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PHILADELPHIA — Expanding its efforts to promote patient advocacy and the nursing profession, Guardian Nurses Healthcare Advocates has joined with four leading Philadelphia healthcare companies as sponsors of a new documentary film on the contributions of nurses to modern healthcare.
NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now has its world premiere October 11 in Los Angeles.
Guardian Nurses, Kirby Bates Associates, Penn Medicine, Jefferson University Hospitals and Main Line Health are among the nationwide sponsors of the film, which was produced by the nonprofit group On Nursing Excellence (ONE) for national distribution.
Guardian Nurses founder Betty Long, RN, MHA, is featured in the film in an interview examining the need for patient advocacy services such as those her firm provides for people struggling with the complexities of the healthcare system.
She discusses how nurse advocates such as her colleague Judy Mancini RN — also featured in the film —can play a crucial role helping patients navigate healthcare challenges such as getting second opinions and addressing quality-of-care issues in hospitalizations and nursing home stays.
NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now examines the complexities and challenges of contemporary nursing, 150 years after Florence Nightingale changed the course of medicine by establishing a pioneering nursing school in London.
In interviews with more than 100 nurses across the country, the 90-minute film explores the many roles that nurses play in healthcare, the impact that their work has on the lives of others and how their contributions affect patient care from “the bedside to the board room.”
“We feel that during these times of major change in healthcare, it is important to deepen the understanding of who nurses are and the contributions they make,” says the film’s director, Kathy Douglas, who is a nurse as well as a filmmaker. “This film explores the complex, exciting and challenging world of being a nurse.”
Karen Kirby, president of Kirby Bates Associates in Bala Cynwyd, Pa., has taken a lead role in raising money for the project by finding sponsors and getting financial support from individual nurses and patients.
Support for the documentary was so great that ONE easily exceeded its goal of raising $10,000 from individuals by this fall. (Donations still may be made online by visiting www.indiegogo.com/ONEmovie.)
The diversity of voices heard in the film gives it both authenticity and authority, said Long of Guardian Nurses, who founded her company nine years ago in the belief that nurses make the best advocates for patients because they have broad experiences and expertise.
“These are real nurses dealing with real issues in real time,” said Long, who attended the Los Angeles premiere of the documentary. “Their stories and experiences bring the contributions of nurses to life in a vivid and affecting way.
“Everyone touched by the healthcare system — and that IS everyone — should see this film,” she said. “They will never take nurses for granted again, or think of them the same way. Nurses are the glue that holds our healthcare system together.”
NURSES, If Florence Could See Us Now is dedicated to the memory of the late Joyce C. Clifford, RN, Ph.D., FAAN, who died last year. Clifford was a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing who was designated a Living Legend by the Academy in 2005 for her work inspiring nurses and others in the healthcare profession.
The documentary will be shown at film festivals around the country as work continues for a broader distribution deal. Backers are working to schedule screenings in the Philadelphia region later this fall.