June 5, 2009, 9:50 am

HawthoRNe – You GO Girl!

hawthorne-s1-smithLooks like there is something for everyone this television season.

If you like your media RNs drug-addicted and sex-crazed, there is a show for you over at Showtime.

If you prefer to view nursing in a different light, you may want to check out HawthoRNe on TNT.

Jada Pinkett Smith plays a chief nursing officer at the fictional Richmond Trinity Hospital.

She’s smart, tough, caring, takes on the medical establishment, stands up for her staff and fights for the underdog.

And, uh, she does patient care.

Say what?


In all my decades, I have never known a Chief Nursing Officer to don scrubs and do patient care.

And Christina Hawthorne does it all!



Am I going to watch?



HawthoRNe has personal problems that don’t include drugs or sex.  She is widowed, single mother and her teenage daughter is a pain in the ass.  She, like her Showtime counterpart, is a strong woman who isn’t afraid to break the rules.

And as so many commenters pointed out in the great discussion following my “Nurse Jackie” post, no television show is going to be perfect in its portrayal of any profession (my hubby used to rail at “LA Law” every week!).

So, you can call me naive, an idiot, a pollyanna, out-of-touch, crazy or whatever name you like…

I’m taking the more idealistic portrayal of nursing offered by “HawthoRNe”.

Let’s see what TNT can do with the drama that surrounds the nursing profession.

And kudos to Pinkett Smith for bringing it on (she’s the executive-producer).

P.S. Now, what are the chances of getting Will Smith on one of the episodes ( you knew I was going there, didn’t you)?…


  • Medic999

    June 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Looks a good one Kim! Shame we will have to wait a few years till it comes to the UK.
    One thing that always makes me cringe though, have you ever said to a patient in cardiac arrest-
    “you are not going to die on me!!!!!”
    Or words to that effect?

  • Maureen at IslandRoar

    June 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I’m gonna have to check this out. Hearing about the other nursing show was pissing me off big time. Maybe there’s hope.

  • NPs Save Lives

    June 5, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Kim, I will have to check this one out as well. I was not happy with the portrayal of nurses (once again)as sex crazed drug addicts who are unethical. I do understand that it’s television but I think that they could have done a better job.

  • Sue RN

    June 5, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    OK two good things came out of my search on Nurse Jackie, the savings in Showtime and my interest in this show! But yeah, a manager getting her hands all germy? OK I can put up with that fallacy if the show offers a reasonably accurate portrayal of nursing.

  • Reality Rounds

    June 6, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Two high profile shows featuring nurses? This must be a first. The other unrealistic portrayal of Jada as a DON and a hands on nurse, is that she is so damn skinny! She must not touch those Dunkin Donuts in the breakroom.

  • Nurse Fan

    June 6, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Compelling entertainment is frequently challenging, discomforting, and ire-inducing! Hawthorne, despite it’s diverse casting, is as lily-white as can be. It may do lip-service to the profession but it does a dis-service to the medium. I watched the Nurse Jackie on showtime’s website and while it’s not perfect it was definitely compelling!

  • RehabRN

    June 7, 2009 at 10:25 am


    I worked with a CNE like that. She was (and still is) that kind of person. She saw when things were busy and answered call lights, acted as the unit secretary and took people to the bathroom, suit on for an exec meeting or not, isolation or not. If we needed help and she couldn’t get it, she was in there.

    I would work for her again in a second.

  • Nicole

    June 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    I’ll watch, but with low expectations on anything close to reality! lol

  • Bo

    June 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I have to admit that I don’t watch medical shows because I’ve always considered them “unrealistic”—but then I sometimes have uncomfortable memories of some of the bad behaviors I used to see when I worked the ER all those years—and so maybe these TV shows are more “realistic” than I like to think, yikes!

  • Sean

    June 7, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    We share the same shock.. a CNO doing bedside care?!
    I’ll be watching it with ya girl. I’m all about HawthoRNe kicking the crap outta Nurse Jackie! Yep- I said it.

  • Julie Davis

    June 9, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Jada in it? I’ll watch to see how she does, but my expectations aren’t higher than with any other show the big boys put out there. Its entertainment, right? Cheers, Julie

  • Gabe Santiesteban

    June 9, 2009 at 6:22 am

    If its a good show meaning it has good writers, I will watch it. Nurse Jackie is well written with great characters, but we shall see it was just one episode. I just hope this show does not turn out to be “a solve all the worlds problems” in one hour type of program.

  • Melody RN

    June 13, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    I watched the trailor of HawthoRNe and went immediately to Tivo it. I will watch just to see if the protrayal is real. I think we all want realistic nurse shows on TV, but let’s face it, Who wants to watch nurses clean, wipe, lift, pull take vital signs, and give meds during 90% of the hour long show. If the writers need to create some extreem situations to keep the viewers interested, yet still depict some truth about nursing without having the nurse wear skin-tight blouses and mini-skirts I think it will be worth promoting.

  • […] officer, starts tonight and is already getting attention from nurse bloggers, like Kim over at Emergiblog. Click the image above for a sneak peek at the first episode. So let us know: is there anything to […]

  • Chris NP, MI

    June 18, 2009 at 9:44 am

    well I for one was very disappointed in the show. The technical stuff is not there, the interactions between the characters is very poor and it makes nurses just look stupid. While Nurse Jackie is not the ideal representation she is much more realistic than this show. This show is trying to present this angelic ideal, NJ while flawed, is somewhat more believable in its authenticity. Why is it that the entertainment industry can’t just follow us and see what we do and present it for what it is, some days great some days not so great, but at least it is real.

  • Erin

    June 23, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Will Smith on the show would be amazing, but Michael Vartan is on the show, so that is good enough as it is. I read an interview with Jada’s mom, who is a nurse, and she said that Jada does a well enough job keeping the nursing profession as realistic as possible.

About Me

My name is Kim, and I'm a nurse in the San Francisco Bay area. I've been a nurse for 33 years; I graduated in 1978 with my ADN. My experience is predominately Emergency and Critical Care, and I have also worked in Psychiatry and Pediatrics. I made the decision to be a nurse back in 1966 at the age of nine...

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