Netflix’s crime film ‘The Good Nurse’ revolves around Amy Loughren, a nurse who works at Parkfield Memorial Hospital’s critical care unit. When a couple of unnatural deaths happen at the unit, Amy collaborates with detectives Tim Braun and Danny Baldwin to solve the mystery despite the warnings of Linda Garran, the risk manager of the hospital.
Garran asks the workers of the hospital never to talk to authorities without the guidance of the hospital’s attorney. Garran’s actions end up affecting the investigation severely. Intrigued by the character, we have found out whether the individual has a real-life counterpart. Here are our findings!
Is Linda Garran Based on a Real Risk Manager?
Linda Garran is seemingly a fictionalized version of Mary Lund, who served as the Risk Manager of Somerset Medical Center while Charles Cullen was working in the hospital and killing patients. When unnatural deaths started to happen one after the other, Lund commenced having discussions with Dr. Steven Marcus, the then-director of the New Jersey Poison Control. It was Lund who reported four unnatural deaths to New Jersey’s Department of Health.
The risk manager interrogated Cullen when she noticed discrepancies in Cullen’s records of the medicines withdrawn from the Pyxis system as well. Lund was also Danny Baldwin’s liaison at the hospital. When Braun and Baldwin started to conduct interviews with Somerset hospital staff, the administration requested Lund’s presence during the interviews, which was granted by the assistant prosecutor. Lund’s presence, however, influenced the interviewees.
“Danny couldn’t be sure if the nurses didn’t know anything, or if they were just being quiet in front of Mary Lund. Each time his detectives asked a question, it seemed like the nurse would reflexively glance over at Lund before speaking,” Charles Graeber wrote in the eponymous source text of the film. The investigation also affected the risk manager as well as she lost twenty pounds by the time of Braun and Baldwin’s interviews.
Did Linda Garran Really Cover Up Charles Cullen Murders?
In the film, Linda Garran tries her best not to assist Braun and Baldwin in any way. Linda’s actions not only prolong Charles Cullen’s eventual capture but also makes it nearly impossible for the detectives to capture him. In reality, as per Graeber’s source text of the film, Mary Lund wasn’t any different. Lund interviewed or rather interrogated Cullen after finding certain discrepancies in his Pyxis orders. She didn’t reveal the same to Baldwin when he specifically asked her whether Cullen had anything to do with the deaths.
“None of these interviews turned up anything unusual or incriminating,” Lund told Baldwin, as per Graeber’s book. Baldwin wanted to connect Rev. Florian Gall’s death, which happened due to a digoxin overdose, to Cullen and he could have easily done that by checking the nurse’s Pyxis orders on the night of Gall’s death. However, Lund tried to prevent Baldwin from going through those records with a lie, according to the source text of the film. “Unfortunately, Pyxis only stores records for thirty days,” Lund told Baldwin when the detective asked for the records of the dates around Gall’s death.
However, Pyxis doesn’t have a 30-day window and the records can be accessed at any point in time. Lund’s presence during Braun and Baldwin’s interviews of hospital staff must have discouraged them from revealing any information they know about Cullen or the deaths that happened in the hospital. The risk manager also didn’t provide Cerner records to the detectives. The records contain a “running timeline record of every patient’s progress on the CCU and a time-stamped record of every time Charlie had ever looked at a chart,” as per Graeber’s book.
The detectives would have been able to correlate the times recorded in the Cerner records with Cullen’s Pyxis orders to find out whether he had used the drugs on the patients. Since Lund didn’t make the detectives aware of the same, they were in the dark about it until Amy explained the existence of the records to them. Lund’s actions, as Graeber chronicled in his book, do suggest that she tried to cover up Cullen’s murders to protect the prestige of Somerset Medical Center.
As the risk manager of the health institution, Lund had to save the hospital from the ill reputation of getting associated with a serial killer as well. Her actions would have given Cullen a license to kill more if it wasn’t for Amy, who undid many of the risk manager’s mistakes to help Braun and Baldwin capture the serial killer.