Florence Nightingale Quotes
1. I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.
2. 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.
3. I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.
4. Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.
5. She said the object and color in the materials around us actually have a physical effect on us, on how we feel.
6. How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.
7. 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.
8. 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
9. Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.
10. Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head (not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but) how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?
11. Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.
12. To understand God’s thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose.
13. 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.
14. No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this – ‘devoted and obedient’. This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.
15. 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.
16. What the horrors of war are, no one can imagine. They are not wounds and blood and fever, spotted and low, or dysentery, chronic and acute, cold and heat and famine. They are intoxication, drunken brutality, demoralization and disorder on the part of the inferior… jealousies, meanness, indifference, selfish brutality on the part of the superior.
17. There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain.
18. The craving for ‘the return of the day’, which the sick so constantly evince, is generally nothing but the desire for light.
19. 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.
20. 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.
21. 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.
22. Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch.
23. In it and in the other prayers of the Mystics there is scarcely a petition. There is never a word of the theory that God’s dealings with us are to show His “power”; still less of the theory
24. That “of His own good pleasure” He has ” predestined” any souls to eternal damnation.
25. It is very well to say “be prudent, be careful, try to know each other.” But how are you to know each other?
26. That Religion is not devotion, but work and suffering for the love of God; this is the true doctrine of Mystics.
27. There is a physical, not moral, impossibility of supplying the wants of the intellect in the state of civilisation at which we have arrived.
28. Women dream till they have no longer the strength to dream; those dreams against which they so struggle, so honestly, vigorously, and conscientiously, and so in vain, yet which are their
29. Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion. Remember he is face to face with his enemy all the time.
30. 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.
31. For the sick it is important to have the best.
32. Hospitals are only an intermediate stage of civilization, never intended … to take in the whole sick population. May we hope that the day will come … when every poor sick person will have the opportunity of a share in a district sick-nurse at home.
33. 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.
34. The first possibility of rural cleanliness lies in water supply.
35. People say the effect is only on the mind. It is no such thing. The effect is on the body, too. 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. Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients, are actual means of recovery.
36. 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.
37. To be a fellow worker with God is the highest aspiration of which we can conceive man capable.
38. Mankind must make heaven before we can “go to heaven” (as the phrase is), in this world as in any other.
39. 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.
40. Never dispute with anybody who wishes to contradict you, says a most reasonable saint.
41. I stand at the altar of the murdered men, and, while I live, I fight their cause.
42. I did not think of going to give myself a position, but for the sake of common humanity.
43. If you knew how unreasonably sick people suffer from reasonable causes of distress, you would take more pains about all these things.’
44. I must strive to see only God in my friends, and God in my cats.
45. Why do people sit up so late, or, more rarely, get up so early? Not because the day is not long enough, but because they have no time in the day to themselves.
46. Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on the sick or the well.
47. Live your life while you have it. Life is a splendid gift. There is nothing small in it. Far the greatest things grow by God’s law out of the smallest. But to live your life, you must discipline it.
48. Woman has nothing but her affections,–and this makes her at once more loving and less loved.
49. I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women… no woman has excited passions among women more than I have.
50. God spoke to me and called me to His Service. What form this service was to take the voice did not say.
51. The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.
52. 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.
53. Remember my name – you’ll be screaming it later.