Narrative Nursing


What is Narrative Nursing

Narrative Nursing is a program developed by Marcus Engel, M.S., utilizing therapeutic writing and storytelling to help nurses analyze and understand the vital role they play in the field of health care. Most commonly in the form of a workshop that teaches techniques for self care and stress reduction through reflective writing. Through the reading of examples, writing prompts and discussion, nurses will delve into their stories, bringing light and perspective to their experiences. This highly interactive, casual and enlightening seminar focuses on the unique needs of those hands on professionals we know as nurses.

Narrative Nursing is designed to help nurses use the principles of narrative to own their stories, recognize their unique lives as valuable and develop skills for therapeutic and reflective writing.

Benefits of Narrative Nursing

Nurses are just under so, so much stress! Long, physically demanding shifts, sicker patients, the interpersonal dynamics of any job and an industry in flux; these things add up to a ton of stress before a nurse ever puts on scrubs. Nurses are also spouses, partners, parents, caregivers to aging parents and so much more. It’s no wonder compassion fatigue and burnout are rampant in the nursing profession.

Bottom line? Narrative Nursing provides healthy resources for tackling the stressors nurses face every day.

  • Help nurses gain perspective from the patient and family’s point of view
  • Reconnect nurses with the passion for caregiving
  • Embrace the stories of nursing as valuable and educational
  • Balance compassion fatigue and burnout by utilizing simple writing techniques
  • Teach journaling as a healthy practice for job/life balance
  • Give nurses resources to manage stressors through writing and storytelling

The Workshop

This workshop teaches nurses to embrace their stories and to practice therapeutic writing techniques to guard against compassion fatigue and burnout. By leading nurses into the practice of therapeutic journaling, we are able to find different perspectives to invoke compassion and empathy for patients, doctors, fellow nurses, and for the families of patients.

College Curriculum

We want to get student nurses practicing self care before they ever take the NCLEX; something we’ve found is lacking at most colleges of nursing. Narrative Nursing is a college course which utilizes the techniques of therapeutic writing to help student nurses practice self care from the very beginning of their nursing careers. Marcus Engel reserves time to teach as adjunct faculty for your college of nursing, or he is able to train professors how to facilitate and lead the course. For more information on Narrative Nursing as a college course, contact Marcus directly.

Contact Us

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Quick History of Narrative Medicine

Narrative Medicine is a field of study combining the stories of health care and literature with the practical application to improve the quality of patient care. The term“Narrative Medicine” was first coined by Rita Charon, M.D, Ph.D. at Columbia University when she published her book, “Narrative Medicine: Honoring The Stories Of Illness” (Oxford University Press, 2006.)

To learn more about the Narrative Medicine program at Columbia University, please visit: