Netflix’s The Good Nurse is based on the popular book by Charles Graeber, which recalls the true events that happened to Amy Loughren (Jessica Chastain) and Charlie Cullen (Eddie Redmayne). Amy is a working, single mother of 2 in an absolutely horrible situation. In need of a heart transplant and working nights in the ICU to support her family, Amy is in a living hell. Everyday inching closer to death, she tries desperately to manage herself until her work gives her healthcare in 4 months. Despite her horrible circumstance, Amy still operates as a good nurse, one that goes above and beyond for her patients and does so regardless of what the hospital administration enforces. The story takes off when Charlie comes to work as a nurse, quickly becoming friends with Amy. However, at the same time, patients are mysteriously dying in similar and unexplained ways.
The Good Nurse follows Amy as she helps to put away a serial killer, one that was only possible due to flawed system of American Healthcare. The bureaucracy and corruption of profit-driven private hospitals are ever so present. Charlie is an individual who has gotten away with killing potentially over 400+ patients over the course of his career. Even though all the hospitals suspected it was him, they all decided to terminate him unrelated issues (such as “the dates on his application being incorrect”) in order to protect the hospital from liability. Had these hospitals not been so profit-driven and informed the police, Charlie would not have gotten away with his decade-long murder spree. For example, held back by bureaucracy, hospitals employee talking to the police without legal counsel would be terminated due to violation of contract.
Another flawed aspect of the healthcare system that’s highlighted in Nurse was that frustrating way that hospitals treat their workers. Right now, we’re witnessing a massive number of resignations from healthcare workers, specifically nurses. Work is tough, hours are long, and dangerous situations (COVID for example) for little pay by comparison have helped drive this forward. Even so, the main issue is that, as a healthcare worker, you are not entitled to provide healthcare to yourself. For instance, in Amy’s case, she had to provide for her family although every shift literally drained the life out of her. By showing these moments, The Good Nurse highlights the flaws in what is truly a broken system.
The Good Nurse is currently playing at TIFF ’22. For screening information, click here.