The Call of Nursing: Stories from the Front Lines of Healthcare

by William B. Patrick

The Call of Nursing


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Libraries and bookstores:
Print: Ingram, Baker & Taylor.
E-book: EBSCO and most popular retail sites.

Page count: 234

ISBN: 978-0-9768813-7-7 (Paperback)

Pub Date: Spring 2013

Price: $16.95

Category: Health Care, Nursing

Foreign rights available:
Print: World, except Japan
E-book: World


The first-person testimony collected by William Patrick captures the full sweep of the profession, here and abroad, in many different institutional settings. In every role they play, these skilled and experienced nurses help make the difference between life and death.”
—Suzanne Gordon, Nursing against the Odds and coauthor of From Silence To Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public

The Call of Nursing is not your typical book about nurses. In it, we go behind the curtain of silence that hangs across the profession. It lets us hear why nurses today do what they do, and allows those nurses to show us—in their own words—what has mattered most to them in their professional careers.

A hospice nurse reveals the connection she develops to dying people. A medical missionary talks about using her skills as an RN, RT, and translator in Peru with CardioStart International. A labor & delivery nurse shares the rewards and challenges of caring for high-risk mothers and babies. A flight nurse describes the rigors of training in critical care and managing emotions, especially those that accompany pediatric trauma. An emergency and critical care nurse describes 9/11 as a rookie paramedic. A Navy nurse officer recalls caring for troops and villagers while serving in Iraq as a medic and nursing student.

Also included are descriptions of the nontraditional routes each nurse took to achieve her or his educational and professional goals.

The twenty-three intimate self-portraits in The Call of Nursing help us see more clearly the kinds of challenges nurses face and accept on a routine basis, and offer a rare glimpse into lives of women and men committed to care and service.

William B. Patrick is the author of the widely-praised memoir, We Didn’t Come Here for This, and an award-winning novel, Roxa: Voices of the Culver Family, both with BOA Editions; and two books of poetry. He has also written plays for the BBC, teleplays for ABC, and feature-length screenplays. Mr. Patrick is currently on the faculty of Fairfield University, where he is a writing instructor in the MFA program.