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Premieres Friday, May 6th at 10/9c

(Silver Spring, MD) – National Nurses Day is celebrated annually on May 6th to raise awareness of the important role the medical field’s frontline caregivers play in society. This year, Discovery Life celebrates the hard work of nurses with the premiere of THE AMERICAN NURSE on Friday, May 6th at 9/8c followed by the series premiere of EMERGENCY at 10/9c, showing the powerful images of those whose lives are devoted to healing. The premieres of the documentary and series will be a part of Discovery Life’s weekend-long programming stunt of nurse-themed content hosted by NY ER’s Nurse Katie Duke.

“National Nurses Day is the perfect time for us to honor the tireless work of nurses around the world,” said Howard Lee, General Manager of Discovery Life and Executive Vice President of Development and Production for TLC. “Dedicating an entire weekend of programming to these unbelievable healthcare professionals is a small way that we can give our thanks for the hard work they put in day in and day out.”  

The 3.4 million registered nurses in the nation provide expert, high-quality and compassionate care to their patients and strive to provide the best care possible. THE AMERICAN NURSE is an hour-long documentary created by Executive Producer/Director Carolyn Jones and Producer Lisa Frank, and it explores some of the biggest issues facing America – aging, war, poverty, prisons – through the work and lives of five nurses:

  • Sister Stephen (Wisconsin) – the Director of Nursing at the Villa Loretto Nursing Home, where she has cultivated a menagerie of animals including dogs, cows, sheep, llamas, alpaca and ring-tailed lemurs. The Villa is also the weekend home of kids in need of respite, and the animals are therapeutic for the kids and the elderly residents alike.
  • Brian McMillion (San Diego) – a military nurse with the V.A. San Diego Health System, was on an uncertain path when at 19-years-old his father gave him two choices: college or enlist in the military. He spent time oversees where he was the first person that wounded soldiers would see when they woke up, often missing limbs and suffering from PTSD. In his current role, Brian works with young injured soldiers fresh from combat.
  • Naomi Cross (Baltimore) – a Labor and Delivery nurse at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Naomi spends most of her days filled with the joy of helping to bring new life into the world. When things don’t go as planned, Naomi serves as a bereavement counselor, pulling from her own experience of loss to counsel a family when their baby passes.
  • Jason Short (Kentucky) – Jason has transitioned from fixing cars to fixing people. He spends his days forging into the remote hollows of Eastern Kentucky, helping his patients in their battles with cancer, diabetes and black lung disease. Caring for a region plagued by poverty, drug addiction, industrial pollution and more, Jason is acquainted with a part of America few ever see.
  • Tonia Faust (Louisiana) – with a mother who worked in security at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Tonia grew up in the shadow of a maximum-security prison. She began working as a nurse and ended up following her mother’s path to Angola, where she now directs the hospice program. She oversees a team of inmates who volunteer to care for their dying peers with compassion and grace one would not expect to find behind bars.

Then, Discovery Life’s EMERGENCY at 10/9c, gives viewers unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to emergency rooms while offering an intimate look at the lives of actual patients and the medical staff who face life and death every day. In the premiere episode, a soon-to-be-wed carpenter sustains a cut that’s too close for comfort; a badminton player falls onto his hand during a match; a woman and her doctor disagree over the source of her shoulder pain.