As we near the end of International Nurses Day we wanted to tell you a little more about why this special event happens every year on May 12th and why it is so important to nurses across the globe – perhaps more than ever.

May 12th is the birthday of Florence Nightingale – known as the founder of modern nursing - and this year is particularly special because it is exactly 200 hundred years since her birth.

This incredible woman was more than a lady with a lamp – she was also a skilled statistician as well as being a social reformer who professionalised the nursing role.

She came to fame during the Crimean War, where she both led the care for wounded soldiers and managed and trained others too. She was passionate about good hospital hygiene and giving compassionate care.

As a child Florence had a gift for mathematics and she grew to have a real talent for statistics too.

She was the first female member of the Royal Statistical Society and was known for her analysis of mortality and medical data, pioneering data visualisation and the use of infographics – both particularly pertinent to today’s current situation.

Florence had strong links with Oxford – and it is clear her passions and pioneering work remain just as pertinent today 

Our hospitals – and those across the world – had big plans to come together today to celebrate this very special woman, and the important role of nurses globally.

For reasons we don’t need to explain these plans are put on hold – though all nursing staff in our Trust have received a card of thanks – for the work they do in normal times, and the work they are doing right now.

With all this in mind the charity team was delighted when renowned artist Adam Dant created a new print to celebrate the bicentenary of Florence Nightingale, to benefit Oxford Hospitals Charity

Diagrams Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ is a limited edition print that commemorates Florence Nightingale’s pioneering work.

Produced by Adam Dant, in anticipation of his collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Department of Statistics to promote public engagement with statistics and infectious disease epidemiology, 100% of profits from the sale of this special print will benefit the work of Oxford Hospitals Charity.

The print depicts Florence Nightingale with trademark lamp, the light from which takes the form of one of her ‘coxcomb’ graphics, a method of representing statistics which was developed by her to display data relating to the deaths of troops in The Crimean War.

In the midst of daily governmental briefings on the latest COVID-19 data and with work underway at Oxford’s Department of Statistics tracking cases and projecting future incidence, Florence Nightingale’s bicentenary seems timely indeed.

Adam Dant’s depiction of this Great Briton is intended to lift the mood and to re-enforce the truth that the discovery, analysis and understanding of information is key to triumphing over the unforeseen vicissitudes of life on earth. Most of which can be better understood with good diagrams.

Florence Nightingale has strong links to Oxford. She was friends with Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol College, and in their long correspondence Jowett discussed the foundation of a Chair of Statistics at Oxford in Nightingale’s name, but sadly the plan wasn’t realized during their lifetimes.

Print Details

Priced at £125 each 'Diagrams Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ prints measure 31cm x22cm and have been produced in a signed, limited edition of 100. Common to Adam Dant’s unusual methods as a printmaker the medium for this particular three colour print was a piece of antique linoleum from the old Middlesex Hospital where Florence Nightingale worked as a nurse during the cholera outbreak in Broad Street, Soho in 1854. To purchase a print please visit

Adam Dant was born in 1967 in Cambridge. He studied Fine Art Printmaking at The Royal College of Art, HDK Berlin and MS University, Baroda, India. He was a recipient of The Rome Scholarship in printmaking in 1993, The Jerwood Drawing prize in 2002 and was appointed by parliament as ‘The Official artist of the 2015 UK General Election’.

From his studio by the walls of the City of London he has gained wide renown for his epic narrative ink drawings and ‘mockuments‘ which detail the myths and status of London’s Financial and historic heart.

Adam Dant’s work is exhibited internationally and is in the collections of Tate Britain, MOMA, New York, Deutsche Bank, UBS, Musee D’Art Contemporain. Lyon, HRH The Prince of Wales The Museum of London and various other public and private collections.


Oxford Hospitals Charity

In recognition of Florence Nightingale’s strong ties to Oxford, profits from the sale of these prints will support the work of Oxford Hospitals Charity

Our charity raises additional funds for Oxfordshire hospitals, including the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, and is currently focusing much of its work on providing extra support for NHS staff tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its arts programme, artlink ( ) uses the arts to support the wellbeing of staff and patients.


For more information or to purchase your very special print, please use the buttons below.