Hey Florence!

Photo by Joe Howell.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center hosted a series of  performances of “Hey Florence!” this year, a musical about the everyday lives of nurses, starring active-duty nurses from Vanderbilt, “Hey Florence! received a standing ovation at each performance,” said Donna Glassford, director of Cultural Enrichment and producer of “Hey Florence!”

“A lot of people were amazed that nurses could put on a musical, but we all have talents,” said Sandra Sandgren, R.N., charge nurse in the pediatric operating room and a star of the musical. “Vanderbilt nurses are the best, and this musical is a validation and a thank you. It is so exciting that someone is recognizing nurses for the work that they do.”

Sandgren said that performing the musical was an emotional rollercoaster.

“I perform a scene about losing patients, and when I first heard the song ‘Another Goodbye,’ I said there was no way I could do it without crying. It was very personal because constantly losing patients is one of the reasons I left critical care.

Photo by Joe Howell.

This scene was a way to confront that and remember that one patient who put me over the edge. It was cathartic and painful, but it is what we nurses go through every day.”

“Hey Florence!” is directed by Australian playwright Craig Christie, and is quickly gaining national attention for its funny and poignant look at the day-to-day life of nurses.

“The cast was invited to perform at the Roosevelt Hospital in New York City and at the University Medical Center at Princeton in New Jersey this spring. We are literally taking the show on the road with the original cast after the Vanderbilt performance,” said Glassford, who has had much interest from other hospitals and nurses groups interested in putting on additional performances of the musical.