LeAnn Thieman

Heroic Nurse and Best-Selling Author of "Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul"

In-Person Fee Range
$10,001 to $20,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
Colorado, United States

Heroic Nurse and Best-Selling Author of
“Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul”

LeAnn Thieman’s powerful keynotes and seminars share life-changing lessons from her Vietnam Orphan Airlift adventure. Imagine bombs falling and 100 little babies laying three and four to a cardboard box, strapped in the belly of a gutted cargo jet!

Inspired Nurse

An ordinary person, LeAnn struggled through extraordinary circumstances and found the courage to succeed believing we all have individual “war zones,” she inspires people to balance their lives, truly live their priorities and make a difference in the world.

Best-Selling Author

Her book, This Must Be My Brother, details her daring adventure of “Operation Babylift”. After this story was featured in Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, LeAnn became one of Chicken Soup’s most prolific writers. That’s when Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame called and asked her to co-author Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. When it hit the New York Times Best Seller list, she went on to coauthor 11 more Chicken Soup titles, including: Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul, Second Dose, 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 Mother and Son Soul, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 2, Chicken Soup for the Adopted Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Living Catholic Faith, Chicken Soup for the Soul, A Book of Miracles, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Answered Prayers. She has also authored Balancing Life in Your “War Zones” and SelfCare for HealthCare, Your Guide to Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Health.

Operation Babylift

LeAnn’s “Operation Babylift” adventure came full circle when, on the 25th anniversary of the airlift, President Gerald Ford asked to meet her.

Caregiver’s Soul

LeAnn met former First Lady Rosalynn Carter after she wrote a personal forward to Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul. A portion of that book’s proceeds was donated to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. At the invitation of Mrs. Carter, LeAnn presented her ‘Caregiver’s Soul’ keynote at the Institute’s annual conference in Atlanta.


LeAnn has been featured on FOX-TV, BBC, NPR, PBS, PAX-TV’s It’s a Miracle, and countless radio and TV programs. She also writes a regular column for NurseTogether.com, and Caregiving in America.

Hall of Fame Speaker

LeAnn is one of about ten-percent of speakers worldwide to have earned the Certified Speaking Professional designation. In August, 2008 she was inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame, joining the company of Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell, and Art Linkletter!

Rural Roots

While the “Operation Babylift” experience dramatically changed her life, LeAnn credits her rural roots for having shaped it. One of eight children, she was raised on an Iowa farm. This simple, honorable, faithfilled lifestyle established the principles and priorities that guide her life today.

LeAnn is a Hall of Fame speaker, author and nurse, but her favorite role is still wife and mother. LeAnn and Mark, her husband of 42 years, reside in Colorado where they enjoy their “empty nest.” When she’s not writing stories beside a peaceful mountain stream, LeAnn enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her grandkids, cuddling with her hubby, horseback riding and dancing to that old-time rock n’ roll!

SelfCare for HealthCare, Your Guide to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health

A 12-month Transformational Initiative to Improve Engagement, Nurse Retention, Patient Care and Outcomes. SelfCare for HealthCare™ is founded on a simple powerful concept—that for healthcare givers to nurture the bodies, minds and spirits of their patients, they must first nurture their own. Every day your nurses give their best to heal patients. LeAnn equips you to support and retrain your wonderful employees with strategies that touch every one of them all year long. LeAnn created SelfCare for HealthCare™ with leading CNOs from around the country to personalize wellness for everyone on your staff. This program includes weekly motivational emails that encourage and educate, metrics to measure progress, videos that challenge them to care for themselves, monthly topics to engage and advance self-care all year-long, and program champions to carry a culture of caring to every corner of your organization. SelfCare for HealthCare™ is a full tool set of solutions to meet your challenges. In fact, a full year for everyone at your organization costs less than replacing the nurse that might leave your hospital today.

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 to balance their lives, live their priorities, make a difference in the world - and find peace in their war

Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul or “I Didn’t Even Stop to Go to the Bathroom!”

Most nurses didn't choose their careers because of the great hours, pay, and working conditions! LeAnn reminds them why they entered the profession- - and why they stay. By sharing Chicken Soup stories, and those from her own 30 years of nursing, LeAnn encourages, uplifts and honors nurses and champions their daily contributions and sacrifices. By encouraging them to balance their lives, she offers nurses a "care plan" to care for themselves as they care for others. With love and humor, LeAnn re-energizes them with hope, health, and healing during these challenging times, inspiring them to continue their compassionate service. It’s estimated to cost $50,000 to recruit and train a new nurse. LeAnn’s presentation increases retention - and costs less than most sign-on bonuses! When she spoke to graduating nurses at a hospital recruitment event, over 50 percent signed up that evening!

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.

What’s This Generation Coming To?

This decade is the first time in American history that four different generations are working side-by-side in the workplace. “Generational tensions” is ranked among the top major issues affecting U.S. workers. In this fun, entertaining, highly educational keynote or concurrent session, audience members will learn the history, traits, and values of the four generations and identify ways to relate to, manage, and even appreciate the differences. This information is critical, not only to better understand coworkers, but to attract, interview and hire the right staff. Sharing this knowledge with all workers and caregivers decreases negativity, resentment and turnover in the workplace and increases cooperation, retention and productivity. This knowledge is also applicable and appreciated to better understand and care for those we serve…which is the common goal of all.

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.

All LeAnn Thieman Books

Balancing Life in Your “War Zones”: A Guide to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
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Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul
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Chicken Soup for the Nurses Soul
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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 | Corporate Recruitment, Meridian Health

Everyone from PhD faculty to first year nursing students resonated, related and benefited from LeAnn's messages.

- | R.M. 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.

- | D.T. Texas Association of School Boards

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.

- | C.R. Rotary International Youth Leadership Conference

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Recent Books

Balancing Life in Your “War Zones”: A Guide to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Health
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Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul
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