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Negative Nurse Stereotype Promoted By Showtime In Attempt To Capture House MD Ratings?

header_nursejackieThat’s Edie Falco.

You remember.  She played Carmella Soprano.

Great actress; I love her.

Too bad I won’t be watching her new character on Showtime.

*****

“Nurse Jackie” is a new series.

I received an email from Showtime asking me if I would curate a selection of nursing experiences for an upcoming “Nurse Stories” web site that would coincide with the debut of Nurse Week and “Nurse Jackie”.

Whoa.

I don’t get email from Showtime every day, so this sounded pretty interesting.

I went to the website to check out the show before responding.

I made it through one video.

*****

Nurse Jackie is a competent, hard-as-nails, take-no-prisoners ER nurse.

With a heart, of course.

One minute she’s telling a doctor he’s full of it, the next minute she tells a patient to get out of her ER (classic!).

Edie Falco is perfect as the title character.

You’ve all worked with her.

Hell, you might even be her!

*****

My first reaction?

Oh..my..god, they did it!

They made a show with a strong nurse protagonist, and damn! if they didn’t get the ER environment down!

I had goosebumps, literally.

I was ready to (a) start getting Showtime, (b) spread the word far and wide and (c) take the job.

But then…

*****

They started grabbing her chest.

I think in a the short video I watched (five minutes?) Nurse Jackie had her breasts fondled by three men.

Oh great.

My first thought?

Here we go again with the nurse-as-sex-object stereotype.

(Actually, my first thought is that I must be working in the wrong hospitals.)

But it got worse.

*****

Nurse Jackie is a drug addict.

Has back pain.

Snorts crushed up Percocets.

Oh no they didn’t………

*****

Oh yes.

They did.

Now, would somebody please tell me why, why? they had to portray this nurse as a drug addict?

Did they not see that they had the potential for one hell of a nurse character here?

Did they not see that they could break the mold of media stereotypes in nursing and pave new ground?

Did they not see that there is enough material to build a nurse character out of what happens in the ER alone without adding the oh-so-subtle touch of drug addiction?

*****

If you’re an nurse who spends a lot of time with other people fondling you, you might like this show.

If you’re an RN and addicted to drugs, you might like this show.

In fact, why don’t you go check out the website for yourself.

Watch the video, get a feel for the character.

Tell me what you think.

Tell Showtime what you think.

And if you are really pissed, write to The Truth About Nursing.

I already did.

*****

As for me?

I (a) am not subscribing to Showtime, (b) will not promote the show to anyone outside this blog post and (c) did not take the job.

I am so sick, and so tired, of stupid media portrayals of nurses.

Didn’t watch “ER”.  No “Grey’s Anatomy”. Won’t watch “House”.

Here goes trying to explain to my patients, again, that “no, I don’t watch that show because of the portrayal of nursing.”

*****

You blew it, Showtime.

Of course, it’s not too late to rectify the issues, the show has not debuted yet.

But know this:

No matter how funny, how dramatic or how well written “Nurse Jackie” is, you are doing nothing to advance or promote the nursing profession. But then I guess the goal is ratings and nothing defines a “hit” like sex and drugs.

*****

“Nurse Jackie” is described as “Saint!  Sinner!”.

Saint.

Sinner.

Sound familiar?

Yeah.

Sigh.


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2 Responses to “Negative Nurse Stereotype Promoted By Showtime In Attempt To Capture House MD Ratings?”

  1. Joe Cockrell says:

    Cheers for Nurses and Happy Nurses Day! We are celebrating with the launch of our new website, http://www.RNpathways.com- we invite you to celebrate with us and you could win an iPod Touch or MacBook Pro.

  2. Joe Cockrell says:

    Cheers for Nurses and Happy Nurses Day! We are celebrating with the launch of our new website, http://www.RNpathways.com- we invite you to celebrate with us and you could win an iPod Touch or MacBook Pro.

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