Saturday, May 31, 2014

"The American Nurse"

If you haven't heard already, the new documentary, "The American Nurse", has been taking the country by storm since it's release during Nurses Week. If you haven't yet seen the film, brace yourselves and make sure you do so as soon as possible. It is a testament to our profession.

For those of you who are fans of RNFM Radio, you may already know that the director, producer and one of the nurses featured in the film appeared on our show on May 5th in honor of Nurses Week, and that interview dug deep into the dedication and inspiration that underscore this important documentary. Here's an easy way to listen to that interview:

When we screened "The American Nurse" here in Santa Fe, New Mexico on May 29th, the theater was filled with nurses and non-nurses alike, and the sold-out show was a smashing success. With tears and laughter in relatively equal measure (well, perhaps more tears than laughter!), the audience were glued to their seats, even as the credits rolled. It was a wonderful evening, and the wonderful New Mexico Nurses Association---under the wise guidance of President Deborah Walker and Treasurer Christine Woolsey---was the force that brought this poignant film to both Santa Fe and Albuquerque for highly successful screenings.

If you'd like to bring the film to your community, city or town, the DVD and digital download will be available soon, so visit this link for more information. And if you want to find a screening near you, click here for more information.

Here's the text of the speech I gave to introduce the Santa Fe screening of 
"The American Nurse":
When I first heard that “The American Nurse” was being released nationwide during Nurses Week, I was determined to welcome the filmmakers as guests on my nursing podcast, RNFM Radio.
On May 5th, Director Carolyn Jones, Producer Lisa Frank, and Army nurse and veteran Brian McMillion (who is one of the five nurses featured in the film) appeared on RNFM Radio. My cohost and I were extremely moved by the filmmakers’ dedication to creating a living document of nursing in America, a document that will no doubt serve to shatter long-held stereotypes of who nurses are and what nurses do.  You can find this podcast—and many others---at
Prior to the completion of the film, a book entitled “The American Nurse” was published by director Carolyn Jones, who herself is a brilliant photographer. This beautiful book featured photographs and stories of 75 widely diverse nurses from around the country. As a precursor to the film, the book could not have been more powerful in its portrayal of the depth and breadth of the nursing profession in America. You can learn more about the book and the project at
When you ask the average American what nurses do, the answer will point to the belief that nurses work in hospitals. While many nurses do indeed work in the hospital setting, we all know that nurses do so much more, whether in correctional health, hospice, school nursing, occupational health, and so many other settings.  
In this film, you’ll meet a five of the 100 nurses who the filmmakers interviewed. While these nurses do not represent every facet of 21st century nursing in America, they’re a testament to the skill, compassion, intelligence and caring that are part and parcel of who nurses are at their core.
This film introduces viewers to a side of nursing that is rarely seen in such an unsentimental and realistic light, and I have no doubt you’ll be as moved as I have been by this groundbreaking film.
Please enjoy “The American Nurse”.

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