In 2012, photographer Carolyn Jones was commissioned to create The American Nurse Project, interviewing, filming, and photographing over 100 nurses across the U.S., after her own fight with breast cancer. She was inspired by her chemo nurse, Joanne Staha, who not only made her feel more normal during treatment, but reminded her that eventually she would heal and her life would go back to normal. Over the course of five years’ worth of these interviews, Carolyn created a book and a feature documentary focusing on the extraordinary work nurses are doing across the country. Her work celebrates both the diversity of people in the profession of nursing, as well as the common bonds they share in the care of their patients.


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  • Lori

    Thank you for this wonderful video. I have been a RN for 35 years. I worked in Labor and Delivery and in Home care and Hospice, among other areas of nursing. I feel truly blessed and honored to have been with my patients at the beginning and the end of their lives.

  • Angie

    A dear friend sent this to me and it was such an honor to be SEEN!!!

  • Bonnie

    Such a sensitive lady who put beautiful emotion and insight into this tribute to nurses. I was a nurse for over 25 years and now, in my 70's I still have what I call "nursing dreams" where I'm caring for all kinds of patients, just like I did so many years ago. Last night I dreamed I was in charge of dressing changes for a post-op patient and it was so real, like living it again. I worked at the county hospital after I finished nursing school and to this day, 40 plus years later, I could tell you about many of the patients I cared for..........I always felt it was a privilege to serve and care for some of God's forgotten ones. God bless nurses!

  • Cindy

    Beautiful moving tribute that inspired me to stop and remember those nurses from my own life who are indeed heroically kind and intuitive. Thankyou!

  • Mary-Joan Munley, RN, EdD

    Her sensitivity and the depth of feelings , the deep moving energy she shares leaves me impressed and belief that she and I Will always remember here nurses.

  • Jo Sanders

    I am a 20-year breast cancer survivor. It is now recognized as an epidemic. I lived in the San Francisco Bay area... the year of my diagnosis was 1997. Following my cancer treatment, Jay Harness - my cancer doctor, asked if I would consider working with him as a Cancer Navigator, helping other women who were diagnosed with breast cancer. It changed my life. Helping others suffering from this disease has now been my life purpose. I resettled in the Chapel Hill area of North Carolina in 2009. The rules and regulations of this state did not allow me to continue my work without further extensive schooling, so I decided to become a Nurse Assistant so that I could work in UNC's Cancer Hospital. I have been there since my arrival in 2009. I say all of this only to tell you that I have never heard anyone's story rivet me as much as Carolyn's. It is now inspiring me to move on my own writing of the cancer journey of countless women. My sister, who is a writer, is also in the midst of her own cancer treatment! For years, she has urged me to write my experiences and the women I have walked with in my own journey of recovery. Carolyn has inspired me - more than ANY OTHER PERSON - to really start this process. PLEASE COMMUNICATE MY DEEP APPRECIATION FOR HER GIVING 'VOICE' TO THIS MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE! We really are here to help one another. Palms joined... Jo

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Thank you for sharing the stories of nurses who often are the true lifeline for a patients. I worked on an ovarian cancer study as an interviewer capturing patient's stories. Nearly every patient mentioned a nurse who had helped them through. Every patient is first a person. Nurses are often the unsung heroes in treatment and recovery process. <3

  • Lora

    As a nurse, this especially touched me. It's nice to know that the people who matter most to us, our patients, know, appreciate and realize the depth of what we do.

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  • Browse through some of the interviews from this remarkable project.
  • Watch this moving video on a hospice nurse and his Australian Shepherd who brought delight to the dying.
  • All kinds of people influence your life. Pick one way to show your appreciation and follow through.

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