As a young woman, Florence Nightingale had expressed her desire to study nursing. While her parents did not support Nightingale, she made a short first visit to Kaiserwerth in 1850, returning in 1851 when she stayed for three months.
In 1853, Nightingale traveled to Paris and studied there with the nursing order of the Sisters of Charity. Returning to London, she worked as administrator and director of nurses at the Establishment for Gentlewomen During Illness where she remained until a personal friend, Sir Sidney Herbert, Secretary of War, called her into service during the Crimean War.
After the war ended in 1856, Nightingale spent the next three years working to improve the care of military personnel. In June 1860, her school of nursing based on the Kaiserwerth model opened at St. Thomas's Hospital in London.
The Center for Nursing History is one of a small number of centers dedicated to a historical appreciation of nursing’s influence in health care. It was founded in 1975.
The heart of the center is the Historical Gallery, housed in Cunningham Hall. Here, researchers, students and visitors can experience rare artifacts, momentos and photos related to the advances in the art and science of nursing.
The center also contains more than 700 rare books and other publications and is the largest academic collection of its kind in Wisconsin.
The Historical Gallery offers visitors a walk through history. Seventeen moveable display cases and six mannequin provides a clean view of objects from the center’s collection. All items are catalogued and inventoried.
The Historical Gallery aims to:
- instill appreciation of the history related to nursing education and health care
- increase awareness of the historically significant role played by nurses
- serve as a learning resource for faculty, students and the community
- provide a rare viewing experience of historically significant artifacts.
The Historical Gallery is appreciative of donations of memorabilia that are, or will be, of historical interest in the area of nursing. Memorabilia keep nursing history alive and is meaningful to current students, the community and nursing historians.
Examples of in-kind donations include: portraits; books; films; notes; equipment; posters; uniforms; pins and: momentos of student nursing, military nursing, hospital and public health nursing.
Financial support from individuals, groups or foundations is also greatly appreciated. Donations are used for acquisitions and upkeep related to the Historical Gallery.
To make a donation or to contact us:
Mailing address: Dorothy Kidwell, UWM College of Nursing, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201
Make checks payable to: UWM-Foundation, College of Nursing
Related SitesAmerican Association for the History of Nursing
Florence Nightingale Museum
Historical notes on nurse attorneys