Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Stories of Nurses

Academic journal article Nursing Education Perspectives

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Stories of Nurses

Article excerpt

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: The Stories of Nurses edited by Carolyn H. Smeltzer, EdD, RN, FAAN, and Frances R. Vlasses, PhD, RN; Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International, 2003; 252 pages, $29.95

Writing this review during Nurses Week, I could not help but think that this book is a wonderful way to celebrate our profession. The editors have compiled a collection of stories, divided into five sections, that will help you remember why you became a nurse.

In the section entitled "Nurses Respecting Each Others' Stories," we read about nurses from many cultures and walks of life who made a difference in the lives of others. Their stories, from all over the United States and throughout the world, in places as varied as hospitals, a jail, a military base, and an Indian reservation, will make you smile, cry, and reflect on your own nursing practice.

The second section, "Families Knowing That Their Nurse's Story Is Special," consists of stories written by mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, husbands, and fathers of nurses from the early 1900s to the present time. Some of the subjects were members of families with several nurses. There is a tendency among some nurses to neglect one's own family while caring for patients. However, these stories provide rich examples of the positive way families have recognized their nurse's contribution to the lives of others. Ordinary people - artists, quilters, poets, musicians, and motorcycle riders - they are special because of the nursing care they provided for their patients. …

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