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9 Super TV Serials Every Nurse Must Watch

TV Serials Every Nurse Must Watch


We all know that nursing is a full-time job that leaves most of us exhaustive and panting for a breath of fresh air. I mean, really, sometimes I feel that if I got small breaks after every few hours, I would at least eat better than I do now. I am sure others share the pain who work night shifts and holidays. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t, however, find any of us complaining or delegating work because we also understand the value of our job. We get fewer hours to sleep, but we sleep with much more peace at heart. Like they say, no pain, no gain, yeah?


Like any hardcore professional, I too, feel like having an hour or two of entertainment when I get home. In today’s age of technology, when we have multiple portable devices, such as, smartphones and tablets that we can carry to work; it’s even easier to have a quick laugh or just watch something relaxing over a cup of coffee. Any tech-savvy nurse who knows efficient charting would have them in her pocket. I would not recommend doing that at work, though, because there it would not only be distracting but also quite difficult to relax in the midst of the entire hullabaloo. When you’re finally home you can do anything you like to release the tension. Here I would highly recommend some healthy choices such as investing some time in a luxurious bath while listening to some soothing music. Works wonders to calm your nerves after the frantic activity at work. You can also try and smile a bit more for genuine reasons and not just for courtesy for strangers. Talk to a friend, unwind, chat up with your boyfriend, parents, or you children. We just totally forget how important that is sometimes. Nothing restores your energy more than communicating with someone you love or care about.


Last but definitely not least, is watching an interesting TV show that is somehow, also connected to your own profession. Now I know that most of you would object that such shows make you more frustrated because of all the things they do incorrectly or depict unrealistically. Trust me, I get that. But every once in a while, there comes a serial that gives you more laughs then frustration and is totally worth watching. To make things more convenient, I am going to recommend you some really fun-to-watch television serials that might actually teach you a thing or two – social if not medical. You can watch them with your family or spouse, just don’t pain them with all the corrections you do when something is done the wrong way. On second thoughts, doing that might even be good, as they might learn a few things too from you. 😉


So, finally, here is a list of some carefully selected nursing serials that every nurse should watch. There would be many others that you might learn about online and eventually fall in love with, but these are my favorites and I would definitely recommend any nurse to grab their DVDs or watch on Netflix. I haven’t numbered them on the basis of their rating. You have got to watch them all to come up with your own ratings. Cheers and good luck!


1. Mercy (2009 – 2010)




Mercy was one of my personal favorites that was aired on NBC from September 23, 2009, to May 12, 2010. Unfortunately, it was canceled soon after the first season because of low ratings. Created by Liz Heldens, the 22-episode long season included some fine dramatics based on nursing skill; however, at times, it did give in to the nursing stereotypes. I would recommend you to watch this show because the series depicted the strong role nurses play in providing care efficiently to the hospital patients.


2. HawthoRNe (2009 – 2011)




Hawthorne was TNT’s medical drama that ran between June 16, 2009 and August 16, 2011. The series consisted of 3 seasons with Jada Pinkett Smith as the main lead (Christina Hawthorne) and executive producer. She was repeatedly included in the list of TV’s best nurses for her role of the Chief Nursing Officer. Pretty much the ideal nurse we all would want by our side!


3. M*A*S*H (1972 – 1983)




This is seriously one of the best medical serials broadcasted on American television in history. Larry Gelbart developed a series based on Robert Altman’s film by the same name (1970) and revolved around a surgical unit posted near the front lines of Korean War. The character of Chief Nurse Major Margaret Houlihan was played splendidly by Loretta Swit who delineated a picture perfect image of a professional skilled nurse.

4. Strong Medicine (2000 – 2006)


Strong Medicine


I would recommend this series for reasons other than nursing. Even though the plot emphasized on women empowerment, it mostly depicted the power in a physician’s hands only. Nonetheless, it has my favorite character of a male nurse Peter Riggs who plays a nurse midwife with skills and autonomy. Do check this out if you have patience for nursing stereotype crap.


5. ER (1994 – 2009)




The NBC series actually went on for 15 seasons. It is one of the realistic portrayals of nursing community set in a fictional setting of County General Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. I loved it for its brilliant depiction of nurses who were shown as dexterous, hardworking, and totally competent in the toughest of situations. But this one too did not go beyond a physician-centric story as the physicians are shown doing heroic tasks that are accomplished by nurses in reality. This series has greatly influenced the general public view of nursing around the world. It ran on prime time for well over a decade and still continues through syndication.


6. Call the Midwife (2012 – Present)


Call the Midwife


Now this is what I call a Nursing serial at its very best; Call the Midwife is a BBC production being aired in America on PBS. This period drama series revolves around the exploits of lay nurse-midwives as well as Anglican midwives providing care to the poor women and babies in East London in the late 1950s. Starring Jessica Raine, Miranda Hart, Jenny Agutter, Bryony Hannah, and others; it has aired only 3 seasons so far.


7. Nurse Jackie (2009 – Present)


Nurse Jackie


Focused on the central role of nurses in patients’ well-being, Nurse Jackie is an American dark comedy serial that has aired 6 seasons by now. Edie Falco plays the lead role of Jackie Peyton who is an ER nurse in New York City. She is also a wife, a mother and an ex-lover of the pharmacist at her hospital. The series has been running quite successfully since its premiere on June 8, 2009. And why it wouldn’t when Nurse Jackie would print on her scrubs something as daring as this: “Nurses … Here to save your ass, not kiss it!”


8. Scrubs (2001 – 2010)




Obviously for the laughs! Although the show’s repo went down a little in later of the 9 seasons, but it turned out to be one of the enduring medical series of the American television. Starring Zach Braff, Neil Flynn, Sarah Chalke, Eliza Coupe, and many others, the show dealt with the sentimentality and fantastical notions of life by the lead character of J.D. Despite the surreal elements, the characters grow and face the challenges they are exposed to while working at a hospital.


9. The Glades (2009 – 2010)


The Glades


Here is something slightly different; a crime series that ran on A&E with the lead character Jim Longworth, a police detective from Florida, meeting Callie Cargill, a nurse from the local emergency department. The two ultimately develop a personal relationship as well as professional. Through Callie’s character, they have highlighted the value of nursing health professionals in the field of law and order. She is an intelligent and smart nurse, who is, ironically, pursuing a medical degree instead of attending a nursing school for higher education.


I’m sure that many of the nurses out there would have even better shows to suggest. These are my favorite dramas. Which are yours?

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