This poem for kids about Florence Nightingale, the pioneering nurse, was written by British children's writer Paul Perro in 2008.
Florence came from a wealthy family and was unusually well educated. She felt called by God to become a nurse, even though at the time it was not considered a suitable profession for a lady. It was her work in a hospital in Turkey during the Crimean War (1854-56) that made her reputation, but it was the way that she made nursing into a respectable profession that was her most important achievement.
After the poem, scroll down further for more facts.
Long ago there was a soldier
Fighting in a war.
His name was Bert, and he got hurt,
His leg was very sore.
They took him to a hospital
And put him in a bed.
They hoped he would get better but
He got much worse instead.
It was a nasty, smelly place
Everything was dirty -
The floors, the beds, the bandages,
Poor old injured Bertie.
Onto the bed jumped three big rats
They laughed at Bert and said
“We'll give you a nasty disease
And soon you will be dead.”
Poor Bert was very scared indeed,
The rats were right, he feared.
He thought that he was going to die
But then, a light appeared.
It was a lady with a lamp
Called Florence Nightingale.
She took one look at the rats, and
Picked them up, by the tail.
“No rats allowed in here,” she said
“On this I’m quite determined.
From now on this place will be kept
Clean, safe, and de-vermined."
The rats saw that she meant business
And ran away in fear.
Then Florence smiled and Bertie said,
“I’m really glad you’re here.”
She gave him a nice clean bandage
And ointment for the pain.
And it was not too long before
Bertie felt well again.
Florence Nightingale was the best
Nurse there had ever been.
But she did so much more than just
Keep one hospital clean.
She wrote great books about nursing
And opened up a school.
She made it seem like being a nurse
Was really really cool!
Nowadays all of us can thank
The lady with the lamp
That hospitals are clean and fresh
And not dirty and damp.
Nowadays we think cleanliness
Seems like just common sense
But it would have all been different
Were it not for Florence.