Emory Report
MayNu 5, 2008
Volume 60, Number 30

Special event
A photo exhibit and book signing will be held at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing on May 6 from 7–9 p.m. Please RSVP at 404-727-3232.


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May 5, 2008
Dean’s book illuminates nursing’s contributions

Kay Torrance

The phone rang as Karen Kasmauski was heading out to a family reunion in Michigan. The freelance photographer was savoring the prospect of rare family time but was intrigued by the caller’s idea: a book showcasing nursing around the world. The caller, Marla Salmon, dean of Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, had tracked down Kasmauski after seeing her photographs in a book on global health issues.

Their resulting collaboration, “Nurse: A World of Care,” contains more than 220 pages of photographs and narrative depicting nurses, including Emory nursing students and staff nurses, their work, the challenges they face, and the shortages that already are seriously compromising care, particularly for the world’s most vulnerable people. Funding for “Nurse” was provided by Johnson & Johnson and Emory University. The nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau, is the book’s distributor, and all proceeds benefit the nursing school’s Lillian Carter Center for International Nursing.

“For many years, I have wanted to tell the story of nursing in a way that both celebrates the profession and helps improve the future of caring,” Salmon says. “Because the story is increasingly one of challenges and remarkable tenacity, I felt that I really must tell nursing’s [story] in a way that all people would understand. In short, the time was right. For this reason I reached out to Karen and writer Peter Jaret to work with me in making my gift back to the profession possible.”

As senior editor for the book, Salmon worked closely with Kasmauski and Jaret to weave together images and narrative that she hopes will inspire people to recognize nursing’s contributions to the health of people worldwide.

“I’ve been a nurse for many years, but I never cease to be deeply touched by what we do, particularly by those who continue to provide care in the most challenging circumstances,” Salmon says. “Too often, though, nurses’ work goes unnoticed. With the growing global shortage of nurses, their invisibility is to the detriment of all people.”

Kasmauski says, “Marla gave us the vision. She wanted something that spoke globally to the nursing crisis. Then I thought about what could work visually. This book makes nursing look like what it is: exciting and important to the fabric of this world.

“I’ve been a photographer for almost 20 years, and what surprised me was not so much the mortality or poverty that I saw but the commitment of the nurses to their communities,” Kasmauski says. “All of them were trying to do the best they could under very trying conditions.”

Salmon also hopes this book will spur action to enable nursing to be there for all people in the future.
“Within nursing lies the ability to reach out to others in ways that make their lives better,” she says. “The need for this caring is basic to who we are, and we are in greatest need when our health is compromised or at risk.”