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5 movies featuring nurses

Image: Ferenc Szelepcsenyi | Veer

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just a reminder of why you love being a nurse, below you will find our top five favorite cinematic portrayals of nurses. No Nurse Ratched here!

All the movies we recommend show nurses as they really are: caring, compassionate and very involved in their patients’ lives.

1. Wit

Vivian (Emma Thompson), a sharp-witted English literature professor, is diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. When her doctors recommend an experimental treatment of aggressive chemotherapy, nurse Susie Monahan (Audra McDonald) is the only one in the hospital who truly cares about Vivian’s condition and final wishes.

2. Precious: Based on the Novel

Teenager Claireece Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) is overweight, on welfare and pregnant by her father for the second time. Her life begins to change when she is forced to enroll in an alternative school and begins seeing a new social worker. Lenny Kravitz plays a strong and empathetic nurse’s aide who cares for Precious in the hospital when she gives birth to her second child.

3. The English Patient (Miramax Collector’s Edition)

At the close of WWII, a badly burned pilot (Ralph Fiennes) is found in the desert. Juliette Binoche portrays a young nurse whose devotion to her patient leads her to stay with him under dangerous circumstances. His past is shown in flashbacks, slowly revealing the secrets of an epic love affair.

4. Magnolia

This film follows a day in the life of multiple characters searching for hope and purpose in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Phil, a lonely home-care nurse working for an elderly man who is dying of brain and lung cancer. When the patient wants to see his son before he dies, Phil attempts to contact him.

5. Eastern Promises (Widescreen Edition)

At Christmas time in London, a pregnant Russian teenager arrives at a hospital and doctors are only able to save her baby. Midwife Anna Khitrova (Naomi Watts) is deeply affected by the situation and vows to return the baby to the unknown girl’s family. When Anna finds the girl’s diary written in her native language, it leads her into the dark world of the Russian mob.

Did we miss your favorite cinematic portrayal of nurses? Tell us below.

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3 Responses to 5 movies featuring nurses

  1. Thank you for not mentioning Nurse Rached! My favorite nurse is Shelby from Steel Magnolias as played by Julia Roberts. It’s probably because I grew up in the South, but I just love that character.

  2. M

    Nurse Rachet was the one I was thinking of as well in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest lol

  3. Suzanne

    I like Annie Wilkes in “Misery”, played by Kathy Bates. Only because of the nuttiness of the role.