The Nightingale mentoring concept is inspired by the Perach project, a project founded in 1972 in Israel. Based on Perach the Swedish Nightingale Programme was born in 1997. It began as a three-year pilot project, and was institutionalised in 2005. In 2002, the Nightingale was rewarded with the city of Malmö’s integration prize.

In the year 2004, Kristianstad University and the University of Lund (Campus Helsingborg) started Nightingale as three year pilot projects, all based on the template provided by Nightingale at Malmö University.

In 2006,  The Nightingale was implemented in in eight European countries through the EU-network  “Mentor Migration”, financed by the EU-programme Comenius 2.1.

In 2008, The Nightingale  was launched in Borås in Sweden and in eight cities in Norway through a cooperation with the Norweigan government. In 2009 the Nightingale started in Växjö, Sweden. In 2011 Nightingale started in Navarra, in Barcelona and Helsinki.

In Malmö, The Nightingale has in recent years also evolved to involve seniors (The Nightingale Senior, 2007), entrepreneurs (The Nightingale Entrepreneur, 2009), young people (The Nightingale Youth, 2009) and staff (Nightingale Personnel, 2012).

To facilitate the cooperation between all Nightingales in Europe, the “Nightingale Mentoring Network” was initiated in 2010.