Movies About Nurses (List)

Movies have the power to transport us into different worlds and shed light on various professions, including nursing. While TV shows and films often depict nurses in stereotypical and inaccurate ways, there are several movies that accurately showcase the care, compassion, and challenges faced by nurses. Whether based on true stories or fictional narratives, these nurse movies provide valuable insights into the evolving field of nursing.

From the dark secrets of a nurse serial killer to the healing power of humor in healthcare, the world of nursing is rich with compelling stories waiting to be explored on the big screen. Here is a list of must-see nurse movies that celebrate the vital role of nurses in society:

Movies About Nurses

Key Takeaways:

  • These nurse movies offer a glimpse into the care, compassion, and challenges of the nursing profession.
  • They provide valuable insights into the evolving field of nursing.
  • From true stories to fictional narratives, these films celebrate the vital role of nurses in society.
  • They shed light on the importance of compassion, human connection, and humor in healthcare.
  • These movies break stereotypes and showcase the dedication of nurses in their chosen profession.

The Good Nurse (2022)

The Good Nurse is a gripping thriller based on the true story of Charles Cullen, a nurse regarded as one of the most prolific serial killers in history. Convicted of killing 29 people, Cullen is believed to have taken the lives of approximately 400 victims throughout his nursing career. This highly anticipated movie dramatizes the shocking events surrounding his heinous acts and the chilling secrets he kept hidden.

In The Good Nurse, the story unravels as another nurse uncovers Charles Cullen’s dark secret and embarks on a relentless pursuit of justice. With each revelation, the movie delves into the psychological depths of this nurse serial killer, exploring the manipulation, deception, and profound impact on the lives of his victims and their families.

“The Good Nurse” is a haunting exploration of the disturbing reality behind the facade of a trusted healthcare professional. It raises questions about the vulnerability of patients and the critical importance of vigilant oversight within the healthcare system. The film presents a chilling reminder that evil can lurk behind a helpful smile.”

– Megan Reynolds, Film Critic

Patch Adams (1998)

“Patch Adams” is a heartwarming film that takes inspiration from the life of Hunter “Patch” Adams, a physician who believed in the healing power of humor. The movie follows Adams’ journey as he challenges the traditional healthcare system and emphasizes the importance of compassionate care.

In his pursuit of providing holistic and patient-centered care, Patch Adams incorporates humor and warmth as vital tools for healing. Through his unorthodox methods and genuine connections with his patients, he aims to improve their physical and emotional well-being.

“You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – Patch Adams

This film underscores the significant role of humor in the healthcare setting, showcasing how laughter can alleviate pain, boost morale, and create a positive environment for both patients and healthcare professionals. It challenges the conventional notion that medicine is purely clinical and highlights the importance of empathy, human connection, and understanding in the healing process.


The Impact of Patch Adams

The movie “Patch Adams” not only entertains audiences but also raises awareness about the need for a more compassionate and patient-centered approach in healthcare. It serves as a reminder that healthcare professionals should prioritize empathy and emotional support alongside medical treatment.

The film’s emphasis on humor as a therapeutic tool has resonated with audiences around the world, highlighting the healing power of laughter in healthcare environments. It has also inspired many healthcare professionals to integrate humor and human connection into their practice.

Key Themes in “Patch Adams”

Themes Description
Compassionate Care The film underscores the importance of providing compassionate care, focusing on the patient as a whole.
Healing Power of Humor Humor is portrayed as a powerful tool in improving patients’ well-being and lifting their spirits.
Breaking Healthcare Norms Patch Adams challenges the traditional healthcare system and advocates for a more holistic approach.
Importance of Human Connection The movie highlights the value of forming genuine connections with patients to foster healing.

Through the story of Patch Adams, the film encourages viewers to reflect on the importance of integrating empathy, humor, and interpersonal relationships into the healthcare experience. It serves as a reminder that healthcare goes beyond the clinical aspects and should encompass a holistic approach that considers the emotional well-being of patients.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is a thought-provoking film that sheds light on the disturbing realities of mental health care. The story revolves around Randle McMurphy, a rebellious patient in a mental institution, and the tyrannical head nurse, Nurse Ratched. The film exposes the oppressive and dehumanizing nature of the institution, highlighting the significant impact nurses have on patients’ mental health.

Nurse Ratched embodies the power dynamics and control often seen in mental health nursing. Her strict and authoritarian approach stifles patients’ individuality and reinforces a culture of fear and subjugation. Through her character, the film depicts the struggles faced by patients and the importance of advocacy and compassionate care in mental health nursing.

This powerful film serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by both patients and healthcare professionals in the field of mental health. It prompts viewers to question the ethical and moral implications of psychiatric care and highlights the need for patient-centered approaches and holistic treatment methods.

The English Patient (1996)

“The English Patient” is a captivating film set during World War II that revolves around the poignant story of nurse Hana and her compassionate caregiving for a severely burned patient. The movie beautifully explores the themes of selflessness and the profound impact that nurses have on the lives of their patients.

Hana, played by Juliette Binoche, embodies the spirit of war nursing as she tends to the physical and emotional wounds of her patient. Her unwavering dedication and empathetic approach to caregiving make her a symbol of compassion in the midst of the chaos and devastation of war.

The film masterfully portrays the challenges that wartime nurses face, highlighting their resilience, strength, and ability to provide solace to those in need. Through Hana’s character, “The English Patient” showcases the transformative power of compassionate caregiving in the face of unimaginable circumstances.

“Every night I cut out my heart. But in the morning, it was full again.”

– Hana, The English Patient

Hana’s journey in the film demonstrates the multifaceted role of nurses during times of war. From administering medical treatments to comforting patients emotionally, nurses play a vital role in healing and providing comfort during times of immense suffering and uncertainty.

The Impact of Compassionate Caregiving

In “The English Patient,” the power of compassionate caregiving is palpable. It reminds us that amidst the chaos of war, nurses possess the ability to bring comfort, hope, and healing to those in their care. Through Hana’s selflessness, the film portrays the immense positive impact that nurses can have on the lives of their patients.

Key Themes Examples
Compassion Hana’s unwavering dedication to her patient’s well-being
Resilience Navigating through the challenges of war while still providing exceptional care
Empathy Hana’s ability to understand and empathize with her patient’s pain and suffering
Healing The transformative power of caregiving in the midst of war

“The English Patient” serves as a poignant reminder of the significant role nurses play in times of crisis and the remarkable ability they have to provide compassionate care even in the most harrowing circumstances. The film is a tribute to the countless nurses who have dedicated their lives to the well-being of others and showcases the unwavering dedication that defines the nursing profession.

So Proudly We Hail! (1943)

“So Proudly We Hail!” is a captivating movie that takes us back to the heroism and resilience of military nurses during World War II. The film follows a group of dedicated nurses who provide compassionate care to wounded soldiers on the frontlines. It showcases their unwavering dedication and the challenges they faced in a wartime setting.

Set in the backdrop of World War II, “So Proudly We Hail!” explores the crucial role of nurses in treating and comforting the injured soldiers. The film delves into the sacrifices made by these courageous women who put their lives on the line to save others.

The movie paints a vivid and realistic picture of wartime nursing, emphasizing the physical and emotional toll it takes on the nurses. It highlights their resilience, resourcefulness, and the bond they form with their patients in the face of adversity. The powerful storytelling captures the heroism and selflessness exhibited by these nurses during one of the most challenging times in history.

The experiences depicted in “So Proudly We Hail!” shed light on the dedication and commitment of wartime nurses. Their compassion, strength, and unwavering spirit continue to inspire nurses around the world today.

  • Portrays the challenges faced by nurses during World War II
  • Highlights the dedication and sacrifices of wartime nurses
  • Emphasizes the bond formed between nurses and patients
  • Shows the resilience and resourcefulness of military nurses


Film Year Main Characters
“So Proudly We Hail!” 1943 Veronica Lake, Claudette Colbert, and Paulette Goddard

Prison Nurse (1938)

“Prison Nurse” is a compelling movie that takes viewers back in time to the 1930s, offering a unique perspective on the role of nurses in a state prison. Set during a typhoid fever outbreak, the film sheds light on the challenges and responsibilities faced by nurses who provide care within the prison setting. It delves into the complexities of nursing in prisons, highlighting the dedication and determination of these healthcare professionals.

The movie portrays the demanding environment that nurses navigate as they strive to meet the medical needs of incarcerated individuals. From managing infectious diseases to addressing the mental and physical health concerns of inmates, prison nursing in the 1930s required resilience and adaptability.

The film also explores the ethical dilemmas faced by prison nurses, as they balance their duty to provide care with the unique circumstances of the correctional system. It delves into the complexities of building trust and advocating for the well-being of both patients and the broader prison community. “Prison Nurse” offers audiences a thought-provoking glimpse into the world of nursing in prisons during a transformative era.

Key Themes in “Prison Nurse”

  1. The challenges of providing healthcare in a prison setting during the 1930s.
  2. The role of nurses in managing infectious diseases, such as the typhoid fever outbreak depicted in the movie.
  3. The ethical dilemmas faced by prison nurses, including striking a balance between patient care and the needs of the correctional system.
  4. The responsibilities and duties of nurses in advocating for the well-being of incarcerated individuals.
  5. The resilience and adaptability required of nurses working in prisons during a transformative era.

Prison Nurse Movie Cast

Actor/Actress Character
Gloria Dickson Martha Stewart
Arthur Aylesworth Dr. Joseph Gates
Sheila Bromley Elsie Bentley
Henry O’Neill Warden Samuel B. Reynolds
George McKay Jim Henderson

13 Weeks (2005)

“13 Weeks” is a captivating documentary that offers viewers an intimate look into the world of travel nursing. The show follows the lives of six dedicated travel nurses as they embark on nursing assignments in southern California. Through their experiences, the documentary sheds light on the unique challenges and rewards of travel nursing.

As viewers follow the nurses on their assignments, they witness firsthand the diverse range of patients and healthcare settings they encounter. From bustling hospitals to intimate clinics, these nurses provide care to individuals from all walks of life, making a difference in the lives of their patients.

The documentary not only showcases the nurses’ professional journeys but also delves into their personal lives and the friendships they form along the way. It captures the camaraderie and support system that develops among the nurses as they navigate the joys and difficulties of their chosen profession.

With its real-life portrayal of travel nursing, “13 Weeks” offers a valuable insight into this unique branch of nursing. It highlights the flexibility and adventure that comes with nursing assignments in different locations, allowing nurses to explore new places while providing quality care to those in need.

“Being a travel nurse has been an incredible experience. I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds and provide care in various healthcare settings. It’s rewarding to know that I’m making a difference wherever I go.” – Travel Nurse

If you’re interested in learning more about travel nursing or are considering a career in this field, “13 Weeks” is a must-watch documentary that offers a glimpse into the life of a travel nurse. Discover the challenges, rewards, and personal growth that come with nursing assignments in different locations.

Key Highlights of “13 Weeks” documentary
Real-life portrayal of travel nursing
Insight into the challenges and rewards of nursing assignments
Showcasing the diverse range of patients and healthcare settings
Exploration of the personal lives and friendships of travel nurses
Highlighting the flexibility and adventure of travel nursing

Meet the Parents (2000)

Although not strictly about nursing, “Meet the Parents” features a comedic portrayal of a male nurse named Greg Focker. The film addresses stereotypes about male nurses and highlights the perseverance and dedication of Focker in his chosen profession.

Wit (2001)

“Wit” is a compelling film that delves into the nurse-patient relationship and the challenges faced by both parties in the context of ovarian cancer nursing. The movie revolves around Vivian Bearing, a woman diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, and her dedicated nurse, Susie Monahan.

Throughout Vivian’s chemotherapy treatment, Susie embodies the genuine compassion and unwavering support that nurses provide to their patients. With empathy and kindness, she plays a critical role in comforting and attending to Vivian’s physical and emotional needs.

“Wit” sheds light on the profound impact of the nurse-patient relationship, highlighting the vital role nurses play in supporting patients through their most difficult and vulnerable moments. It underscores the importance of empathy, understanding, and personalized care in the face of a challenging illness like ovarian cancer.

Fostering Empathy and Connection

The movie beautifully captures the essence of nursing by showcasing the power of human connection in healthcare. As Susie forms a bond with Vivian, she goes beyond her duties as a nurse, becoming a source of comfort, companionship, and solace. This portrayal of the nurse-patient relationship in “Wit” emphasizes the significance of empathy and emotional support in providing holistic care.

Realistic Portrayal of Cancer Treatment

“Wit” offers a realistic depiction of the physical and emotional challenges faced by individuals undergoing cancer treatment. The film explores the rigorous nature of chemotherapy and its impact on a patient’s well-being. It acknowledges the courage and resilience required not only from the patients but also from the dedicated nurses who assist them throughout their treatment journey.

“Wit” showcases the critical role nurses play in supporting patients through difficult medical treatments, especially during life-altering circumstances like cancer.

The film serves as a reminder of the incredible dedication and compassion exhibited by nurses in the realm of ovarian cancer nursing. Through their expertise, empathy, and unwavering support, nurses like Susie Monahan make a profound difference in the lives of their patients.


Movies about nurses offer a rich and diverse perspective on the nursing profession, shedding light on the dedication, compassion, and challenges faced by nurses. These films, whether based on true stories or fictional narratives, provide valuable insights into the world of nursing and the profound impact nurses have on their patients’ lives. From showcasing the realities of healthcare to breaking stereotypes, these movies celebrate the vital and often underappreciated role of nurses in society.

Through compelling storytelling, nurse movies captivate audiences and bring attention to the significant contributions nurses make in the healthcare field. They highlight the tireless effort nurses put into caring for others and the emotional depth that comes with their work. As viewers immerse themselves in these films, they gain a greater appreciation for the complexity of nursing and the vital role it plays in the lives of patients.

Whether it’s witnessing the incredible courage of nurses in war-torn settings, the power of humor in healing, or the important role nurses play in mental health care, these movies confront preconceived notions and challenge stereotypes surrounding the nursing profession. By showcasing the multifaceted nature of nursing, these films inspire and motivate individuals interested in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, seeking a better understanding of the nursing profession, or simply looking for an engaging film, these movies about nurses offer a captivating and educational experience. So dive into the world of nursing movies and discover the extraordinary stories of compassion, resilience, and dedication that define the nursing profession.


Are these movies based on true stories?

Some of these movies are based on true stories, while others are fictional narratives.

Do these movies accurately portray the nursing profession?

While these movies offer valuable insights into the world of nursing, it’s important to remember that they may take creative liberties and may not always accurately depict the profession.

What themes do these nurse movies explore?

These movies explore themes such as compassion, dedication, challenges faced by nurses, the nurse-patient relationship, and the impact nurses have on their patients’ lives.

Can these movies help challenge nursing stereotypes?

Yes, some of these movies address nursing stereotypes and showcase the perseverance and dedication of nurses in their profession.

Are there any documentaries in this list?

Yes, “13 Weeks” is a documentary that follows the lives of travel nurses on assignment in southern California.

Are these movies suitable for all audiences?

Each movie has its own rating and may contain adult themes or content, so it’s advisable to check the ratings and review the content before watching with younger audiences.

Are there any comedy movies in this list?

Yes, “Meet the Parents” features a comedic portrayal of a male nurse, addressing stereotypes about male nurses in a lighthearted manner.

Can these movies provide insight into the challenges faced by nurses in different settings?

Yes, these movies explore nursing in various settings such as hospitals, mental health institutions, war zones, and prisons, offering glimpses into the challenges faced by nurses in these environments.

Do these movies highlight the importance of compassion in nursing?

Absolutely, compassion is a recurring theme in many of these movies, showcasing the significant role it plays in nursing and patient care.

Can these movies inspire aspiring nurses or those already in the profession?

Yes, these movies can be inspiring for individuals considering or already in the nursing profession, as they provide insights into the care, dedication, and impact of nurses.

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