Josie’s Story: A Patient Safety Curriculum

Newly redesigned Care Journal

Published in 2009,  the book Josie’s Story has gained widespread popularity in medical and nursing schools along with hospitals around the country as a tool to not only educate future caregivers, but to inspire them as well.

As the powerful message of this story and its impact on readers became clear the Josie King Foundation reached out to a team of educators from the Duke University Health System who shared the same fundamental understanding:

Facts provide us with knowledge – stories provide us with wisdom

Together they set out to form a patient safety curriculum that combined the power of the story and the science of safety with interactive and meaningful educational material — Josie’s Story: A Patient Safety Curriculum was created.

The curriculum comes to you in a 1.5″, grey binder and is made up of sixteen sessions, to align with a typical sixteen-week semester. It is designed to be utilized in many different settings, including medical and nursing schools, along with educators in the hospital environment who are in need of educational and inspirational patient safety material. It can be used in its entirety or as a single session to build upon existing patient safety/quality content. Each binder comes with access to electronic files for distribution to students as well as a copy of the Josie King Story DVD.

The Josie’s Story: A Patient Safety Curriculum is for the caregivers of the future. We hope this material provides knowledge and wisdom as they go forth into the world of healing.

*binder color was recently changed to grey

Order the Curriculum

If you have any questions, or to order the curriculum, please contact: We are happy to arrange a phone call to share more information with you.

Organizations requesting Josie’s Story: A Patient Safety Curriculum are encouraged to make a donation. These donations enable us to continue to bring the healthcare industry more patient safety projects and programs.

Sneak Peek

Click to preview the Curriculum summary table and a sample session.

Below is a sampling of some excerpts from the “reflection” letters that Sorrel receives on a regular basis from students who have just finished reading Josie’s Story. Their words are very powerful.

“Josie’s Story has inspired me to advocate for my patients as a nurse and promote patient safety. In my practice, I want to ensure that my patients feel safe and are well cared for at all times. This story has affected me personally because it really shows how one simple thing such as not listening to a worrying mother can dramatically affect your patient’s care. Listening to my patients and their families is something I will do as a nurse and I will work hard to ensure patient safety so that I can avoid any medical errors.”

“Josie’s Story will forever be my beacon for patient safety. I will keep open communication between myself the patient, the family and the doctors. If I am unsure about something I will speak up. I will be a leader by not letting concerns go unnoticed.”

“This story gave me a new insight into my patient’s experience and how important my job is as a Patient Care Assistant.  As a lesson from Josie’s Story I will practice for quality and accuracy. Josie’s Story has brought on many positive changes within the healthcare system. Through the completion of this story, I am thankful to have the insight, and I can now personally influence the transformation to a safer health care system.”

“One part of the book that I truly loved is the part about reconnecting the nurses and doctors who had made mistakes with the patients or their families. I have wondered about the possibility of making a mistake in my own practice. I’m sure I would be very upset with myself and I didn’t know how it would be handled if I ever did. Learning about the initial separation of the patient and the doctor or nurse was horrifying. There must be a system in place for if mistakes are made and how healing can be made on both ends. This is something that I personally can work on setting up or learning about in my own hospitals.”

“After reading Josie’s Story I realize my role, as a nurse in the patient safety movement is monumental.”

“It is quite powerful how one person (you), could implement numerous ways to enhance patient advocacy and safety. Not only did you implement multiple advocacies and safety measures as the focus, but also acknowledged the suffering that healthcare workers endure when an error is made, and teaching them how to handle the patient and their families when one occurs. If one individual can make all of these improvements to save lives, and improve patient outcomes, it makes me wonder what else is there that I can do to further enhance your crusade??  Josie’s story has further solidified my conviction in enhancing patient safety and advocacy.”

“As a senior year nursing student I had always believed I was just an ordinary student nurse – going through the program, working two jobs, writing papers and gaining the knowledge I needed. Although, I found the work interesting there were times when it was difficult and tedious. But then I read Josie’s Story. Never before has something touched me the way that this story has and I have never felt so moved and passionate about any topic discussed in school.”

“Josie’s Story has changed me profoundly. It has made me more aware of my actions. Every action (no matter how big or small) has an impact on the patient and their family.”

“After reading Josie’s Story I realized my role as a nurse is so crucial when it comes to patient safety. I will be sure to follow the protocols, voice my concerns and give the patient everything I’ve got. I now know that it is essential to double check orders and medications because in the end we are all human and mistakes can happen.”

“Josie’s Story was brought up in my hospital in a mandatory High Reliability Training course…. Throughout school and in practice doctors and nurses get fed so much information on patient safety that they sometimes just glaze over it all. Josie’s Story is one of the most valuable patient safety lessons and I will never forget it.”

“I would like to spread the word of the Josie King Foundation and Josie’s Story to other nursing underclassmen.”

“Josie’s Story has truly impacted the way I will practice nursing. It will be forever ingrained in my mind and I will carry it with me and use it to influence my decisions in providing safe care to my patients.”

“This book lit a fire in me. It makes me want to strive to be the best caregiver I possibly can be. I want to be the nurse that patients rave about.”


From professors who use the book with their students:

“As you can tell by their reflection letters, they were deeply touched by the story. Reading Josie’s Story has not only helped the students and I grow as nurses professionally, but also personally as well.”


It’s been a few months and I hope you are well.  I wanted to share with you excerpts from my senior elective student’s reflective essay on “Josie’s Story”. These are two that captured the essence of her reflections:

“I will try to ensure, no patient of mine or patient’s family is left wondering whether their concerns about their care or the care of their loved one is appropriate especially when patient safety is the cause for concern. As Sorrel sat by Josie’s side, wondering whether things were being done appropriately but not wanting to be the overbearing parent, I felt a great sadness, especially knowing what the outcome would be. I realized that it is common practice in hospitals to find ways to explain away patient concerns rather than attempting to recognize any legitimacy to them. This has created a culture where even patients have the burden of catering to the hospital system for fear of reprisal rather than assuming their rightful place as those to be catered to.”

“…the book in itself is an informative journey through patient safety innovations and quality improvement as an up-and-coming movement in healthcare. Sorrel’s dive in healthcare and her ambitions to make safer experiences for families across the country tells a story about our profession that many of us are deeply unaware of. It tells a story of people trying so desperately to change the culture of medicine to ensure maximum patient safety while effectively portraying the various obstacles to overcome. I found it quite disheartening to find that Sorrel’s came to realize the same problem that I also realized in the short time I have spent learning about quality and patient safety, that it is we physicians, who pay big money for the best training and take the long Hippocratic oath and vow to protect our patients, who oftentimes stand as barriers to the changes that must take place to right the injustices that are built in to the system and change the culture of tolerance towards the 98,000 deaths that occur annually from medical errors.”

I am proud of her performance and feel she has gained better understanding of the patient perspective and the physician contribution to the current health care culture that often leads to error and harm. That was the power of “Josie’s Story” for her, and for that I thank you.


Curriculum Partners

Welcome to our Josie King Patient Safety Curriculum partners. Thank you for using this tool to educate and inspire your staff on the importance of patient safety. Also, thank you for sharing this tool with your students, our caregivers of the future. Keep up the great work.

Centura Health- South State Operating Group, Colorado Springs, CO
Mt. St. Mary College,  Newburgh, NY
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Fairbanks, AK
Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, Juneau, AK
Kaiser Permanente, Rockville, MD
Laurel Regional Hospital, Laurel, MD
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center, Clinton, MD
Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Glen Burnie, MD
Carroll Hospital Center, Lisa Rock, Westminster, MD
University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center, LaPlata, Maryland
Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, MD
Fort Washington Medical Center, Fort Washington, MD
University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopedic Institute, Baltimore, MD
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD
Western Maryland Health System, Cumberland, MD
Macomb Community College, Warren, MI
Franciscan Alliance Foundation, Crown Point, IN
Saint Xavier University, Chicago,IL
Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Inc., Baltimore, MD
Morehead State University, Morehead, KY
Curry College, Milton, MA
SUNY Adirondack, Queensbury, NY
Middle Georgia State College, Macon, GA
Navajo Technical University, Crownpoint, NM
Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma City, OK
Citrus Valley Health Partners, West Covina, CA
St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, Austin, TX
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor MI
Jackson State Community College, Jackson, TN
Wolters Kluwer Health, Baltimore, MD
Holland Hospital, Holland, MI
Keiser University, Jacksonville, AL
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL
Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, Galloway, NJ
Anderson University, Anderson, SC
Western Kentucky University School of Nursing, Bowling Green, KY
Advocate Condell Medical Center  & Rosalind Franklin University, Libertyville, Illinois
Rutgers, School of Nursing, Newark, NJ
Crowder College, Cassville MO
Truman Medical Center Lakewood, Kansas City, MO
Saint Clare’s Health System, Denville, NJ
Calvert Memorial Hospital, Prince Frederick, MD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing, Chapel Hill, NC
University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, Kansas

For More Information

If you have any questions, or to order the curriculum, please contact: We are happy to arrange a phone call to share more information with you.