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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Nurse Jackie: Ego Episode

Published April 6, 2010 2:38 PM by Gail Guterl
On vacation last week, my husband and I were sitting in a great restaurant with a quartet of septuagenarians at the table across from us. After several drinks their conversation got a little louder and I perked up when I heard one woman say, "One show I love is Nurse Jackie."
Once you meet Jackie you don't forget her; she is undoubtedly a compelling character. And as Edie Falco, who plays Jackie in the Showtime production in its second season, admits in a video on, "Jackie is a mess." I think it's her consummate ego that makes her unforgettable.
Last night's installment (April 5) of Nurse Jackie could be called the "egos" episode:
  • Little Kaitlyn Flynn, a child Jackie doesn't like, who plays with Gracie frequently and who Jackie's husband, Kevin, terms "Grace's only friend," catches Jackie in the Peyton basement snorting Adderal. Kaitlyn and Jackie both have big attitudes here.
  • Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) won't accept an offer to set up a college fund for his daughters from Dr. Eleanor O'Hara (Eve Best) knowing full well, he and Jackie don't have the money it will take to educate them.
  • Coop (Peter Facinelli playing Fitch Cooper) brags to Eddie (Paul Schulze) about being listed among the top docs in New York City. No matter where Coop goes or what he's doing he continues to "tweet" and shatter HIPAA regulations by tweeting that Eddie was OK after his suicide attempt in an earlier episode.
  • And Eddie takes the prize for wheedling himself into Jackie's family through Kevin - the ultimate in egos.
This is the first episode I can remember where overtime was addressed. Mrs. Akelitus (Anna Deveare Smith) asks Jackie to work an extra shift which results in childcare problems, something I'm sure every nurse can understand.
Next week, Jackie provides a cancer patient with marijuana to relieve his debilitating nausea knowing it is against NY law. How far should anyone go for their patients? There's no easy answer.


Interesting comment Judith because we've been getting a lot of comments from nurses in previous Nurse Jackie blogs that the show is just fiction. How much does fiction influence reality? Should we portray nurses only as perfect people, providing perfect care? And will a less-than-flattering portrayal of a nurse hurt the profession. I don't have any answers, just a lot of questions.

Gail Guterl April 7, 2010 11:24 AM

I wached one episode----if a nurse takes drugs and uses others to get drugs, I can't see how she can be a compassionate nurse..  In fact she should straighten herself out first.  I have lost respect for her and the nursing profession because of this show!

judith Horton-Holm , psych - RN , Hosp April 6, 2010 4:19 PM
Rochester MN

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