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In Profile

Richard Ferri Nurse and Author When Richard Ferri began penning Confessions of a Male Nurse, his debut novel, there were two serious elements he hoped to weave through its humorous narrative'the prejudices once faced by men seeking careers in nursing and the critical role nurses played in the earliest days of the AIDS pandemic. These are subjects Ferri knows all too well, having lived both experiences. 'I remember gay men'big, strapping muscular guys'coming into the emergency room, and two weeks later they'd be in the intensive care unit and dying,' Ferri says of working as a nurse in New York City in the early 1980s. 'Being a gay man too, I was compelled to help.' Ferri tested positive for HIV in 1996, further cementing his devotion to fighting the disease. Today, the 50-year-old Provincetown, Mass., resident serves as a nurse-practitioner for HIV and hepatitis patients, a freelance writer and editor for Internet sites Medscape and WebMD, and a frequent contributor to various publications. Over the years he's written more than 50 journal articles and coauthored eight nursing textbooks. But after many years in scientific and clinical publishing, Ferri increasingly felt the pull of writing fiction. He began tentatively with a handful of essays and short stories. In January 2003 he turned his attention to Confessions. The reception for his novel has further fueled Ferri's newfound passion, and he's hard at work on a sequel and has a third novel already mapped out.
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