The School has a history which dates back to the world's first ever school of nursing opened by Florence Nightingale at St. Thomas' Hospital on 9 July 1860. As one of the oldest nursing schools in the world still in operation, it was a model for many similar training schools through the UK and Commonwealth for the latter half of the 19th century.
Inspired by Florence Nightingale and her nurses' work during the Crimean War, a fund was set up by members of the public to raise money for her work. By June 1856, £44,039 (equivalent to over £2 million today) was raised. Nightingale decided to use the money to set up a training school at St Thomas' Hospital. The first nurses began their training on 9 July 1860.
Over the years, the training school went through a series of mergers and expansions. In 1991 it merged with Olive Haydon School of Midwifery and the Thomas Guy & Lewisham School of Nursing, creating the Nightingale and Guy’s College of Nursing & Midwifery. The following year the name changed to the Nightingale College of Health. In 1993 it merged with King's College Hospital School of Nursing at Normanby College and formed the Nightingale Institute. In 1996 the Institute was fully integrated into King's College London and was combined with the College's Department of Nursing Studies two years later to form the present-day nursing school.