About Me


Mary Moore McLean Photography

On this website, I share experiences I’ve had over four decades, working in various health care settings, as a nurse and nurse practitioner. I tell the stories of patients I cared for; they taught me far more than any textbook. I write about the intimate relationships nurses develop with patients and their families and how these differ from doctor/patient relationships. I discuss how nurses struggle to be heard in a hierarchy that so favors physicians.

Marianna Crane

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. Older people’s needs were seen as different from those of other age groups. I was on the forefront, providing that care. I have written a book: Stories from the Tenth-Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers that chronicles my challenges in caring for the underserved elderly who lived on the Westside of Chicago.

I have worked in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and nursing schools. Currently, I volunteer at a local hospital where I am senior-chair of the Patient Advisory Council.

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.

IMG_6211Throughout my career, I’ve felt nurses don’t always get the appreciation we deserve—in part because we rarely inform the public about what it is that we actually do. Years ago, when I was working at a government hospital, I solicited stories from nurses about the work they did—how they made a difference in a patient’s life. I planned to put the stories in a brochure to distribute during National Nurses Week. I received very few submissions. The most common reason I heard from the staff nurses for not sharing their stories: I don’t want to write about what I do. It’s too much like boasting.

I hope to encourage nurses to tell their stories about the ethical, professional, and personal difficulties they experience as well as the times they make a difference in their patients’ lives. Only then will the general public appreciate what nurses really do.

—Marianna Crane




22 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Elena Shella Villamor says:

    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.


    • Marianna Crane says:

      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.


  2. Keith Schultz says:

    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.


  3. Pat says:

    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!


    • Marianna Crane says:

      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.


      • alanakh says:

        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!


      • Marianna Crane says:

        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.


      • alanakh says:

        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.


  4. ninagaby says:

    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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