Anyone admitted to the hospital quickly learns that doctors might get all the glory, but it is really nurses who do most of the heavy lifting. Great nurses don't just check your vitals and carry out your treatment plan -- they provide comfort in what can be a scary, confusing time. And that is only the beginning. In fact, with the right balance of training and dedication, nurses can (and have) changed the world. Here are just four nurses who have done just that.
1. Clara Barton
"I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them." So said Clara Barton, one of the most famous (and undoubtedly most fearless) nurses in history. Barton launched her career treating soldiers in the field during the Civil War, and in 1881, founded the American Red Cross. A true humanitarian, Barton is as well known for her role in the advancement of women's rights as for the advancement of her profession.
2. Florence Nightingale