Whether you’re a student nurse or have over 20 years of experience in a range of settings, we found six inspiring international TED talks to get you through your week. In no particular order, please enjoy and let us know of any other talks we may have missed!


Kathleen Bartholomew: Lessons from Nursing to the World

TEDx San Juan Island 2016

Kathleen Bartholomew is a registered nurse and shares her personal story, explaining how communication is the key to changing the barriers instilled in the nursing hierarchical culture. In 2010, Kathleen was nominated as one of the top 20 people changing health care in America, and she won best media depiction of nursing for her opinion editorial in Seattle P.I. named ‘Nurses struggle against the odds’.


Madelyn Blair: Learning the discipline of care not just the profession of nursing

TEDx TWU: 2016

Madelyn Blair provides enthusiastic insight on the importance of self-care and self-awareness in providing care within the nursing profession. She is a nursing student at the Texas Woman’s University and encourages the humanising of health care work in this impassioned talk.


Sana Goldberg: What if you became a nurse?

TEDx Harvard College 2016

Sana Goldberg is a nurse, author and a public health advocate. In her featured TED talk at Harvard College, she talks about how nursing should be thought about in a profoundly new way, and the many connections the profession has with liberal arts education. As a graduate with studies focused in behavioural neuroscience and the humanities, Sana connects nursing to the bigger picture of life. Sana is also the founder of Nightingale, a magazine which features work centred around health equity with the aim of connecting nurses to communities and empowering patients.


Patricia Thomas: Revolutionizing nursing education

TEDx UTA 2013

Dr Patricia Thomas has more than 15 years’ experience as a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP) and is passionate about improving the education and skills of nursing and other health care students through the advances of technology. Her online interactive learning portal, allows students to engage with content such as lectures and learning modules that are designed to meet different learning styles. She is currently the Clinical Assistant Professor at the College of Nursing at the University of Texas Arlington (UTA).


Hui-wen (Alina) Sato: How grief can enable nurses to endure

TEDx Pasadena 2017

Alina Sato is a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse and the founder of The Heart of Nursing blog. By overcoming her personal experiences with burnout and grief, Alina shares how she fought to rediscover and sustain a sense of meaning and calling for nursing.


Kim Vesey: First Breath, Final Breath

TEDx Dayton 2015

Kim Vesey has over 30 years’ experience in the hospice field, including 13 years of providing nursing care to hospice patients in their homes and has been present during the death of over 100 patients. In her TEDx talk, Kim talks about the approach to life and death and how her experiences have taught her to live in the moment and honour a person’s last breath. Kim is currently the Chief Mission Officer at Ohio’s Hospice and has been a certified Spiritual Director since 2013.



Although it’s not a TED Talk, we also thought this video was worthy of being on this list of inspiring talks:

Miss Colorado skips the song and dance, talks about nursing

Miss America 2016 – While other contestants sang, danced or played instruments for the talent competition on the second night of preliminaries in Atlantic City, Kelley Johnson, Miss Colorado, delivered a unique monologue about experience as a nurse.

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