Discover the stories behind the masks.



Dear Nurses,

You washed their faces and read their eyes.

Looks always fell somewhere between scared and courageous, you reported. When wheelchairs squeak and heels click, you serve a common goal: To heal people.

But 2020 didn’t see a lot of healing.  The stories of people who come into the ICU - aka Covidland?  They rarely leave, you say.

But you persist, because you’re essential AF. Because, “I am here for you” is how you operate, how you live and how you love. You read your patient’s get well cards from strangers, friends--Oh Dinnerplate, he mouthed.

For that, we yearn for a time in the not-too-distance future where you can eat bread pudding with your patients.

Whether it was making signs, singing songs, sending lifesaver candies or delivering free pizza, we know we can’t repay you for your service.

You’ve got every right to be tired, too.

“We’re going to be ok”, you say.

One day soon, we’ll be able see COVID from a 3,000 footview -- fewer hallway sprints, fewer tears and fewer facetime goodbyes.

Until then, thank you for your stories.

Written by RX Fogarty


Read RX’s letter a year after the project - here


Click on an image to read the story

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Learn More

DearWorld.org and the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

In honor of 2020 being designated International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, DearWorld.org partnered with the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, AACN, to tell the stories of 39 nurses from COVID-19 units across the state of Louisiana.


Support this initiative by making a donation to DearWorld.org and the stories of nurses.

100% of the money raised from nurses.dearworld.org will be used to continue to fund the stories of nurses during this crisis and beyond.


Crediting Instructions for Journalists and Content Creators:


Access media assets for each nurse at https://nurses.dearworld.org including the documentary, portraits, first-person letters and PS Content, such as archival family photos. (each nurse’s letter and portrait can be found by clicking on their image from the home page.)

Photos and stories are being made available with broad permission of use with no requests for licensing or compensation from DearWorld.org. You need not get prior written approval unless required by your organization’s protocols. The stories may be used in part or in their entirety. Photos should be credited as follows: DearWorld.org / Daymon Gardner. 

Please email hello@dearworld.org if you need formal waivers and releases signed for your media organization.


Production Credits:

Sponsor and underwriter: American Association of Critical Care Nurses, DearWorld.org
Founder and Director: RX Fogarty
Documentary Director: Benjamin Reece
Documentary Co-Directors: David Reece, Abby Vo
Directors of Photography: David Reece, Chris Alcazar
Producers: Abby Vo, Patricia Moscardo, Miranda Palsson, Greta Cross, Lucy Calderon
Documentary Editor: Alex Wiltz
Assistant Camera Operator: Chris Alcazar
Crew: Andres Ballesteros, Giancarlo D'Agostaro, Blaine Billings
Principal Photographer: Daymon Gardner
Facilitators/Interviewers: RX Fogarty
Writers: Sofia Bodniza, Sarah Jane Roy, Bruna Nessif, Amanda Sullivan, Andra Castillo, Pam Jenkins
COVID compliance: Ochsner Health
Interview venue: Ochsner Clinical Simulation & Patient Safety Center Special Thanks to: Available Lighting, VER, Beau Baudier, Ralph Madison, Matt Bigelow


Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the crew & nurses?

DearWorld.org, AACN, and the nurse subjects minimized exposure by: Filming in the simulation center of the Ochsner Medical Center, This building is used exclusively for medical professional training and no COVID-19 patients have been inside. All crew passed daily wellness checks before being allowed to enter the building, And all crew utilized PPE in the same manner that hospital staff use PPE.

Why was time taken for storytelling during the COVID-19 crisis?

#DearNurses was created to share the stories of nurses who dedicated their lives to saving others. All of the nurses who participated volunteered time on their days off to do so.

Who was behind this partnership?

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses underwrote the production cost of the collection. DearWorld.org used 100% of the proceeds to pay crew fair and competitiverates, as well as for travel expenses, equiment rental, and transportation needs. Thanks you to Beau Baudier for donating crew housing for the duration of the project.

Why New Orleans & Ochsner Medical Center?

DearWorld.org began as Dear World New Orleans, so we have more relationships there than any other  city, allowing us to complete the portrait collection in a beautiful and safe manner.  Thank you to Ochsner Medical Center for hosting us, Tulane, Touro, and University Medical Center for sending nurses from your hospitals to participate.

Can I abridge the nurses’ letters in a written story?

Yes. Nurse stories do not need to be published in full and direct quotes may be pulled.


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