I can’t think of a better time for a company to re-release a documentary about American nurses.

Now until the end of May it’s free to watch this remarkable film, originally released in 2014, about nurses. The re-release of "The American Nurse: Healing America" is timed to coincide with National Nurses Week observed May 6-12.

Kino Lorber offers the free streaming re-release of the documentary to honor nurses on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.

You can watch the movie here:


Director Carolyn Jones, in a news release, summed up the objective of the movie: “Every day we hear about nurses on the front lines who are risking their own lives to care for others. Who are the people that choose to do this work? What is their DNA? This film follows five nurses to understand what compels them to walk toward a crisis instead of running from it.”

The film is based on the award-winning book “The American Nurse: Photographs and Interviews by Carolyn Jones,” which was published in 2012.

The documentary highlights the lives of five nurses with a variety of specialties. You will see them in intimate, and often hard-to-watch, moments with the patients who allowed their lives to be shown in graphic detail.

It gives you a look at nurses who assist the dying – some of whom are dying in prisons – and others who help those living in hard-to-reach locations. Among the nurses you will see in action are:

  • Jason Short, who tends a home-bound cancer patient in Appalachia. His tender care of the critically ill man, and his honest yet supportive conversation with a patient’s loved one, brought tears to my eyes.
  • Tonia Faust, who runs a prison hospice program where other inmates help her tend to the needs of dying inmates.
  • Naomi Cross, who coaches an ovarian-cancer survivor through the C-section delivery of her baby. Cross candidly discusses an incident from her past to provide insight on why she helps welcome babies into the world.
  • Sister Stephen, who runs a nursing home where comfort and therapy animals bring joy to the residents there.
  • Brian McMillion, an Army veteran and former medic, who helps soldiers recover and heal from their war injuries, not all of which are physical.

This isn't an easy movie to watch. Patients suffer, and nurses suffer right along  with them. 

It's not all bleak, though. Many scenes are uplifting and filled with joy. 

It runs the gamut of emotions, just as nurses do in their daily lives. It's a touching, memorable tribute.