The Reviews are in: Nurses Shine in New Documentary

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Nurses came out in full force Oct. 11 for the world premiere of a feature-length documentary that highlights both the intellect and compassion of real nurses, and provides keen insight into their hearts and minds as they share their joyful and bittersweet moments meeting the needs of patients, from tiny babies to the remote-living Navajo elderly.

Nurses: If Florence Could See Us Now,” which was shown at a Los Angeles theater in conjunction with the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s National  Magnet Conference®, captures the almost limitless possibilities of a career in nursing by featuring nurses in critical care, oncology, nurse education, public health, and policy-setting, to name a few.

Through this close-up look of the profession, viewers learn of nurses’ efforts to provide compassionate end-of-life care to a long-married couple who died within 30-minutes of each other, and another nurse’s successful interventions to secure heart surgery for a teen-age boy who wants to play team basketball. Nurses repeatedly reflect on the privilege  of helping to make a difference in people’s lives, and the art and science of nursing.

Among the featured nurses is American Nurses Association (ANA) President Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, who, after sustaining a life-altering sharps injury, shares her journey from staff nurse to tireless – and successful – advocate for a federal needlestick prevention law. ANA Chief Executive Officer Marla J. Weston, PhD, RN, speaks to the skills nurses learn and develop that make them incredible agents of change and problem-solvers at the bedside and beyond.

Following the premiere, Paula Dycus, DNP, RN, a Tennessee Nurses Association member, said, “This was the most incredible depiction of nursing that I’ve ever seen.”

Added Barbara Brewer, PhD, RN, an Arizona Nurses Association member, “I thought it was a heart-felt, beautiful representation of nursing, and it made me proud.”

Jason Vargas, BSN, RN, who was featured in the film wearing sparkly silver shoes and other child-friendly gear to distract his pediatric patients, considered it an honor to participate in the documentary. “Hearing the stories of other nurses also is very empowering,” he said after the event.

For more on the movie, directed by filmmaker and nurse Kathy Douglas, MHA, RN and produced by On Nursing Excellence, and potential showings, go to ANA was one of the documentary sponsors.