Regis Assistant Professor Lawana Brown talks with nursing’s bestselling chronicler and advocate

If you follow the nursing profession, Theresa Brown may well be a familiar name. A clinical nurse in Pittsburgh, Brown has written about issues facing the profession for, The American Journal of Nursing, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She is a frequent contributor to The New York Times where a February op-ed, "Covid-19 Is ‘Probably Going to End My Career,’" served as a wake-up call about a crisis of post pandemic burn-out among America’s must trusted professionals. Her first book, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between chronicling her first year as a nurse, became a textbook at many nursing schools. In 2015, Brown’s day-in-the-life account of her work, The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives, became a New York Times bestseller.

Ironically, Brown was not one of those nurses who always knew she would enter the profession. After receiving a BA and a PhD in English from the University of Chicago and an MA from Columbia University, she taught writing and literature at Harvard, MIT and Tufts before parenthood inspired a shift to nursing. Regis assistant professor and women’s health program director Lawana Brown’s wide-ranging conversation with Brown picks up with her career transformation.