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"Mrs. Reynolds Needs a Nurse" and other classics survive the test of time

Dolores LittleDolores Little"One of the things that came from examining curriculum was an interest in improving understanding about the needs of psychiatric patients. In working at Harborview I had been involved in helping a particularly difficult psychiatric patient and decided to write up the case and present it to a film company I knew of. The head of the education division came out to visit me and we ended up making ‘Mrs. Reynolds Needs a Nurse’ based on this case. The film was cast with personnel from Harborview and in fact I played the supervisor who ‘finally sees the light.’ Virginia Olcott, played the difficult ‘patient’ and someone who worked in the laundry room played her ‘husband.’ The film won Best Documentary at the Canadian Film Festival and the Chris Memorial Award and was shown around the world."
- Dolores (Deo) Little ’46

A nursing school "classic" in the 60’s and 70’s, "Mrs. Reynolds Needs a Nurse" is in demand even today for its timeless message about positive patient attitudes. In 1953, the School of Nursing undertook a five-year curriculum research project in basic nursing education. All members of the faculty participated in this study, so that the entire School provided a laboratory for testing various theories of undergraduate education. Ole Sand, director of the study, wrote an account of the fundamental problems facing the study in Curriculum Study in Basic Nursing Education, which was published in 1955. It was followed by Evaluation in Basic Nursing Education, by Mary Tschudin, Helen Belcher and Leo Nedelsky and An Experience in Basic Nursing Education, also by Sand and Belcher. These three volumes soon became classics in nursing education and were distributed nationwide for many years. Although the curriculum study was focused on nursing education, its findings - like the message of "Mrs. Reynolds Needs a Nurse" - were relevant to anyprogram of professional education.


Dolores (Deo) Little in about 1965

School of Nursing Professor Dolores E. (Deo) Little in the award-winning film, "Mrs. Reynolds Needs a Nurse," which she also wrote.(Photo courtesy of Deo Little and the Washington State Nurses Association.)