After the disaster of Nurse Jackie on Showtime, it was a relief to see nurses being portrayed as strong professionals who have human issues to deal with, but aren’t always drugged up, whacked out, sex addicts!

Jada Pinkett Smith portrays Chief Nursing Officer Christina Hawthorne RN who is a strong patient advocate and mentor to a staff of nurses who are representative of many of the nurses we have all known from new grads to the cocky ones who get themselves into trouble trying to buck the system. Hawthorne is on TNT on Tuesday nights at 9/8 C.

“Am I going to cry everyday?” asks the young new grad. Hawthorne and her best nurse, Bobbie, played by Suleka Mathew, respond without hesitation in unison, “YES!” How true, new grads will often find themselves reacting with emotions to the events of the day. It will take a good year to become confident and feel like those nursing shoes fit.

Many nurses may not want to watch the show because they live this everyday, and want to be entertained by television. But at least to those who aren’t nurses, Hawthorne does try to fairly represent the nursing profession.

It’s not without faults however. When nurse Ray Stein withholds the sliding scale insulin until he can confront the physician about a dose he feels is wrong, it takes quite some time to get an answer from the physician. Sliding scale insulin orders have come into question in recent years as being more of a convenience to physicians and not really the best medicine for patients. The dose tends to chase glucose levels instead of managing them. So taking issue with this may be all well and good….but…..

Is 6 units really completely out of line for a blood sugar of 230 in this particular patient? Perhaps not. And the physician may win out on this one despite the fact that the patient coded.

I also would have expected to see Ray be more careful and re-check that blood glucose level again before he gives the insulin as it may well have changed in the supposed hours he waited to give it while waiting for the doctor to respond. After all, he almost became a doctor.

Another point I take issue with is that if the nursing staff is going to fight this one, then let’s get some real technical direction and give the insulin with an insulin syringe, and not a 3 cc syringe with at least a 1 inch needle.

Looked like Stein gave the patient about 1 cc of insulin and that would have killed a horse! And then he recapped the needle!!! YIKES!!!!! Anyone familiar with insulin is going to catch this one, not just a medical professional. So let’s be realistic, and a bit more socially responsible…please!!! (photo by Kathy Quan RN BSN)

What did you think about this show?


  • Anonymous

    You are correct in that HawthoRNe is MUCH better than Nurse Jackie. I won't ever watch Nurse Jackie again, related to the major disrespect to nurse. HawthoRNe has some problems, but much better! I have recently seen them advertise one with "MERCY" in the title, we'll have to see what that one is like. GREAT POST my friend!

  • Dean

    I for one am RELIEVED that we are finally able to see a rebuttal to the popular media depiction of the usual "nurse" as fumbling bimbo.
    Hawthorne displays clinical adroitness, therapeutic rapport with her patients, assertiveness with medical staff and empathy for novice nursing staff. I wish she were my clinical manager!

  • beryl

    I take issue with the nurse "servicing" the male patient. To me it was just completely out of line and not a good portrayal of real nursing.
    I also question the superhuman feel they give of the Hawthorne character. So, personally it's not a winner.

  • LivingDeadNurse

    i haven't watched the show yet. But it does look interesting. I will have to set my DVR. Since i will be studying…or hopefully studying lol. I will get back with u on what i think