History of the Foundation

Florence Nightingale is undoubtedly the world’s most famous nurse and her influence and legacy continues to have an effect throughout the world today. 

When Florence died in 1910 at 90, the international nursing community of the time wished to pay tribute to the life and work of this great nurse. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) Congress, in Cologne in 1912, announced the idea of Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) to be established as a living memorial to Florence.  It was not until the 1929 ICN Grand Council meeting in Montreal that the memorial proposal was activated.

…to prepare themselves most fitly to follow in her footsteps

Mrs Bedford Fenwick on the formation of the Foundation

The Foundation advances the study of nursing and midwifery practice and promotes excellence in practice to benefit patients. It provides scholarships that enable nurses and midwives to extend their knowledge and skills to meet the changing needs of patients’ care for today and the future. Further, the Foundation develops new knowledge and creates the evidence base for nursing and midwifery practice through the Florence Nightingale Clinical Professoriate.

2020 will witness the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. This will be celebrated on a wide scale both in the UK and globally with many events taking place across the world. This will help to increase the profile of nursing and midwifery and promote the recognition the professions deserve.