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    One of the World’s Most Powerful RNs Pens Lesbian Love Story

    BT052914-ONLINE-9What do nursing, mathematics, 18th century lesbian lovers, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell have in common? The answer is Anna Curren, whom I wish to in­troduce to you. She is a remark­able talent in the medical field who has invented several important in­structional materials, including a tool to teach nurses how to give certain injections. There is a good chance that most nurses you meet have learned from Anna’s texts or other instructional products. I caught up with her during the re­cent NCLR anniversary gala.

    Born nearly 80 years ago in New­foundland while it was still a Brit­ish colony, Anna first studied nursing in Montreal. This was followed by a stint as a nurse in Boston and Maine. She returned to Canada and completed her BSN at Dahousie University in Nova Scotia. Soon after this, she drove her brand new VW to San Fran­cisco.

    Anna eventually went on to be a nursing educator who, upon real­izing the inadequacy of the teach­ing materials, simply created her own. Her texts have sold over a million copies and they include the tomes Refresher Math, Clinical Drug Dosage Calculation, Math For Meds (now in its 11th printing), and Dimensional Analysis For Meds. Her Injecta-Pad, used for intra­muscular injection practice, is now a standard. Before her invention, nurses often trained by giving in­jections to oranges!

    In 1981, she moved herself and her business to San Diego, where she still resides. As if the previously mentioned achievements were not enough, she wrote a well-received screenplay/historical drama about two 18th century lesbian lovers, Love Above the Reach of Time: Two Stories of the Ladies of Llangollen.

    Anna is also an atheist who hap­pens to be a Commander in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, which currently supports an eye hospital for Palestinians. In our LGBTQI world, she is perhaps best known for her work with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDF), which helped to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I asked her why a non-military per­son would pick this cause of all the many competing and important LGBTQI causes. She explained that she passionately believes the route to full civil rights is through equal rights in the military. Once discrimination ends there, the “dominoes will fall elsewhere.”


    Anna M. Curren was escorted on stage and congratulated by Stewart Bornhoft and Brian Humbles at the SLDF annual event.

    Did I mention she is charming? And ladies, she is single. Anna is truly a heroine of our community. Her involvement has made a dif­ference for thousands of people. In fact, November 9, 2013, was named Anna M. Curren Day in San Diego.

    Anna currently is adapting her work about the lesbian lovers into a screenplay for an LGBT theater company in San Diego. Its stage premier is planned for next fall. She looks forward to furthering her involvement in Organizing for Action, a non-profit group dedi­cated to training future leaders and to advocacy of issues, such as gay rights and immigration. An­other project of Anna’s is staying healthy. She plans to live for a very long time.

    Dr. Naomi Jay is a nurse practitioner in the department of Infectious Disease at UCSF