Indiana State University Newsroom

Book donation project spotlights need for nurses

March 12, 2009

With the effects of a nursing shortage being felt in hospitals and other health care facilities across the nation, educators are taking steps to ensure young people have the tools necessary to make informed career decisions at an early age.

The West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC) is donating the book "My Hero, My Dad the Nurse" to school libraries in its 11 county area. Written by Dr. Maggie Thurmond Dorsey, RN, the colorful children's book tells the story of a young boy who considers a variety of career options before deciding to follow in his father's footsteps and become a nurse.

The book addresses the need for male nurses in an industry that has historically been predominately female. Louise Anderson, interim director of the West Central Indiana AHEC, recently talked with students at DeVaney Elementary about the possibilities of a career in health care before presenting the book to the library.

"This is really important to us because we need a lot more men in the nursing field," Anderson told the students. "We're presenting this book today because we're interested in the careers you'll be choosing."

DeVaney librarian Jill Youngblood said the book will be used in a variety of ways at the school, including during career day activities.

"It's something they need to start thinking about early," she said. "They don't necessarily have to decide on a career now, but we want them to at least have some ideas."

The book project serves as way to give something back to local communities while encouraging young people to consider a career in health care, Anderson said.

"One of our goals with this is to spread the word that we need more male nurses and that's what the book focuses on, but we also need more health care workers in general," she said.

About the Area Health Education Center

The mission of the Indiana AHEC program is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care for medically underserved populations, by improving the distribution and diversity of health care professionals and improving health care quality through community/academic educational partnerships. West Central Indiana AHEC's mission is to promote this mission in Clay, Fountain, Greene, Montgomery, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo and Warren counties.


Contact: Louise Anderson, interim director, West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center, 812-237-9688 or

Writer: Emily Taylor, assistant director of media relations, Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Photo: Louise Anderson talks with students at DeVaney Elementary about the book "My Hero, My Dad the Nurse." (ISU photo/Kara Berchem)