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43 Inspirational Florence Nightingale Quotes

Dan Western



43 Inspirational Florence Nightingale Quotes

Florence Nightingale was a nurse born in Italy in 1820, and she passed away in England in 1910.

Nightingale built a powerful reputation as the ‘Lady with the Lamp’, by spending her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded. She eventually established a nursing school and her writings became famous worldwide.

Here’s our collection of 43 inspirational Florence Nightingale quotes:


43 Florence Nightingale Quotes

1. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

2. “Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch.” – Florence Nightingale

3. “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

4. “If you knew how unreasonably sick people suffer from reasonable causes of distress, you would take more pains about all these things.’” – Florence Nightingale

5. “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.” – Florence Nightingale

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

7. “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

8. “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

9. “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

10. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

11. “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


12th of 43 Florence Nightingale Quotes

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale


13. “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

14. “Mankind must make heaven before we can “go to heaven” (as the phrase is), in this world as in any other.” Florence Nightingale

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

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

17. “There is no part of my life, upon which I can look back without pain.” – Florence Nightingale

18. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

19. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

20. “For the sick it is important to have the best.” – Florence Nightingale


21st of 43 Florence Nightingale Quotes

“I did not think of going to give myself a position, but for the sake of common humanity.” – Florence Nightingale


22. “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

23. “Never dispute with anybody who wishes to contradict you, says a most reasonable saint.” – Florence Nightingale

24. “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

25. “The first possibility of rural cleanliness lies in water supply.” – Florence Nightingale

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

27. “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

28. “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

29. “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.” – Florence Nightingale


30th of 43 Florence Nightingale Quotes

“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


31. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

32. “That “of His own good pleasure” He has ” predestined” any souls to eternal damnation.” – Florence Nightingale

33. “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

34. “To understand God’s thoughts we must study statistics, for these are the measure of his purpose.” – Florence Nightingale

35. “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


36th of 43 Florence Nightingale Quotes

“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” – Florence Nightingale


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

38. “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?” – Florence Nightingale

39. “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.” – Florence Nightingale

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

41. “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

42. “Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.” – Florence Nightingale

43. “I stand at the altar of the murdered men, and, while I live, I fight their cause.” – Florence Nightingale


Which are your favorite Florence Nightingale quotes? Leave a comment below.

Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan has been running Wealthy Gorilla and studying self-development, personal finance and investment for the last 7 years, whilst traveling the world and being able to call Bali, Indonesia, his HQ. To this day, Wealthy Gorilla has become one of the fastest growing self-development sites in the world; with over 160 million views worldwide, and more than 200,000 followers on social media. Dan's mission is simply, to inspire others to live their dreams and be the person to whom they say; "Because of you, I never gave up."