1. Section Editor(s): Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN


Each year, the Center for Nursing Advocacy selects the best and worst media portrayals of nurses and nursing. Here are this year's top picks. For the complete list, go to


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Best Portrayals


* "Perhaps Death Is Proud; More Reason to Savor Life," by Theresa Brown, New York Times, September 8, 2008. This powerful article by a Pennsylvania nurse relates the story of one of her patients and how her work has shaped her views of life and death.


* "Nurse's Booklet on ICU Helps Kids Cope," by Lee Hill Kavanaugh, Kansas City Star, July 6, 2008. A booklet entitled What's All This Stuff? was created by a Kansas ICU nurse to help one 12-year-old understand the bewildering array of procedures and machines surrounding her dying mother. Now copies help families in every ICU in the hospital.


* ER, "Haunted," written by Karen Maser, NBC, October 30, 2008. This season a nurse character finally aspires to graduate education in nursing. In this episode, expert nurse Sam Taggart teaches medical interns in the ED while countering her physician boyfriend's condescension toward nurses and her nurse anesthetist program.


Worst Portrayals


* Grey's Anatomy, created by Shonda Rhimes, ABC. Nursing remains largely irrelevant to serious hospital care in this drama-except when physicians do it.


* Private Practice, created by Shonda Rhimes, ABC. This show's nurse character serves as clinic receptionist and office manager and knows little about health care. His clinical midwifery training seems to consist of ad hoc observations about the clinic's obstetricians.


* "Lost in a System Where Doctors Don't Want to Listen," by Benjamin H. Natelson, Washington Post, August 3, 2008. This physician argues that "physician extenders" like NPs can detect "easy-to-diagnose" problems like "a flu" and "a splinter" but need physician guidance for conditions that are not "immediately evident."