ENERO 2018 N° 1 Volumen 8

Florence Nightingale’s training at the Kaiserswerth Deaconesses Institution: an analysis of original documents

Section: Originals

How to quote

Cordeiro Rodríguez M. Formación de Florence Nightingale en la Institución de las Diaconisas de Kaisersweth: análisis de documentos originales. Rev. iberoam. Educ. investi. Enferm. 2018; 8(1):27-35.


Mónica Cordeiro Rodríguez


Graduada en Enfermería, Universidad de Valladolid. Licenciada en Traducción e Interpretación, Universidad de Salamanca.

Contact email: monicacrguez@hotmail.com


Introduction: Florence Nightingale gave up her well-off life and fought against the opposition of her family in order to become a nurse. She made an undeniable contribution to the respectability of the profession. This article leads in depth with her training with the Kaiserswerth Deaconesses, with comments on the original documents.
Objectives: 1. To determine the circumstances of the training stays of Nightingale at Kaiserswerth. 2. To analyze the original documents associated with these stays. 3. To assess the impact of this training on her professional life.
Methodology: a documentary research was developed, and two original documents were located. In order to build the historical approach, historiographic sources were used, regarding Victorian age and Nightingale’s biography.
Results: after her first visit to the institution on 1850, Nightingale published anonymously a brief report on work at the institution. In 1851, she obtained permission by her family to return and receive training as a nurse. Before starting, she wrote a motivation letter explaining her reasons for wanting to receive training with the deaconesses.
Conclusions: training with the deaconesses had a profound impact on her personal and professional life. Some ideas such as respect for the patient, honourableness and obedience, strict organization, and submission to medical authorities, were transmitted to her in this institution. However, this training was neither prolonged nor deep, and did not include theoretical aspects of nursing practice which seem essential at the time of conducting patient care.


Nursing history; vocational education; professional training; nursing care; Nursing education

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Formación de Florence Nightingale en la Institución de las Diaconisas de Kaisersweth: análisis de documentos originales

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