Mary Moore McLean Photography


I have been a nurse for over forty years, working in hospitals, clinics, home care, and hospice settings.

In the 60s, I attended a traditional three-year diploma program and, in 1981, became one of the first gerontological nurse practitioners. Before then, care of the elderly wasn’t considered a specialty, like pediatrics.

My favorite work setting has been home care. On entering a stranger’s home, a nurse never knows what she’ll find—an empty fridge, filth, extreme isolation, a loving family or a fractured one. She relies on her skill and knowledge, what she packed in her nurse’s bag and improvises the rest. Most important she must develop a trusting relationship with the patient and family to obtain a positive outcome.

After retiring from nursing, I focused my attention on writing by taking classes, attending workshops and conferences and joining a writing group.

My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Eno River Literary Journal, Examined Life Journal, Hospital Drive, Stories That Need to be Told: A Tulip Tree Anthology, among others.

My book: Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers chronicles my challenges in caring for the undeserved elderly who lived on the Westside of Chicago. 

I live with my husband in Raleigh, North Carolina.



22 thoughts on “About”

  1. Just found this site and I love it! I’m 85 and a retired nurse and would love reading and sharing stories related to our profession. Thank you for this.


  2. Hello Ms. Marianna Crane,

    Thank you for this inspiring blog. I am especially touched by your “THE TIME IS RIGHT” post (https://nursingstories.org/2013/03/). Nurses do witness such touching moments with their patients because they are not just medical professionals – they inevitably, become a part of the patient’s family as well.

    As an editor for Nursing Explorer (www.nursingexplorer.com ), I know what it entails to finish a nursing degree and eventually build an impressive portfolio. This is a journey that is now open to many.

    Kudos to you and your blog! ‘Looking forward to reading more posts soon.


    1. Thank you for visiting my site. Yes, we nurses are privileged to witness the deepest experiences of our patients. The authors of Final Gifts took this one step beyond by writing about the skill and ability of nurses so that the general public can appreciate what nurses “really do” and how we make a difference.


  3. Marianna, I too am a retired nurse from 20 years in the ER. I wrote a book called 202 Most Memorable Patients in the ER and was published on Amazon last week. It can be viewed from the web site, kesgolf.wix.com/er-book
    For the past hour I have been reading your blog and the replies. It is fascinating and may occupy more of my time in the future.


  4. Hi Marianna,
    I’ve looked at your site a number of times and each time was a catalyst to do more with my own writing. Your range is so broad and you’re so encouraging. Your influence has contributed much to my decision to start blogging. It’s not nurse-specific but it will have posts about Nursing. I’m participating in the WordPress sponsored Blogging 101 and just put up a reflection on nurses writing. I hope that you have time to read it. I would so much appreciate it. Thank you. I will continue to receive inspiration to waken my nursing muse!


    1. Pat, I did go to your web site. Your are off to a great start. I am thrilled when nurses choose to write about their work, their life and their inner thoughts. And I am humbled that I have in some way contributed to your decision to begin a Blog. I wish you the very best as you grow your blog.


  5. Your blog is beautiful and a wonderful way to salute the world’s greatest profession! Thank you!


      1. Yes Mam, that is truth. 24/7/365 – we are there. I only recently started blogging but I would like to invite you to meet one of my first patients in my career- she lives on today in my first blog post entitled, “The Woman With an Issue of Blood.” Her impact on my life and career has been far reaching and I would be honored to share her with you!


      2. I read your post and was so impressed mainly because you did’t judge this lady but learned a great lesson from her. May all nurses learn to be as non-judgmental as you show yourself to be.


      3. I believe we must meet people where they are, and as nurses we don’t meet people in “Sunday best” but people who are sick, scared, in pain… it is our sacred duty to treat all patients with respect. Sometimes people can be challenging but it is always worth it to give and do your very best.


  6. Just finding your site- sorry to hear that you didn’t get submissions! We need to boast far more than we do (is that a woman thing?) because if we did we’d be in a better place right now! Thanks.


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