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Florence Nightingale Bicentenary: Home

This guide highlights relevant resources available through the Mayo Clinic Libraries and special activities during 2020.

Florence Nightingale



2020 is designated the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife” by the World Health Organization in honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth (1820-1910).

Some of Nightingale’s pioneering accomplishments still pertinent today:

  • Maintaining a focus on the needs of the patient
  • Stressing handwashing for infection control 
  • Recognizing  the importance of environmental factors on healing and health including sanitation, ventilation, hygiene, proper nutrition, gardens, pet visits and sunlight 
  •  Advocating for universal access to quality healthcare
  • Establishing the first secular professional training school for nurses
  • Planning hospitals to minimize cross-infection while also efficiently conserving nurses’ energy for patient care
  • Championing good working conditions, adequate time off and career paths with increased responsibility and pay for trained nurses plus continuing education
  • Conducting data analysis to evaluate practice changes on improved patient outcomes and conceiving a type of pie chart (also known as a coxcomb or rose chart or polar area diagram) as a graphical display
  • Emphasizing the value of education for public health promotion
  • Addressing suffering and dying with presence, spirituality and hope
  • Mentoring nurses worldwide                                                                            



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Selected Books


Foundation House Window Panel


Florence Nightingale is one of several outstanding figures featured in the stained glass window on the third floor of the Mayo Foundation House selected as having greatly contributed to the practice of preventive medicine.  The window was designed in the early '40s to represent the history of medical progress and the interrelation of practice, education and research in medicine.