Based on Kristian Corfixen’s ‘The Nurse: Inside Denmark’s Most Sensational Criminal Trial,’ Netflix’s Danish series ‘The Nurse’ revolves around Pernille Kurzmann Larsen, who joins the emergency department of the Nykøbing Falster Hospital. Pernille is welcomed by her colleague Christina Aistrup Hansen, who helps the former adapt to her new workplace. Created by Kasper Barfoed, the crime series progresses through Pernille’s attempts to unravel the mystery behind the astounding number of deaths that happen in her department, which leads her to suspect Christina. The enthralling true story-based series ends with several chilling revelations. If you are intrigued about the series’ climax, let us share our magnified take on the same! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Nurse Recap
‘The Nurse’ begins in 2012 as Arne Herskov is brought to Nykøbing Falster Hospital. The doctor who consults Arne lets his family members know that he is fine and there is nothing to worry about at the moment. The same night, an unrevealed individual injects a liquid into Arne, which causes his death in no time. Christina Aistrup Hansen, an ER nurse, is present in the room when the doctor confirms Arne’s death. A few years later, Pernille Kurzmann Larsen is preparing to join the same hospital’s emergency department for her first nursing job. Christina takes Pernille under her wing and guides the newcomer to deal with patients.
Pernille and Christina rush to save patients when they unexpectedly code. The newly appointed nurse witnesses her colleague’s dedication and commitment to her profession as she tries her best to save the patients. Doctors and head nurses commend Christina for her efforts and congratulate Pernille for having such a great “teacher.” Pernille checks in on a patient named Janni one night and leaves her room, only to rush back to the latter when her heartbeat crashes unexpectedly. Although Christina and others try their best to save her, Janni dies, unsettling Pernille enough to question whether she is capable of working as a nurse. Christina commends her capabilities to make her feel better.
After preparing Janni’s body for her family, Pernille notices a syringe in the room’s dustbin with a tiny portion of diazepam left in it. Since diazepam wasn’t given to Janni, she wonders why the same is in her room’s bin. In 2012, Arne’s brother Kenny Herskov tries to find out how his brother died since he doesn’t believe the official explanation that states the former killed himself by overdosing. Back in 2015, Pernille comes across an empty diazepam box in the store room, which piques her curiosity regarding the drug. She also starts to date a physician named Niels Lundén, who is also working at the same hospital. Deaths continue to happen at the ER, especially in the presence of Christina.
Pernille goes through the records and finds out that Christina has registered an astounding twenty-two deaths, which makes her suspect the latter’s involvement in the same. She shares her concerns with her partner and doctor Niels, who dismisses the same since Christina is one of the best nurses at the establishment. But he takes a special interest in the case of John Dalgaard, who died unexpectedly without any specific and reasonable causes. Niels realizes that something severely wrong is happening at the hospital, which makes him agree with his partner. They go through the death rate recorded at Christina’s former workplace and notice that the same was reduced by forty deaths after the latter departed from the place.
The Nurse Ending: Is Christina Caught? How?
When Niels realizes that the deaths happening at his ER aren’t normal, he teams up with Pernille to find out Christina’s involvement in the same. The death rate records of Christina’s previous workplace make them almost certain that she has killed several patients. Since nearly all of them are cremated by then, they realize that they cannot trace their death back to Christina and the drugs she most likely had injected into them. Pernille and Niels confront the need of catching Christina in the act so that they have a definite case to bring her to authorities and justice. Thus, they wait till the next time Pernille works along with Christina on the night shift.
During the next night shift, Pernille keeps an eye on the drugs stored in the storeroom so that she can find out whether they were taken unauthorized by Christina to kill patients. The nurse realizes that Christina has started to terminate patients when she comes across an opaque white liquid left in the vein catheter of a patient named Viggo Holm Petersen, who eventually dies. His death is followed by the deaths of Svend Aage Petersen and Anna Lise Poulsen, witnessed helplessly by Pernille. The breakthrough in her “investigation” happens when she notices a used syringe in the room of a patient named Maggi Margrethe Rasmussen.
Pernille realizes that Maggi is Christina’s next target, which makes the former keep an eye on the old woman. When the alarming system in her room gets paused, Pernille rushes to the room and encounters Christina with a couple of syringes, which makes her a prime witness to the attempted murder of Maggi. After saving Maggi’s life with an antidote, both Pernille and Niels call the police to report their suspicion. The authorities catch Christina relying on Pernille’s testimony and the fingerprints detected in the syringe that’s discovered by the latter in Maggi’s room. Since Pernille catches Christina in the act of injecting drugs into Maggi, the case against the latter becomes strong as well.
Why Does Christina Try to Kill the Patients? Does She Get Convicted?
Christina tries to kill the patients at the ER to save them from their respective deaths. She seeks admiration and attention from her colleagues and superiors, which makes her hurt patients to save them. When the patients’ lives hang by a thread after the injection of diazepam, Christina tries her best to save them by putting in a “heroic effort.” Regardless of the outcome of her effort, Christina gets appreciated for trying her best to serve the patients at the hospital by her superiors. The appreciation and attention she gains by doing the same make the hospital staff members believe she is the best nurse at the place.
Christina uses her patients’ lives to get this admiration until she turns out to be wrong in the case of Maggi. After administering the drug, Maggi’s heart still works, which makes her diagnosis incorrect in front of her superiors. For saving Maggi with an antidote to diazepam, Pernille gets commended instead of Christina, who gets severely hurt upon the realization that her colleague gained the attention she has been seeking. That’s why Christina stoops to sorrow when she sees Pernille after the latter has saved Maggi. In reality, Christina’s motive was explained by Michael Boolsen, who testified in the trial of Christina.
“Under psychological examination, the patient [Christina] can be described as driven by emotion with deficient self-control, albeit with a degree of calculation. She exhibits a poor level of introspection and self-awareness. On the whole, she appears to suffer from a personality disorder of the histrionic type,” Boolsen said in the trial. According to him, the disorder was characterized by “superficial and fragile contact with others, a tendency to dramatize, distinct susceptibility to the influence of others, egocentricity, vanity, lack of compassion, abnormal vulnerability and chronic seeking of thrills, acknowledgment, and attention in their lives,” as per his testimony.
After her arrest, Christina was sentenced to life imprisonment since she was found guilty of the murders of Arne Herskov, Viggo Holm Petersen, and Anna Lise Poulsen, the attempted murder of Maggi, and several other charges. However, the Danish High Court reduced her sentence to twelve years since the court wasn’t convinced that the drugs injected by Christina were the sole cause of death of the patients. “[…] the High Court would not go as far as ruling that the medication [administered by Christina] had contributed to the deaths of Arne, Viggo, and Anna Lise. The medication had not been sufficiently proven to be the conclusive cause of death, the High Court ruled,” Kristian Corfixen wrote in the source material of the series.
What Happens to Pernille? Does She End Up With Niels?
After Christina’s arrest, Pernille’s colleagues start to treat her as the one who stabbed her colleague in the back. “Pernille found herself in an awkward position on a course with other casualty nurses, when talk during the breaks turned to ‘that poor girl from Nykøbing Falster, who was knifed in the back by a colleague’. And at the hospital, her colleagues from the A&E Department expressed a reluctance to work with her, because they feared she might accuse them of something they had not done,” Corfixen wrote in his book. “Some colleagues even raised the idea that it could just as easily have been Pernille who administered the medication which founded the case,” he added.
Still, Pernille continued to work at the Nykøbing Falster Hospital, where she is currently working. As the series depicts, she did end up with Niels and they eventually got married as well. Niels, however, left the hospital due to the differences between the administrative board of the same regarding the way Christina’s predicament was approached. After Christina’s arrest, they raised their voice against the system that enabled someone like Christina to commit crimes over several years.
Read More: Where is Netflix’s The Nurse Filmed?