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Critical Themes in Nurse Romance Novels

Nurse romance novels have elements that distinguish them from other romances. Some of these, by default, are in realtionship to their nursing theme: the emotional reservation of the nurse, her respect for the uniform and profession as indicators of her training and skill, a male character who is supportive of the nurse's career, her boldness in transgressing professional/gender codes of behaviour. Other distinguishing features are not necessarily related to the nursing theme—sensational settings, the protagonist's absence of any personal ties, her assertion of independence, and subplots that addressed then-contemporary social and political issues. 

Nurse romance novels are filled with both subtle references to current events and issues as well as numerous sublots that address them more directly and in-depth: problems associated with urban living, debates about "progress" and the disappearance of small towns through development, labor organizing, racism, identity politics, urban gentrification, changing sexual mores, international affairs, cultural hegemony and colonialism, and more. 

Over the next pages, we'll take a look at a few of the dominant themes that emerge in the narratives of nurse-romance novels! 

Critical Themes in Nurse Romance Novels