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Nurses: If Florence Could See Us Now

Release Year:         2012
Studio:         First Run Features
Format:         Colour; Widescreen; NTSC
Rated:         Not Rated
# of Discs:         1
Running Time:          92 Minutes
DVD Release Date:         April 30, 2013
Director:         Kathy Douglas
E:Top Picks Rating:         8/10

First Run Features Write-up:    
It is hard to find a person whose life has not been touched by a nurse, yet how much do we know about these people we let into some of the most intimate, joyful and difficult moments of the human experience?

This film offers a rare look into the complex, exciting and challenging world of being a nurse. It explores what it means to be a nurse, the many different roles that nurses play, from the bedside to the board room, and the realities of nursing – its joys and sorrows and the many ways that nurses impact the lives of others. Over 100 nurses from across the country were interviewed for this film. Their stories will move you to laughter and to tears.

Jonathan and Laurie Reunion – 5 Years Later
Interview with Marla Weston, CEO, ANA
Alayna Davis, RN – Helps her patient get married
Interview with Director Kathy Douglas, RN

Jon Ted Wynne Review:    
If ever there was a film with its heart in the right place, this is it. Released in time for National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12, 2013), it would be hard to find a better tribute to the women (and men) who serve humanity as nurses.

The film itself is rudimentary. It is rock-bottom, basic storytelling to the max, with countless talking heads (nurses) telling their stories. This observation is not meant as a criticism, however, for anything more technically showy (fancy camera work and editing, for example) might’ve taken the focus away from the subjects. The program could have stood a slightly more creative presentation of its material, however. The import of the subject is slightly flattened by the somewhat dry style.

But, given the secondary title of the film “If Florence Could See Us Now”, it is entirely appropriate that a certain modesty be preserved in the presentation of these nurses’ stories. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing, was a very proper Victorian lady, after all. Her setting aside her life of privilege to work in the service of others – beginning in the mud, blood and filth of the Crimean War –  remains a remarkable and inspiring act of service towards others.

Taken for what it is – part tribute, part documentation, part inspiration – NURSES is a wonderful experience. It’s also long overdue. How many television programs with a medical theme focus primarily on doctors? How many on nurses? And this is precisely the point of NURSES: to shine the spotlight on those who normally toil in the background while others take most of the credit. There’s a lot more to the old Vaudeville joke (“You should see a doctor!” “I’d rather see a nurse!” wink wink) than the surface meaning. Nurses, by and large, are some of the most compassionate, loving and caring individuals we will meet in our lives, sometimes at the most critical times.

NURSES is, in that respect, beyond criticism. It behooves us to watch, listen, then say – when the opportunity presents itself – “thank you”.