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American Indian nursing documentary accepted into international film festivals

A documentary, titled “Essence of Healing: Journey of American Indian Nurses,“ has been accepted into the Chandler International Film Festival and the Canadian Diversity Film Festival. The NDSU School of Nursing and other groups collaborated to develop the film to encourage nursing education in underrepresented populations.

The documentary follows the journeys of 14 American Indian nurses from the Northern Plains as they answer their calling into the nursing profession.

The Chandler festival is being held Jan. 13-15, with screening of more than 100 films in Chandler, Arizona. The group “supports creative, independent filmmaking through the ability, innovation and uniqueness to capture the series of movements and experiences in a single film,” according to its website.

The Canadian Diversity Film Festival is a monthly online festival with an annual event held June 25, during the week of Canadian Multiculturalism Day in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The “Essence of Healing: Journey of American Indian Nurses” documentary premiered on April 30, 2016, at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck, North Dakota. One of the program’s goals is to promote the recruitment of American Indians into the nursing profession, where they currently make up less than 2 percent of the nursing workforce. One national report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce estimates that North Dakota will have 4,430 registered nurse openings through 2020.

Groups collaborating to develop the documentary include:
• Cankdeska Cikana Community College, Fort Totten, North Dakota
• KAT Communications, Bismarck, North Dakota
• NDSU School of Nursing, Fargo
• NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health, Bismarck, North Dakota
• University of North Dakota Recruitment and Retention of American Indians into Nursing (RAIN Program), Grand Forks, North Dakota.

“We are pleased that the documentary has been accepted into these film festivals, providing a wider audience as we work to promote recruiting American Indians into the nursing profession,” said Loretta Heuer, professor in the NDSU School of Nursing, and co-executive producer of the film.

Funding for the project was provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, University Partnership Research Grant for the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program, No. 90PH0019, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families. 

For additional information about “Essence of Healing: Journey of American Indian Nurses,” contact loretta.heuer@ndsu.edu or 701-231-8205.

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North Dakota State University
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