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Speakers Bureau

Susan Bristol

Susan Bristol

Full Name: 
Susan Grady Bristol

City of Residence: 

"For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a strong desire to write. My father worked as the hospital administrator in a small community in central Nebraska. He’d let me experiment on his Royal manual typewriter. In the summer, I’d go door-to-door and gather the latest news from the neighbors.

Mrs. Goodwin’s dog had four puppies. The Smith baby has two new teeth. All the news fit for an eight-year-old to print. I’d take the news items to Dad’s office and we’d type up a little newsletter. He’d run off a few copies for me to distribute to the neighbors. I remember the pungent smell of the freshly printed pale purple ink as the paper ran over the lavender wax form in the mimeograph machine. I distributed the neighborhood news and some people gave me nickels and dimes for the “newspaper”. I was onto something.

As the years passed, I found that I did best in school on essay questions. I became a reporter for the high school newspaper. I was in Library Club and on the yearbook committee. I received praise from my classmates for goofy things I wrote. If I was an officer in a club, I was secretary. In college, I continued the path, being secretary of the dorm association, working on the college newsletter. I majored in journalism but after three years, I switched to nursing. It seemed journalism was still very much a “man’s world” in the early 1970’s and I was no pioneer. I lacked  gumption to buck the system and change things. 

As a nurse, I wrote for the hospital publications and started to branch out, writing stories and articles for national publications and nursing journals including The Neonatal Monitor (1992), Nursing ’94 and the Nursing Spectrum in Chicago (1996-98.).

I received the Excellence in Writing Award from the Nebraska Nurses Association and the American Journal of Nursing in 1992. I was asked to be an item writer for the National Certification Corporation in Chicago, IL. Soon other opportunities arose.

I received awards for my writing, including the “Excellence in Writing Award” from Nebraska Nurses Association/AJN in 1992 and “Best Single Editorial” from the American Journal of Nursing in 1995 at the American Nurses Association convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Mainstream articles included a game I developed that was published in Family Fun magazine in 1998 for which I received $25. :-) Two articles were published in Religious Teacher’s Journal in 2004. Anthologies included Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul (2000), Ordinary Miracles in Nursing (2006), Inspiring the Inspirational (2008), 13th Floor (2016), Voices from the Plains (2017) and Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom (2018).I have entered some of my short stories in contests and have won a few bucks along the way. My motivation for writing is to tell stories people enjoy. That is more important to me than awards, money or accolades. 

I’ve had the pleasure of co-teaching a non-credit course at Metro Community College on memoir this past winter (2017-2018). Plans to teach it next Fall are in the offing.

Sometimes I feel like that little girl, still collecting ideas and stories, but using better technology now."  

Susan is a retired nurse and life-long writer.  A member of the Fremont writers' group, "My Thoughts Exactly," she enjoys the yearly retreats and monthly generative meetings that help hone her writing skills.  "We are always learning our craft."  Even Stephen King espouses that writers, no matter how seasoned, are constantly learning.  She believes her insatiable curiosity and love of research spurns her writing on.  Married for over 40 years to an accountant (from whom she acquires very little material but much moral support), Susan enjoys traveling with her husband, especially to Chicago to see the little granddaughters.  The mother of three grown sons, her life has been full of all sorts of small adventures and learning experiences.  

Born in North Platte, raised in Cozad and Broken Bow, Susan attended UNL where she majored in Journalism.  Moving to Omaha after tying the knot, she entered the Clarkson College of Nursing.  Her nursing career has included NICU, flight nursing, OB/GYN, internal medicine and pediatric office nursing, Susan has been blessed with a wealth of experiences from which to draw her stories. Her Irish storytelling grandparents provided the genetics behind her compulsion to write.

Published Works: 

“Heavenly Connections” Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom,  LLC 2018 pp. 272-275
“Adolph Hitler Made Me Fat” Voices from the Plains,  Nebraska Writers Guild 2017 pp. 272-283
“Dreamcatcher,” Voices from the Plains,  Nebraska Writers Guild 2017 pp. 319-332
“Life Goes on,” 13th Floor, University of Nebraska at Omaha 2016 pp. 89-100
“I Have the Coffee On,” Chicken Soup for the Veteran’s Soul, Health Communications, Deerfield Beach, Florida: 2000, pp. 168-172.
“The Letter,” Ordinary Miracles in Nursing, Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Sudbury, Massachusetts: 2006, pp. 18-20.
“Growing With My Patient: The Story of a Pediatric Office Nurse,” Inspiring the Inspirational, AuthorHouse:2008, pp. 20-21.
“Lessons From a Mermaid,” Inspiring the Inspirational, AuthorHouse:2008, pp. 99-101.


Religious Teacher’s Journal
Differences, September 2004, p. 59.
Identifying with the Saints, October 2004, pp. 24-25.

Family Fun
Football Themed Birthday Party

The Nursing Spectrum
Avoid Browsing Burnout: A Quick Guide to Nursing Websites
Telephone Triage: Investigative Nursing for Today
Organ Donation: Caring for the Survivors

Pulling Together In Stressful Times, August, 1994, p. 89.

The Neuron
Is Health Care Reform Dead? Winter, 1995, p.4.
I’m Not a Nurse Practitioner, But... Fall, 1995, p. 6.
Welcome, Nurse Midwives, Fall, 1995, p. 6.
Walking the Tightrope, Summer, 1995, p.6.

Neonatal Monitor
Cocaine Babies, Summer, 1992.

The Perfect Pediatric Nurse 1988