The Lady with the Lamp
During the Crimean War, a public fund for training nurses was set up . With the money raised the Nightingale School at St Thomas’ Hospital was opened in 1860.
Florence became actively involved in the Nightingale School at St Thomas’ in the 1870’s in order to avert a crisis. The first student nurses or ‘probationers’ were receiving little formal training. A student from Sweden complained that in eights months she had learned only how “to be obedient and humble and not to think much of herself” The drop out rate was alarmingly high.
Once Florence learned this she set about reform, appointing a new sister and involving St Thomas surgeon, John Croft, to give lectures and set examinations.
With that her nurses were known world wide and took up positions as matrons. There was a branch in Ireland too, perhaps Emily had contact with them, as part of her training or may have reached a level of competence as a nurse that she could register with the Nightingale Nurses to find employment.
Many went on to lead the reform of nursing and raise it’s status as a profession. In Isold ni Dheirg, Emily’s biographer suggests that Emily may have had some training with the Nightingale Nurses in London after she finished at Sir Patrick Dunns Hospital or travel to the continent when she nursed in France and Germany.