A Nightingale ward is a type of hospital ward, which contains one large room without subdivisions for patient occupancy. It may have side rooms for utilities and perhaps one or two side rooms, that can be used for patient occupancy when patient isolation or patient privacy is important. Nightingale wards contain about 24 to 34 beds usually arranged along the sides of the ward. Modern wards tend to separate patients into bays, each usually containing 4 to 6 beds. Nightingale wards tend to be noisier than bays, which paradoxically tends to increase the perception of privacy. Observation of the patients by the nursing staff tends to be easier in a Nightingale ward than in bays. 75% of patients prefer being nursed in a bay rather than in a Nightingale ward.
The Nightingale ward was named after Florence Nightingale.