News & Events

National Nurses Movement Launches Ad Campaign for Nurse TV Shows

RN SuperUnion Uses "Pop Culture Moment" to Advocate for Safe RN Staffing Levels Bill and Nurse Rights

Click the play button above or here to view the ad

The three nursing organizations at the heart of the newly announced national RN SuperUnion today announce a new television and internet advertising campaign in conjunction with the debut of HawthoRNe, one of the new TV shows debuting this season that features nurse characters.  The ad can be viewed here: or at

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, United American Nurses, and Massachusetts Nurses Association, who earlier this year allied their 150,000 nurse members to form the first national union of RNs, will debut the ad on TNT this Tuesday, June 16.  The ad will feature working, direct-care nurses from different states represented by the organizations. The ad features two MNA Board Members—Gary Kellenberger, RN, who is a psychiatric nurse at Westboro State Hospital (shown walking with a patient) and Dona Kelly-Willams, RN, a pediatric nurse at Cambridge Health Alliance (shown caring for a child).

The commercial asks viewers to consider a “world without nurses,” and points out that, “When nurses disappear, so does patient safety.”  Patients are asked to “insist on safe nursing staffing levels,” in the face of a national crisis in patient care caused by routine understaffing of hospital units, a travesty that leads to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths yearly.

Viewers will be directed to, where nurses will be asked to offer their opinions of the show, which will be forwarded to the appropriate producers.  The Web site will update RNs on the national nurses movement, including on the new federal patient safety bill establishing safe nurse staffing in hospitals.

Sen. Barbara Boxer recently introduced this bill, S. 1031, the National Nursing Shortage and Patient Advocacy Reform Act, which will guarantee safe staffing in hospitals across America, as well as give nurses whistle-blower and patient advocacy protections.

“It’s about time for nurses to be represented in popular culture, but there are important questions that RNs will consider as we watch these shows.  We know these shows are Hollywood entertainment, but they’re purporting to speak in the name of nurses, so we are watching and taking note.  Will these shows reflect the struggle of nurses to care for their patients in the face of heartless insurance and hospital bureaucracy?  Will they reflect the terrible burden of being overloaded with too many patients who are too sick?  We look forward to finding out,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-President of CNA/NNOC.

“We need a national dialogue about the important work that nurses do, and this is happening just as our national nurses movement has come together for the good of all nurses and patients everywhere,” said UAN President Ann Converso, RN.  “We’re excited that Sen. Boxer is taking the lead in the Senate on safe RN staffing, joining our friends in the House—Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI)—in putting real, concrete solutions to the nurse staffing crisis on the table.  We must make safe RN staffing ratios the law of the land; anything less puts our patients at risk.”

“As patient advocates, we have to take this opportunity of these new television shows to press our agenda of safe staffing.  Nurses have seen too many patients suffer unnecessarily because of the crisis in care caused by hospital understaffing.  We are delighted for the chance to make this connection for our fellow nurses and the public,” said Beth Piknick, RN, President of MNA. 

The ads were produced by Bill Hillsman of NorthWoods Advertising and will run in nearly 20 cities across the country the first week.


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HawthoRNe – TONIGHT – June 16 on TNT

Watch the preview here

 Nurse Jackie on Showtime!

Watch the preview here

Watch and JOIN our virtual discussion with REAL RNs
Like them or not, it’s important for America to hear what REAL NURSES think about these shows. Watch alone or with friends, then join our national RN discussions online.

Join our National RN Movement For A Voice! Thank you.

California Nurses Association
National Nurses Organizing Committee
United American Nurses, AFL-CIO
Massachusetts Nurses Association