Students’ Tear-Jerking Film Brings Nursing To Life

A tear-jerking film made by students that highlights ways in which nurses care for patients has attracted attention from some of the country’s leading names in healthcare.

A team of six first-year students on Northumbria University’s Nursing Studies (Learning Disabilities) degree created the film after being challenged to answer the question “what is nursing?”

After speaking with patients and nurses to gain an understanding of what patients felt they needed from nurses, and vice versa, they found common responses in their answers. Both groups said that they needed to see displays of patience, humour, communication, honesty, understanding and a smile.

These responses were used by the students to create We Are Human, a campaign that intends to promote unity, community and collaboration between nurses and patients. The campaign was brought to life with the support of Northumbria’s Media Production students through a film representing varied fields of nursing.

The film, which shows the nursing students undertaking roles including caring for a child with cancer and a confused patient with dementia, as well as expressing how emotionally challenging the career can be, has already been viewed more than 2,000 times on YouTube. To view the film visit

The students have received praise from Peter Carter, the Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, who viewed the film on a recent visit to Northumbria, and have been invited to share their work at the annual Positive Choices conference for those working in and studying learning disabilities nursing.

Louise Vallery, one of the students who made the film, explained: “We developed the campaign after seeing a need to encourage a mutual understanding between patients and nurses. We wanted to bridge a perceived gap and reassure the public that, as nurses, we share in their emotions, from joy to sadness and frustration.

“We’ve been so excited with the response we’ve had from those who have seen the film and we hope that it will make people see that we, as nurses, are human too.”

Mark Robinson, Director of Programmes in Northumbria University’s Department of Health and Wellbeing, said: “Having a true understanding of what it means to be a nurse, and what nursing is, is a crucial factor for our first year students who are embarking on this career.

“This understanding, which ensures they recognise the six essential values of healthcare – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment – is clearly demonstrated in this powerful film which shows the varied fields of nursing through the eyes of both patients and nurses.”

More information is also available at

The Positive Choices conference is being held in Cardiff on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 April 2015.

For more information on nursing courses at Northumbria University visit or register for the University’s June Open Days at