Happy Nurse’s Week (May 11 – 17)

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This week is the celebration of Nurses’s Week and makes me think of books that highlight the important contribution of nurses.  Nurse’s week falls on Florence Nightingale’s birthday (May 12, 1820) who became famous for improving healthcare while nursing soldiers during the Crimean War.

As I think of nurses in literature,  I remember reading Cherry Ames, Private Duty Nurse (1946) as a girl.  It was an old book that had been my mother’s but as an avid reader, i devoured it and actually still have the somewhat damaged copy.  In researching the publishing date of this book, I discovered that it was one of 27 Cherry Ames stories which were published between 1943 and 1968.

I recently enjoyed After the War by Jennifer Robson which celebrated the strength of women in nursing roles during WWI.  Both her novels are described in recent posts and shared a time in history where women had important roles supporting injured soldiers.  Both Somewhere in France and After the War would be great books to read this week!

On my list of books to read with characters that are nurses include:  A Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey).   Can anyone suggest any others?

As I think about stories including nurses, I would like to shout out to the real nurses that make a difference:  my mom, many friends and many colleagues who have (and continue to) make a difference for patients each day!  I also think of my Great Auntie Grace (Turnbull) Davison, who was a graduate of the Brantford General Hospital in 1927 and was an example for all who knew her.

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