LeAnn Thieman Profile

LeAnn Thieman is a renowned motivational speaker and author with 30 years of experience as a nurse. During the Vietnam war, she helped rescue 300 babies as part of Operation Babylift. Her story was published in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, LeAnn went on to co-author Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, and several other books in the Chicken Soup series. She has been featured on CNN, Fox, BBC, PBS, Newsweek’s “Voices of the Century” issue and PAX TV’s “It’s a Miracle.” She is currently in negotiations to produce her story as a Hollywood feature film.

While health organizations and women’s groups are the niche for LeAnn’s keynotes and seminars, her audiences have grown to include corporate America, contractors and even cattlemen. She inspires health, hope and happiness, creating positive people who produce positive outcomes.

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    A nurse for thirty years and coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, LeAnn Thieman knows first hand the “war zones” of healthcare today. As a renowned motivational speaker, LeAnn shares life-changing lessons learned from her daring Operation Babylift adventure, when she helped to rescue 300 babies as Vietnam was falling to the communists! Believing we all have individual “war zones,” she inspires audiences to balance their lives, truly live their priorities and make a difference in the world.

    Her presentations recharge and recommit employees resulting in increased retention and recruitment, saving millions in hiring and retraining costs. By inspiring people to care for themselves as they care for others, LeAnn boosts morale, creating positive people who then produce positive outcomes.

    While health organizations and women groups are an obvious “niche” for her keynote addresses and seminars, her audiences have grown to include cattlemen, contractors, and corporate America. One CEO summed it up best when he said, “I′m going to live my life differently after hearing you today.”

    LeAnn inspires:


    • to nurture ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually
    • to relax and laugh and think positive
    • to develop inner and outer strength to cope in our “war zones”
    • to care for ourselves while caring for others


    • to do extraordinary things, as ordinary people
    • to make a difference in the world
    • to keep the faith and never give up
    • to find the courage to take risks


    • to change how we respond to stress in our lives
    • to make positive, good decisions in our “war zones”
    • to identify and stick to our life assignments
    • to balance our lives and truly live our priorities

    After her story was featured in Chicken Soup for the Mother′s Soul, LeAnn went on to co-author:


    • Chicken Soup for the Nurse′s Soul
    • Chicken Soup for the Christian Woman′s Soul
    • Chicken Soup for the Caregiver′s Soul
    • Chicken Soup for the Father and Daughter Soul
    • Chicken Soup for the Grandma′s Soul
    • Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 2
    • Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul


    She has been featured on CNN, Fox-TV, BBC, PBS, in Newsweek (Voices of the Century issue) and PAX TV′s It′s a Miracle show. Negotiations are currently underway to produce her story as a Hollywood feature film!

LeAnn Thieman Speaking Videos

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LeAnn Thieman's Speech Descriptions

In her programs, LeAnn shares valuable lessons she has learned from her 30 years as a nurse and applies them to everyday life. Her programs motivate caregivers, healthcare workers and other audiences to make a difference in their own lives as they work to make a difference in the world.

LeAnn draws on her experience with Operation Babylift to inspire audiences to balance their lives by identifying their individual “war zones.” Her presentations recharge and recommit employees, resulting in increased retention and recruitment and saving millions in hiring and retraining costs. She boosts morale by inspiring people to care for themselves as they care for others.

Balancing Life in Your “War Zones”
or Lessons from 100 Babbling Bawling Babies!

“100 babies in open cardboard boxes, strapped in the belly of a gutted cargo jet!” It was 1975, Saigon was falling to the communists, and LeAnn was “accidentally” caught up in the Vietnam Orphan Airlift. Today, she applies life-changing lessons from her Airlift experience to the “war zones” of our every day lives – too much to do, too few resources, too much stress! How do we cope? In this poignant, yet humorous presentation, LeAnn motivates audiences and shares tools for life balance, living priorities, and making a difference in the world – and finding peace in their war zones.

Light A Single Candle
A sign above a pediatric burn unit in Vietnam read, It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness. LeAnn reminds audiences they don’t have to fly into a war zone to make a difference in the world. No effort is too small. By lighting our single candles, we make a difference and set the world aglow with our goodness. By identifying, exploring, and sharing our gifts, we receive more than we give.

Each One Reach One: 20 Strategies to End the Healthcare Worker Shortage
Engaging employees in recruiting and retaining staff, builds better teams and increases satisfaction and retention. If every healthcare giver helps hire and/or keep one worker, we can end the shortages. Interactively learn LeAnn’s proven strategies for recruiting and retaining coworkers and brainstorm more ways to find and keep outstanding staff.

What’s This Generation Coming To?
LeAnn’s first job, at the age of 20, found her working with an “old” nurse (she had to be 50!) who lovingly called her BRAT. LeAnn, in turn, called her POSTEN, short for Poor Old Sick and Tired Elderly Nurse! In this fun, entertaining, highly educational session, you’ll learn traits of the four generations of nurses and identify ways you and others can relate to, cope with, and even appreciate the differences. By doing so, nurses will decrease blame and resentment in the workplace and will improve cooperation,productivity, retention, and ultimately, patient care.

Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul
or “How Long Can I Keep This Up?!”

While rewarding, care-giving requires tremendous emotional, physical and spiritual stamina, making burnout an everyday challenge. In Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul LeAnn offers remedies by encouraging caregivers to care for themselves as devotedly as they do for others. By sharing stories from Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul and her own life experiences she fills caregivers with hope, courage, and strength and honors them for the difference they make in the world.

You’ve Got To See It To Be It!
Scientific studies prove positive thinking and visualization promote mental, physical, and spiritual health. By sharing medical research and her Airlift experiences, LeAnn empowers audiences to improve their health by improving their attitudes. A former childbirth educator, LeAnn teaches how labor tools – breathing, relaxation, positive thinking and visualization, and management of time, – apply as we “labor” through everyday life.

What People are Saying about Seeing LeAnn Speak

Rating Entries

    After LeAnn’s last recruitment event with us, we hired over half of the 58 new RN graduates who attended! We’ve had her back a second time as I don’t know of any other speaker who takes the personal touch to the level LeAnn does.
    Dana Hall,
    Nurse Recruiter, Franciscan Health System
    Tacoma, WA

    When we announced LeAnn was coming, our recruitment event had a great turnout. LeAnn spoke from the heart about her experiences and love of nursing and people. She makes you feel good about the profession you chose and one takes away a sense of pride about self – -she is a treasure. We have since had her back for a second visit that was just as successful as the first!
    Dolores Napolitano, Manager of Corporate Recruitment
    Meridian Health
    Neptune, NJ

    LeAnn, you’ve made such a difference in my life. I see myself and nursing in a whole new light. I notice things about my patients that I’ve never seen before. from an RN attending a Nursing Spectrum career expo
    Tarrytown, NY

    Everyone from PhD faculty to first year nursing students resonated, related and benefited from LeAnn′s messages.
    University of Manitoba
    Faculty of Nursing

    LeAnn literally pulled the audience into her journey and left participants with the clear message that while serving children and others they can make a difference with their efforts. Conference participants connected with her, and in a most sincere and generous way, LeAnn connected with them.
    Texas Association of School Boards

    Powerful! A speech full of wisdom learned with age and experience. I could listen to that again!
    National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses

    LeAnn moved these hundreds of teens in a way no other speaker has. Months later they are still writing to us about how committed they are to balancing their young lives and making a difference in the world.
    Rotary International Youth Leadership Conference

    Our employee network needed something to spark revitalization, and LeAnn provided that spark. The results were far greater than anything we had dared to hope for. She had the audience mesmerized…

    I′m going to live my life differently after hearing you today.
    California Association of Health Facilities

    LeAnn is the most outstanding, powerful speaker! She touches hearts to make a difference…her positive, insightful message is wonderful, perhaps life changing. We all need to hear this.
    T. K.
    Association of Women′s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses.

    I go renewed back to life and work! Thank you, LeAnn! Society of Gastroenterology Nurses LeAnn′s presentation was exactly what our nurses needed to hear in this changing, sometimes low morale environment.
    Carondelet Health-St. Joseph Hlth. Center

    At a time when we are seemingly required to do more with less, LeAnn renewed our enthusiasm and pride in the healthcare profession. She equipped and inspired us to care for ourselves while caring for others.
    Salem Hospital

    LeAnn is captivating … she held nearly 300 women spellbound! She incorporates lessons from the past to change and better our lives today.
    Nazarene Women′s Ministry

    Probably the best keynote I’ve ever attended… a moving, passionate call to reinvigorate our vision and mission.”
    Maine Health Care Association

    What a renewal of one’s self. A reminder there is hope, support and laughter in this profession. Kansas Organization of Nurse Leaders I′ve been coming to these conferences for 20 years, and I′ve never been so moved or so impressed by any presentation!
    National Association of Neonatal Nurses

    As the closing speaker, LeAnn filled the nurses with confidence and inspiration and sent them on their way with renewed enthusiasm, joy, and determination.
    National Nursing Conference,
    Manitoba, Canada

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