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Sun 6/11, 2023, 7:30pm
Sarah DiGregorio with Angela Garbes
The Complicated History of Nursing

Nurses have always been vital to human existence.

A nurse was likely there when you were born and a nurse might well be there when you die. Familiar in hospitals and doctors’ offices, these dedicated health professionals can also be found in schools, prisons, and people’s homes; at summer camps; on cruise ships, and even at NASA. Despite being celebrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are often undermined and undervalued in ways that reflect misogyny and racism, which extends to their working conditions and affects the care available to everyone. Yet, the potential power of nursing to create a healthier, more just world endures.

Journalist Sarah DiGregorio explores the complicated story of nursing in Taking Care: The Revolutionary Story of Nursing. DiGregorio chronicles the lives of nurses past and tells the stories of today’s nurses — caregivers at the vital intersection of health care and community who are actively changing the world, often invisibly. Combining storytelling with nuanced reporting, DeGregorio examines how humans have succeeded — and sometimes failed — at caring for each other. She is joined at Town Hall by writer Angela Garbes to discuss the nurses of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Sarah DiGregorio is the critically acclaimed author of Early: An Intimate History of Premature Birth and What it Teaches Us About Being Human and Taking Care: The Story of Nursing and Its Power to Change Our World”, coming in May 2023. She is a freelance journalist who has written on health care and other topics for the New York TimesWashington PostWall Street JournalSlateInsider, and Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her daughter and husband.


Presented by Town Hall Seattle.

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