The American Nurse, A Documentary Celebrating the Work and Lives of American Nurses

There are many ways in America to be a nurse. You can be anything from a Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse, Nurse Practitioner, Nursing Assistant, Registered Nurse, and more. Apparently, there will be even more individuals entering some form of nursing in the next decade according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who predicts all nursing-related careers will grow faster than average between 2012 – 2022.

But more than the job title, there’s actually doing the job. As a nurse, you are frequently doing more than caring for a medical condition; you are being confronted by the overall state of the person you are caring for: their life, their family, their fears and hopes.

Enter the American Nurse Project.The American Nurse, a documentary This project began as a book aimed at capturing the personal stories of nurses in America through photography to show a new perspective to nursing. It was so well received by the nursing community and critics that the book became a feature-length documentary, The American Nurse. The documentary takes an in-depth look at the other side of caring for patients, examining how nurses face issues such as aging, war, poverty, prison, death, and birth through their everyday work.

In this film, five nurses’ experiences are followed: Tonia Faust, who works in a maximum-security prison, directing a team of inmates who volunteer for hospice work; Brian McMillion, a military nurse from the V. A. San Diego Health System who mainly works with young injured soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan; a home health nurse in poverty-laden Appalachia, Kentucky, Jason Short; Sister Stephen, who brings therapy animals and song to end-of-life nursing home patients; and Naomi Cross, who works with mothers giving birth.

The film dives deep into the care the nurses provide as well as their personal lives. The film’s director, Carolyn Jones, wanted to “unearth what the DNA structure of a nurse is – what makes them do what they do.” She traveled across the country, meeting over 100 nurses, all from different walks of life. Jones said she “wanted to talk to nurses who used themselves and their own personal experiences in their work.”

The American Nurse premiered during National Nurses’ Week 2014 in theaters nationwide. Any nurse that watches the film, in theaters or online, will be able to get CE credits at You can rent, download, or purchase the DVD yourself at

Watch the trailer to The American Nurse

The website for The American Nurse Project is :

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