When the Civil War began, North Carolina had neither hospitals nor trained nurses. Yet by 1865, Tar Heel women—many with copies of Florence Nightingale’s “Notes on Nursing” as their only instruction manual—had established fifteen military hospitals in the state, as well as the new career of professional nursing. In 1903, through the work of the newly formed North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA), the state became the first in the nation to pass a nurse registration law and create a board of nursing. In the 100 years since, Tar Heel nursing leaders have remained at the forefront in the advancement of what was once considered a form of indentured servitude into a true profession, one which recent surveys rank as the most trusted in America.
"North Carolina Nurses: A Century of Caring" explores the vital roles of the NCNA and the N.C. Board of Nursing in standardizing nursing education, expanding nursing practice, and dealing with critical nursing shortages like that facing the state and nation today. Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker John Wilson and nurse practitioner Ashley Lefler Wilson, the documentary is narrated by National Public Radio’s Liane Hansen. Chris Frank of the Red Clay Ramblers composed the original music score.