national societies in many countries.

Florence Nightingale, who is universally recognised as the founder of modern nursing, died in 1910 at the age of 90 years. The international nursing community of the time wished to pay tribute to the life and work of this great nurse, and at the ICN Congress held in Cologne in 1912, Mrs Bedford Fenwick in her speech at the final banquet proposed that "an appropriate memorial to Florence Nightingale be instituted". She envisaged an educational foundation, which would enable nurses "to prepare themselves most fitly to follow in her footsteps".

However, due to the 1914-1918 War, it was not until 1929 that the memorial proposal was activated at the ICN Grand Council in Montreal, when Ethel Bedford Fenwick was elected Chairman of the Florence Nightingale Memorial Committee.

Today, the Florence Nightingale Foundation operates from offices near Victoria Station in London, offering nurses the opportunity to broaden their professional development through travel to other countries, to observe trends and work in their own particular area of practice.

A copy of "A short history of the Florence Nightingale Foundation" by Dame Sheila Quinn, DBE can be downloaded below.

More information about the life and work of Florence Nightingale can be found at the Florence Nightingale Museum, on the former site of the Nightingale School of Nursing at St Thomas’ Hospital. The museum opening hours are Monday to Friday 10:00 - 17:00, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 10:00 - 16:30.

For more information please visit the Florence Nightingale Museum's website


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