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October 9, 2015

Happy International Nurses Day! Saluting Our TV Favorites

by AOL TV Staff, posted May 12th 2011 9:00AM
Nurse's Appreciation DayHappy International Nurse's Day! It's the end of International Nurses Week, so what better way to celebrate the great nurses of TV?

For years, these great characters have helped shed a light on the hard work these caregivers actually do.

So, while you're honoring real-life nurses -- give your favorite a hug for us -- AOL TV wanted to pay tribute to our favorite TV nurses.

Whether they've held a county hospital together by sheer will -- we're looking at you, Abby! -- or pulled weird stuff out of somebody's butt at least once -- Ann Perkins, we have your number too! -- let's hear it for TV nurses.

Ann PerkinsAnn Perkins, 'Parks and Recreation'
Ann. Sweet, beautiful Ann. As Leslie Knope's best friend and partner in crime on 'Parks and Recreation,' Ann Perkins never actually seems to be in the hospital. Still, we know she's dedicated to helping the people of Pawnee, Indiana. Remember the time she saw pretty much the entire Pawnee city government through a nasty strain of the flu?
-- Jean Bentley

Carla EspinosaCarla Espinosa-Turk, 'Scrubs'
Carla is the embodiment of the feisty, on-top-of-everything nurse that every hospital show needs in its arsenal. She's got the guts to stand up to an egomaniac doctor (Dr. Cox), the swagger to lovingly haze a new intern (Bambi) and the looks to marry a surgeon (Turk).
-- Alex Moaba

ThorThor, 'Nurse Jackie'
There are a lot of big personalities working at All Saints Hospital, and it would be easy for the dry, laconic Thor to be overlooked or overshadowed. But Stephen Wallem wisely underplays his role and in the process, frequently steals scenes out from under his castmates. And it's not all laughs for Thor -- when he gets an emotionally charged story line, as when the nurse had to admit that his diabetes was causing him serious problems, it's impossible not to root for him. Underneath that light dusting of big-city cynicism is a winningly sweet caregiver.
-- Maureen Ryan

Abby LockhartAbby Lockhart, 'ER'
The OB nurse-turned-med student-turned-doctor was the moral center of 'ER' for years. Maura Tierney's sharp portrayal filled the void left by Carol Hathaway's (Julianna Margulies) exit and then some. Whether she was being voice of reason or the mischievous one, Abby delivered the comedy, the drama and became everything I loved about 'ER.'
-- Chris Harnick

Zoey, Nurse JackieZoey Barkow, 'Nurse Jackie'
All Saints is a place people go to get healed, but it's not exactly welcoming. That's why I adore 'Nurse Jackie''s newbie Zoey (Merritt Wever). With her fresh perspective, wide-eyed optimism and scrubs that can only be described as "chipper," Zoey gives a cold hospital all the heart and compassion it needs.
-- Maggie Furlong

Tell us: Who is your favorite TV Nurse?

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Don't forget Michael Learned's "Nurse!" She was the best - the acting on that show was amazing (she won an Emmy for the role), and it was filmed in NYC - very real feeling.

May 22 2011 at 4:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

SERIOUSLY! No Hot Lips Houlihan from M*A*S*H??? What about Audrey Hardy, Bobbie Spencer, Elizabeth Weber, and Epiphany Johnson from General Hospital?

May 12 2011 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nurse Dixie from Emergency! C,mon, are all the writers on this site still in their teens?

May 12 2011 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you kidding me, how can you have missed Hot Lips?

May 12 2011 at 10:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Once again this site shows its myopic view of TV shows and TV history. Guess what... there were nurses on TV shows before ER (gasp!). How could any list of TV's top nurses not include Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan (Loretta Swit) from "M*A*S*H"? Or Julia Baker (Diahann Carol) from "Julia," the first show depicting an African-American lead in a professional job?

May 12 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Audidodee's comment

Yeah...and Consuelo from Marcus Welby, MD!

May 12 2011 at 7:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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