Is The Nurse based on a book? Shocking new Netflix drama explained

Chris Tilly
Josephine Park as Christina Aistrup Hansen and Fanny Louise Bernth as Pernille Kurzmann in The Nurse.

The Nurse is now streaming on Netflix, so here’s everything we know about the origins of the Danish drama, including whether or not it’s based on a book.

The Nurse is a shocking new series about murder and manslaughter in a hospital. The Danish drama dropped on Netflix today, with the official synopsis as follows…

In a hospital in southern Denmark where everyone knows each other and there’s little change in personnel, Pernille Kurzmann settles into her new nursing job. She befriends a charming and charismatic nurse named Christina Aistrup Hansen, who’s held in high esteem by her colleagues and incredible at her job. But as the days go by, Pernille realizes there might be more to Christina than meets the eye – and sets out to uncover the truth. 

Here’s everything we know about the story, including whether it’s true, and if it’s adapted from a book.

Is The Nurse based on a book?

Yes, The Nurse is based on a book. The source material is also called The Nurse, and written by Danish journalist Kristian Corfixen.

The award-winning crime novel was published on October 10, 2022 by Podium Publishing.

“The starting point was the book by Corfixen,” showrunner Kasper Barfoed tells Netflix. “Nobody knows more about the case than he did.”

Is The Nurse a true story?

Yes, The Nurse is a true story. Christina Aistrup Hansen committed multiple murders at the hospital, and Pernille Kurzmann helped bring her to justice.

Here’s how Netflix describes the true story: “When Pernille Kurzmann began working at Nykøbing Falster Hospital in Denmark, she was fresh out of nursing school and had trouble befriending the more experienced health care workers around her – until she met Christina Aistrup Hansen. Hansen was the hospital’s top nurse, adored by all. But any time she worked a night shift, drama ensued. Patients who seemed stable would nose-dive and nearly die, and Hansen would heroically bring them back. But not always. Hansen’s patients kept dying – and Kurzmann became suspicious that the beloved nurse was doing something to cause their deaths.”

Netflix asked showrunner Kasper Barfoed why he decided to tell the story. “What really most of all interested me [was], how could this take place over such a long time, when, after the whole thing was revealed, a lot of people seemed to have known about it or suspected it?” Barfoed explains. “That became the key we always went back to. It’s not about just a ‘crazy’ killer — it’s about, ‘How does the system prevent us from speaking up or how does the system protect itself?'”

The Nurse is now streaming on Netflix, while you can head here for more on the true story.

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