Author Talk on Maine Nursing

March 11, 2017 – 2:00 pm

Join authors of Maine Nursing: Voices of Caring and Competence, for a discussion highlighting oral histories of Maine nurses over one hundred years. This Author Talk will take place on Saturday, March 11, at 2:00 p.m. at the South Portland Public Library’s main location.

Maine Nursing includes a century of fascinating personal experiences told in the voices of the nurses who built a caring profession capable of delivering competent care.   The stories are a mirror of the events throughout the 20th and into the 21st centuries as society, technology and health care progressed. The stories reflect the advancement of the nursing profession from obtaining “registration” in 1915 to becoming a partner in the healing professions delivering quality patient care.  Maine’s nursing “voices” are a collection of dozens of oral histories that were transcribed from many hours of taped oral interviews. Histories include serving patients in times of peace, through epidemics, and during the wars of the last century. Collectively, the histories are tributes to the dedication of nurses from the past and present as well as an important source of inspiration for the future.


The Author Talk will include highlights of how and why the book was written. The centennial of the presence of the American Nurses Association in Maine was 1914-2014 and the centennial of the registration of Maine nurses 1915-2015. South Portland resident Edith Soule was the first president of the Maine State Nursing Association that was incorporated by the state in 1914. In 1915, the organization submitted a successful bill to the state legislature that resulted in requiring the legislation of nurses. Through these years, Maine nurses demonstrated caring and competence as they cared for patients through times of peace, wars, and epidemics.

About the authors:

Valerie Hart is a professor of nursing at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland, Maine and has been a psychotherapist in private practice continuously since 1978. She teaches in the Psychiatric/Mental Health concentration of the graduate nursing program. Her research interests are in evidence-based practice, patient-provider communications, nursing history and the role of the nurse psychotherapist. Her book Patient-Provider Communications: Caring to Listen (2010) is the only book that specifically addresses communication skills for the advanced practice nurse.

Susan Henderson is a graduate of St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in NYC. Susan Henderson received her BS from Fairleigh Dickinson University. in New Jersey, a Masters in Nursing from New York University and a Masters in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie Institute of University of Southern Maine.  She taught nursing for thirty-five years at Saint Joseph’s College of Maine until retiring in 2011. While a faculty member, she worked as a per diem staff nurse at local hospitals and the Cedars. She served two terms as president of ANA-Maine and was a charter member.

Although a native of Baltimore, MD, Juliana L’Heureux has lived in Maine and worked in the state as a nurse for most of her professional career.  As the wife of a US Navy veteran, the travels with her family allowed for her to work with humanitarian organizations like the International Red Cross, Navy Relief and military charities. When her family moved to Maine in the late 1970’s, she completed her baccalaureate nursing degree at the University of Southern Maine, in Portland. Her Masters in Health Services Administration was earned from St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, Maine.  During her career, she was a home care and hospice administrator. She is a freelance writer. Her published articles appeared in nursing magazines and newspapers.  She was the editor of the ANA-Maine Nursing Journal for two years. Her home is in Topsham, Maine.

Ann Sossong came to Maine from New Jersey, where she began her career as a diploma nurse. She has practiced in nursing for over fourty years in multiple nursing roles, including clinical practice, nurse executive, nurse researcher, and educator. She received her doctorate in 2004 from Catholic University of American, Washington, D.C.  She is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Maine at Orono, where she has received awards for teaching excellence. She has served in leadership positions in professional organizations at the local, state and national levels including Sigma Theta Tau, American Heart Association and American Nurses Association. She was instrumental in initiating collaborative efforts at the state level including the annual evidence based practice conferences highlighting nursing research in the state of Maine.

Copies of Maine Nursing will be available to purchase at a reception and signing following the Author Talk. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the South Portland Public Library.