97 Florence Nightingale Quotes from ‘The Lady with the Lamp’

Florence Nightingale, known as “the Lady with the Lamp”, was instrumental in transforming hospitals into cleaner and safer places.

Born in Florence, Italy, on May 12, 1820, she was raised in England in a wealthy family and was homeschooled.

Despite societal norms and her family’s wishes for her to marry, Nightingale felt a divine calling to nursing.

She trained in Germany and Paris, establishing herself in the nursing field by age 33.


During the Crimean War, she led a group of nurses in treating wounded British soldiers under dire conditions, reducing the death rate from 40% to 2%.

Her innovative approach included using data to advocate for health reforms, earning her membership in the Royal Statistical Society.

She also founded the Nightingale Training School. Even after her death in 1910, her legacy persisted with awards and celebrations in her honor, including the Florence Nightingale Medal and International Nurses Day.

I have made a list of the best quotes by Florence Nightingale.

Best Florence Nightingale Quotes


I use the word nursing for want of a better. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the object presented to patients are an actual means of recovery. ~ Florence Nightingale.


There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Starting a job and working hard is how to be successful. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Never give nor take an excuse. ~ Florence Nightingale.


The next Christ will perhaps be a female Christ. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Why have women passion, intellect, moral activity these, three and a place in society where no one of the three can be exercised? ~ Florence Nightingale.

That Religion is not devotion, but work and suffering for the love of God; this is the true doctrine of Mystics. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Unnecessary noise is the most cruel abuse of care which can be inflicted on either the sick or the well. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion. ~ Florence Nightingale.

In a sick-room or a bed-room there should never be shutters shut. ~ Florence Nightingale.

A want of the habit of observing and an inveterate habit of taking averages are each of them often equally misleading. ~ Florence Nightingale.


A nurse is to maintain the air within the room as fresh as the air without, without lowering the temperature. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The time is come when women must do something more than the “domestic hearth,” which means nursing the infants, keeping a pretty house, having a good dinner and an entertaining party. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Volumes are now written and spoken upon the effect of the mind upon the body. Much of it is true. But I wish a little more was thought of the effect of the body on the mind. ~ Florence Nightingale.

I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The craving for ‘the return of the day’, which the sick so constantly evince, is generally nothing but the desire for light. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Famous Florence Nightingale Quotes

I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act and they make excuses. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The night is given to us to take breath, to pray, to drink deep at the fountain of power. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Remember my name – you’ll be screaming it later. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The martyr sacrifices themselves entirely in vain. Or rather not in vain; for they make the selfish more selfish, the lazy more lazy, the narrow narrower. ~ Florence Nightingale.

You must go to Mahometanism, to Buddhism, to the East, to the Sufis Fakirs, to Pantheism, for the right growth of mysticism. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Can the “word” be pinned down to either one period or one church? All churches are, of course, only more or less unsuccessful attempts to represent the unseen to the mind. ~ Florence Nightingale.

All disease, at some period or other of its course, is more or less a reparative process, not necessarily accompanied with suffering: an effort of nature to remedy a process of poisoning or of decay, which has taken place weeks, months, sometimes years beforehand, unnoticed. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The only English patients I have ever known refuse tea, have been typhus cases; and the first sign of their getting better was their craving again for tea. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Little as we know about the way in which we are affected by form, by color, and light, we do know this, that they have an actual physical effect. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Mysticism: to dwell on the unseen, to withdraw ourselves from the things of sense into communion with God – to endeavor to partake of the Divine nature; that is, of Holiness. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Instead of wishing to see more doctors made by women joining what there are, I wish to see as few doctors, either male or female, as possible. For, mark you, the women have made no improvement they have only tried to be “men” and they have only succeeded in being third-rate men. ~ Florence Nightingale.

It is very well to say be prudent, be careful, try to know each other. But how are you to know each other? ~ Florence Nightingale.

It is the unqualified result of all my experience with the sick that, second only to their need of fresh air, is their need of light; that, after a close room, what hurts them most is a dark room and that it is not only light but direct sunlight they want. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Top Florence Nightingale Quotes

The very elements of what constitutes good nursing are as little understood for the well as for the sick. The same laws of health, or of nursing, for they are in reality the same, obtain among the well as among the sick. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Women should have the true nurse calling, the good of the sick first the second only the consideration of what is their ‘place’ to do – and that women who want for a housemaid to do this or the charwomen to do that, when the patient is suffering, have not the making of a nurse in them. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it. ~ Florence Nightingale.

I stand at the altar of murdered men, and, while I live, I fight their cause. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Women have no sympathy and my experience of women is almost as large as Europe. ~ Florence Nightingale.


I must strive to see only God in my friends, and God in my cats. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe-how to observe-what symptoms indicate improvement-what the reverse-which are of importance-which are of none-which are the evidence of neglect-and of what kind of neglect. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Poetry and imagination begin life. A child will fall on its knees on the gravel walk at the sight of a pink hawthorn in full flower, when it is by itself, to praise God for it. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work. ~ Florence Nightingale.

What cruel mistakes are sometimes made by benevolent men and women in matters of business about which they can know nothing and think they know a great deal. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Law is no explanation of anything; law is simply a generalization, a category of facts. Law is neither a cause, nor a reason, nor a power, nor a coercive force. It is nothing but a general formula, a statistical table. ~ Florence Nightingale.


I can stand out the war with any man. ~ Florence Nightingale.

She said the object and color in the materials around us actually have a physical effect on us, on how we feel. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The great reformers of the world turn into the great misanthropists, if circumstances or organization do not permit them to act. ~ Florence Nightingale.

There is a physical, not moral, impossibility of supplying the wants of the intellect in the state of civilisation at which we have arrived. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Popular Florence Nightingale Quotes

The world is put back by the death of every one who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality. ~ Florence Nightingale.

I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel. ~ Florence Nightingale.


To understand God’s thoughts, one must study statistics, for these are the measure of His purpose. ~ Florence Nightingale.

To be a fellow worker with God is the highest aspiration of which we can conceive man capable. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Our first journey is to find that special place for us. ~ Florence Nightingale.

A human being does not cease to exist at death. It is change, not destruction, which takes place. ~ Florence Nightingale.

At present we live to impede each other’s satisfactions; competition, domestic life, society, what is it all but this? ~ Florence Nightingale.

If a patient is cold, if a patient is feverish, if a patient is faint, if he is sick after taking food, if he has a bed-sore, it is generally the fault not of the disease, but of the nursing. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on the sick or the well. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Great Florence Nightingale Quotes

The specific disease doctrine is the grand refuge of weak, uncultured, unstable minds, such as now rule in the medical profession. There are no specific diseases; there are specific disease conditions. ~ Florence Nightingale.

I am not yet worthy; and I will live to deserve to be called a Trained Nurse. ~ Florence Nightingale.

By mortifying vanity we do ourselves no good. It is the want of interest in our life which produces it; by filling up that want of interest in our life we can alone remedy it. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The true foundation of theology is to ascertain the character of God. It is by the aid of Statistics that law in the social sphere can be ascertained and codified, and certain aspects of the character of God thereby revealed. The study of statistics is thus a religious service. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Moral activity? There is scarcely such a thing possible! Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch. ~ Florence Nightingale.

For it may safely be said, not that the habit of ready and correct observation will by itself make us useful nurses, but that without it we shall be useless with all our devotion. ~ Florence Nightingale.

No woman has excited “passions” among women more than I have. Yet I leave no school behind me. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Christ, if he had been a woman, might have been nothing but a great complainer. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Passion, intellect, moral activity – these three have never been satisfied in a woman. In this cold and oppressive conventional atmosphere, they cannot be satisfied. To say more on this subject would be to enter into the whole history of society, of the present state of civilisation. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The family uses people, not for what they are, nor for what they are intended to be, but for what it wants them for- its own uses. It thinks of them not as what God has made them, but as the something which it has arranged that they shall be. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The account he gives of nurses beats everything that even I know of. This young prophet says that they are all drunkards, without exception, Sisters and all, and that there are but two whom the surgeon can trust to give the patients their medicines. ~ Florence Nightingale.

To attempt to keep a ward warm at the expense of making the sick repeatedly breathe their own hot, humid, putrescine atmosphere is a certain way to delay recovery or to destroy life. ~ Florence Nightingale.

May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, practical work, the difficulties, and the joys of organizing nursing reforms, and who will lead far beyond anything we have done! ~ Florence Nightingale.

So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The first possibility of rural cleanliness lies in water supply. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Badly constructed houses do for the healthy what badly constructed hospitals do for the sick. Once insure that the air is stagnant, and sickness is certain to follow. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Powerful Florence Nightingale Quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. Aristotle How very little can be done under the spirit of fear. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Asceticism is the trifling of an enthusiast with his power, a puerile coquetting with his selfishness or his vanity, in the absence of any sufficiently great object to employ the first or overcome the last. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The amount of relief and comfort experienced by the sick after the skin has been carefully washed and dried, is one of the commonest observations made at a sick bed. ~ Florence Nightingale.

I can expect no sympathy or help from my family. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Woman has nothing but her affections, – and this makes her at once more loving and less loved. ~ Florence Nightingale.


Nursing is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Jesus Christ raised women above the condition of mere slaves, mere ministers to the passions of the man, raised them by His sympathy, to be Ministers of God. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Unless we are making progress in our nursing every year, every month, every week, take my word for it we are going back. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Heaven is neither a place nor a time. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Perhaps, if prematurely we dismiss ourselves from this world, all may even have to be suffered through again – the premature birth may not contribute to the production of another being, which must be begun again from the beginning. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Wise Florence Nightingale Quotes

The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Patriotism is not enough, there must be no hatred or bitterness for anyone. ~ Florence Nightingale.

We set the treatment of bodies so high above the treatment of souls, that the physician occupies a higher place in society than the school-master. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The ‘kingdom of heaven is within,’ indeed, but we must also create one without, because we are intended to act upon our circumstances. ~ Florence Nightingale.

How very little can be done under the spirit of fear. ~ Florence Nightingale.

The most important practical lesson than can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe. ~ Florence Nightingale.

Bismarck was a large persian cat owned by Florence Nightingale. ~ Florence Nightingale.

So these were the 97 top Florence Nightingale quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Ferdinand de Saussure quotes and Fawad Afzal Khan quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar