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American Nurse Project

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You probably think of a visit to a clinic or hospital as "going to the doctor."

But the fact is you're likely to spend much more time with nurses than doctors during those visits.

So, who are the men and women who dedicate their lives to serving others through nursing?

A New York woman set out to answer that question - one nurse at a time - through a book, and now a website called the American Nurse Project.

She and her crew were in North Dakota this week to add to their roster of featured nurses.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "Eyes right into my camera, right into my lens..."

Carolyn Jones has been asking a lot of nurses to do that in the past couple of years.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "OK, now a little bit warmer, a little bit friendlier."

The photojournalist has captured images of nurses around the nation for The American Nurse Project.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "Mostly to try to connect people with the land and the people they serve in this project. I want people to feel that they're connected and grounded to a certain part of the country."

The initial project - this book with photos and stories of 75 nurses - was released a year ago. And now, she and producer Lisa Frank are expanding their quest

(Lisa Frank, American Nurse Project Producer) "Let's go to new states and meet more nurses doing all different kinds of nursing we haven't ever heard of before."

And that desire brought them to western North Dakota.

(Lisa Frank, American Nurse Project Producer) "It's the home of the biggest boomtown in America right now and we thought that would pose some interesting questions for the profession of nursing."

That's where Marilyn Yellow Bird and Rose Davis come in. They are nurses at the Elbowwoods Memorial Health Center in New Town.

(Rose Davis, New Town Nurse) "We had a beautiful reservation before and now it's all covered with oil rigs."

(Marilyn Yellow Bird, New Town Nurse) "It is my ultimate goal that they see the impact the oil boom has had on the reservation, on the people of the reservation, on the health of the people of the Fort Berthold area."

(Rose Davis, New Town Nurse) "About 15% of the people on the reservation get oil lease money, they other people don't get the oil lease money. So they have to realize we still have the same poverty problems we had before the oil boom came."

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "Ladies if you would stand in the field right in front of me..."

So now, standing on the land of the Fort Berthold Reservation they call home, they're lending their faces to a new effort to tell the story of nursing in America.

Jones plans to shoot them in a way that tells a story.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "We're going to be talking about a lot of things that are serious and a lot of things going on with the people you take care of that are serious so I think it can be kind of a thoughtful expression is what we're looking for."

On this day, a cold wind makes the photo shoot the kind of challenge we expect in North Dakota.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "My hands are getting cold."

But cold hands or not, the photographer continues her work.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "Right there, that's perfect, that's lovely."

And then a couple more and this shoot is over.

(Carolyn Jones, American Nurse Project Director) "Smile, yeah, wonderful, eyes right in my lens...perfect. "

Two more faces ready to join the American Nurse Project online and in photo exhibitions around the U.S. In New Town, Jim Olson, KX News.

The photos and stories of the two New Town nurses should appear on the American Nurse Project website by Christmas.

The American Nurse Project is largely funded by Fresenius Kabi USA.

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