SILVER SPRING, MD - At a time when a new registered nurse shortage looms in the next decade, TNT’s June 16th premiere of the nurse drama, “HawthoRNe”, unfortunately missed a huge opportunity to portray the nursing profession in the ethical and respectful manner that it deserves and that if handled well, could serve to recruit more young people to the profession. While the program attempts to depict nursing in a positive light, it also resorts to the offensive and demeaning stereotype of sexual interaction between a nurse and a patient, and in doing so, insults the intelligence and professionalism of nurses and of women.
To avoid such unflattering portrayals, The American Nurses Association (ANA) welcomes the opportunity to work with the entertainment industry at the inception of creative projects to ensure more accurate, meaningful, and inspiring depictions of nursing.
According to newly released research from Health Affairs, the shortfall of registered nurses is projected to grow to about 260,000 by 2025 as the baby boom generation retires and their health needs increase. This projected deficit would be more than twice as large as any nurse shortage experienced since the introduction of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid-1960s.
It is disappointing that the characterization of nurses in the media is often highly flawed. ANA urges its members to contact TNT. If we stand together to end the entertainment industry’s use of stale stereotypes, today and tomorrow’s nursing profession may have the social, political and financial support it so richly deserves.
Letters of complaint (sample letter below) can be mailed to the following:
John Masius, Producer, “HawthoRNe”
TNT 1010 Techwood Dr. NW
Atlanta GA 30318.
Or viewers may leave comments on TNT’s “HawthoRNe” message board.