Graduate Nursing Students Collaborate on Children’s Book

Posted: May 5, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Amy Biderman

“Nurses are people like me and you. They can be mommies, daddies, grandmas, and grandpas, too.” That is the introduction to the nursing profession in a new children’s book written by a group of graduate students in George Mason’s College of Nursing and Health Science (CNHS). Do You Know a Nurse? captures a collection of nursing experiences and offers an updated view of the profession to encourage children to become nurses at a time of a critical shortage.

Stephanie Armstrong, student chairperson for the project, explains that the students are a diverse group who wanted to show the wide variety of careers for nurses—from hospital workers to military personnel to legal representatives—as well as their varied ethnic backgrounds. “We wanted to depict the many different roles for nurses, while dispelling the myth that nursing is just a career for women,” she says.

Each of the 21 members of the class, and their instructor, Loretta Normile, was responsible for writing one page of the book, portraying a single aspect of nursing. The phrases were then turned into rhymes that would be attractive for children. The authors also suggested ideas for illustrations that could accompany each page.

While the book is being published through George Mason, some fundraising was required. Each student raised $100 to meet the funding goal; additional support came from hospitals, private citizens, and organizations.

“The publishing of the book was a team effort,” says Armstrong. “We had committees for research, marketing, fundraising, and related efforts, and the students chose tasks that meshed with their individual strengths.”

Do You Know a Nurse? makes its debut tonight at Borders Books, 11054 Lee Highway, Fairfax, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The release coincides with National Nurses Week, which begins tomorrow. All proceeds from the book will go to a CNHS fund that will provide educational opportunities for nursing students who want to work with underserved populations in the United States and other countries.

Meanwhile, interest in the book has been overwhelming. Local libraries, classrooms, and parents have requested copies, and discussions are under way for additional printings in Spanish and Arabic.

The book will be available at Borders and the George Mason University Bookstore, as well as through the College of Nursing and Health Science. For book orders, contact Justina Jordan at 703-993-3070. For additional information, contact Armstrong at 703-421-8263 or Normile at 703-993-1945.

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