Friday 7 April 2023


Finished March 27
Nurse! A Memoir by Francene Cosman

This memoir covers the years from 1959 through 1962 during Francene's years at nursing school in Saint John, New Brunswick. She was among the last group of women who did their nursing education affiliated with the Saint John General Hospital. Francene McCarthy, as she was at that time, gives a detailed and lively account of her years becoming a nurse, focusing on the experiences related to her education and living in the attached student nurse dormitory. I found it an enlightening and fascinating read. 
The details are so interesting, from the clothing requirements to the duties they worked their way through as they gained experience in their chosen profession. We get real insight into the infrastructure of the hospital of the time, the social nuances, and the hospital hierarchy. 
She tells a great story and the scenes really came to life for me, whether they were student hijinks or serious situations in the operating room. 
Francene went on to get further education in nursing and worked as a nurse before becoming a mother, and later a politician. Her epilogue give information on her later life, but also the fate of the hospital, dormitory and other related topics. 
Whether you are a New Brunswick native, a nurse, or just someone interested in the lives of others, this book will have something for you. 

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