The slick Universal programmer Secrets of a Nurse was based on a Collier's Magazine story by distinguished journalist Quentin Reynolds. This story in turn was based on a true incident, in which a gangster "returned from the dead" to save an innocent young man from the electric chair. The nurse of the title is Katharine McDonald (Helen Mack), in love with prizefighter Lee Burke (Dick Foran). As Burke recovers from a beating inflicted by crooked gamblers, Katharine must fend off the advances of shady criminal attorney John Dodge (Edmund Lowe). Hoping to rid the world of his romantic rival for good and all, Dodge arranges for Burke to be framed for murder. Convicted and sentenced to death, Burke walks the dreaded "last mile", as miles away Katharine struggles to revive a mortally wounded gambler who may be able to save her sweetheart from electrocution.