Florence Nightingale. Many know her name, but not the extent of her influence on hospital medicine in the mid 19th century. Known as the “Founder of Modern Nursing” Florence Nightingale lived for 90 years, and laid the foundation of professional nursing by spreading medical knowledge, fighting for social reforms and tireless acts of service. In 1860, Nightingale established the first secular nursing school in the world at St. Thomas’ Hospital, London, now part of King’s College. In recognition of her achievements and impact on the profession, The Nightingale Pledge is recited by new nurses and The Florence Nightingale Medal is presented as the highest international distinction a nurse can achieve. International Nurses Day is celebrated throughout the world on her birthday, May 12th.