Memorable Images. Stories that linger. Really. Everyone. This book will thrill your soul.
Annette Tersigni RN YogaNurse® Founder
This work exposes the messy and ordered patterns of life’s unknowns that nurses face every day, unknown to the outer world. By revealing the ugly and profound nature of mundane life events, Susan Tunage simultaneously uncovers the sacred and reverential nature of human caring, as perhaps one of the most healing gifts nursing offers to humanity in our world of chaos. This book, One Nurse Universe, is a portrait of nursing in all its complexities and mysteries of life itself. -Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, LL (AAN)
Founder/Director Watson Caring Science Institute
Distinguished Professor Dean Emerita University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing
Susan captures our hearts while capturing the essence of our beloved nursing profession. In that 1st of 19 nurse-memoir vignettes, I, the nurse-reader, reflect, bust a gut, and beam with pride about what it means to be a nurse. The non-nurse reader, too, will find this an approachable foray into our mysterious, clinical world. This book is readable, surprisingly void of the jargon-filled terminology that can weigh down a good medical drama. The gift of this book is the overarching theme that: knee-deep in crisis, a nurse is called to muster up all the comportment she has within her to bring dignity and focus to the task of healing. There is a lot of resourcefulness in the toolkit of the One Nurse Universe. There is so much a new nurse could learn from reading this book. Susan captures the tension, fear, compassion, sass, intelligence and constitution of nurses. One Nurse Universe delicately displays the true art and science that is nursing in all its terrific and sometimes tragic beauty. Susan is a delicate and artful storyteller in this lovely work. With these stories, she shows anyone who has ever cared for another that s/he, too, is a One Nurse Universe.
Candace C. Johnson, PhD, MPH, RN
Principal Investigator, YogicDance Research Study
Central Virginia Chapter, National Black Nursing Association, Vice President Clinical Assistant Professor, Family and Community Health Nursing
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing
One Nurse Universe is an unflinchingly honest debut memoir by Turnage. It is a revealing look at hospital life written with affection and clarity. Some readers may find the writing shockingly blunt, whereas others will see the matter-of-fact approach as a reflection of the realities of nursing. The result is a multitextured memoir that evokes a spectrum of emotions with writing that displays an effervescent humor. Furthermore, this book gives those considering a career in nursing a strong sense of whether the profession is truly for them. -Kirkus Reviews
Anyone reading this book will gain an understanding of the challenge’s nurses face and the rewards that come with it. As a librarian, I’ll be putting One Nurse Universe on my recommended list. – Kendra Mathis
Susan Turnage’s book is a timeless snapshot of humanity in its most vulnerable state. In a series of short vignettes, she candidly describes impactful experiences with matter of fact honesty infused with a deep sense of caring and razor sharp humor. Medical care without kindness will never alleviate the underlying suffering that we all experience in one form or another as part of the human experience. And when we suffer, we can only hope that a Nurse Susan will be there for us. -Elizabeth White, JD, 200 RYT Integral Yoga
There’s a reason people call the profession of nursing a calling – it can be gritty, emotional, disgusting, hectic, harrowing and many times rewarding. In her debut memoir, Turnage reveals the complex, extraordinary world of nursing. Readers will chuckle at a humorous exchange between the author’s yelled explanation of a suppository to an extremely hard-of-hearing patient and cry at the unexpected beauty when a child battling a deadly illness draws his last breath in her arms. “One Nurse Universe” exposes both the ups and downs of the unpredictable world of nursing and the angels on Earth who choose to make their living caring for those who need it most. – Dog Ear Publishing
One Nurse Universe is a wise, entertaining, graphic and humorous nurses’ memoir. Turnages’ creative resiliency stands out in incidents like surviving training in how to give a bed bath (the nude patient was equally terrified) and making an entire ward of somber children’s oncology patients and their families laugh on a difficult day. Explicit sensory descriptions help in eliciting emotional reactions. A chapter about incontinence underscores the looming themes of empathy, quick thinking, and the art of caring as a nurse’s calling. Turnage’s time as a nurse for the corrections system also helps to illuminate the deficits of American mental health care. Explanatory paragraphs are frequent and help to bridge the gap between lay readerships and Turnage as a medical professional. The book’s chronological trajectory is effective and also helps in tracing the book’s important parallel story of the rise of government outsourcing and corporate priorities in medicine. – Lisa Alexia Foreward/Clarion Reviews
I am not the target audience for this book. I’m neither part of nor interested in the healthcare industry, and not particularly moved by or sympathetic to human plights. But I relish unglamorized peeks into houses that I pass every day, seeing only that their front doors look like mine. My visits to a healthcare facility feel no different from my visits to a library or a restaurant. People ask what I need and smile nicely because that is their job, and I try to answer with some mutually acceptable variation on the appropriate response. I assume that they are real people as a courtesy.
Susan Turnage throws open the front doors of these houses and hospitals on well-chosen days and allows us to watch patients and providers support each other through impossibly sad and impossibly ridiculous interaction. I don’t need to be a gardener or a welder to become a more sensitive gardener and welder. I can read thoughtful accounts of these crafts, written by people who have practiced over decades and matured spiritually as their skills increased. Even with no experience, my disposition and attitude move from know-nothing to care-something. One Nurse Universe has made me a much better nurse than I ever thought I could be. I cannot start an IV or dress a wound, but now I know that care begins by listening from a position of kindness, a skill that I would need to, and just might, practice.
Maybe you know someone who has little interest in healthcare or the problems of others but enjoys reading great stories. Get that person a copy of One Nurse Universe. The cover makes it look like it is about a superhero, which it is.
Russell Bernabo, Object Conservation, Ashland, VA