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In The American Nurse, readers are invited to think about nurses in a way that they never have before, unless they have been under a nurse’s care. This body of work will inspire audiences to focus their attention on the nurses who serve as healers in their community, and whose wealth of knowledge needs to be tapped in order to solve today’s pressing health- care challenges.
The challenge of creating a rich portrait of nursing in America began with a map of the U.S. and a red pen. Carolyn Jones wanted to cover as much territory as possible, with the hope that along the way she would capture stories of the kinds of issues that nurses are dealing with in every corner of the country. Some of the issues might be specific to a particular area, like nurses who were charged with evacuating patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Others would be universal no matter where she went, like nurses providing emotional support to patients and families to help get them through the toughest times in their lives.
The journey began in New York City, where Carolyn met nurses working in the district with the highest rate of hunger in the U.S., as well as nurses doing health outreach to at-risk teens. She moved southward stopping in Baltimore to meet nurses on the cutting edge of healthcare and nurse educators training the next generation. Then to San Diego where she met nurses at a VA hospital that is home to the largest concentration of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. In Louisiana, she went behind bars and met nurses dealing with prisoners, and in Riverton, Wyoming she learned about the health needs of the Native American population there. From rural Eastern Kentucky to Florida to New Orleans to Nebraska to Wisconsin to San Francisco and Chicago--her journey across the country captures the spirit of someone on the front lines of healthcare in this country: the American nurse.
This extraordinary book of 75 portraits, interviews, and biographies is the result of the American Nurse Project, an endeavor launched by Fresenius-Kabi, a worldwide leader in infusion therapy and clinical nutrition. Working with Carolyn Jones, an award-winning filmmaker and creator of numerous photography books, the project’s aim was to capture and share the stories of nurses from all across America and to help us learn from those who are the backbone of healthcare.