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Florence Nightingale Museum to reopen on her 202nd anniversary

Museum that celebrates the nurse’s life and legacy will display its most impressive collection of items yet when it opens its doors on 12 May

Museum that celebrates the nurse’s life and legacy will display its most impressive collection of items yet when it opens its doors on 12 May

The Florence Nightingale Museum is finally set to reopen after being forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The London museum will open to the public on 12 May to mark the 202 nd anniversary of Ms Nightingale’s birth and International Nurses’ Day.

In March 2020 the museum – the only one in the world dedicated to the founder of modern nursing – had just launched its bicentennial celebrations of Ms Nightingale when it had to close its doors. It has reopened

Museum that celebrates the nurse’s life and legacy will display its most impressive collection of items yet when it opens its doors on 12 May

One of the many displays at the Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum is finally set to reopen after being forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The London museum will open to the public on 12 May to mark the 202nd anniversary of Ms Nightingale’s birth and International Nurses’ Day.

In March 2020 the museum – the only one in the world dedicated to the founder of modern nursing – had just launched its bicentennial celebrations of Ms Nightingale when it had to close its doors. It has reopened briefly since before being forced to shut again.

Ms Nightingale’s ‘lamp’, medicine chest and other items on display

Ahead of the reopening next month, the museum is preparing to display its most impressive exhibition to date, including the ‘lamp’ carried by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War.

Ms Nightingale’s medicine chest

Other items include her medicine chest, the first nursing uniform worn in Crimea, her copy of Oliver Twist from her friend Charles Dickens, and her bad-tempered – now stuffed – pet owl, Athena, who used to enjoy being carried around in Ms Nightingale’s pocket.

Museum is ‘absolutely delighted’ to open its doors again

‘After the experiences of the past two years, the value of nurses has never been clearer,’ said museum director David Green.

‘Now, after concerted fundraising and as tourists begin to return to the country and visitors head for museums, we are so pleased to be returning to tell the story of Florence Nightingale and the people following in her footsteps today.

‘The closure stopped us in our tracks and was immensely costly, and the extended lockdown put the museum at risk. We are now on a surer footing and absolutely delighted to open our doors again, hopefully for good this time.’

Museum celebrates nursing history

Ms Nightingale’s watch

The museum opened in 1989 and looks beyond the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ image to present a fully rounded picture of Ms Nightingale as a visionary reformer, campaigner and inspirational world leader in her field.

It also celebrates nursing today and throughout history, telling the stories of key figures such as British-Jamaican nurse and businesswoman Mary Seacole and Kofoworola Abeni Pratt, the first black nurse to work in the NHS.


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