With the rise of the multitude of popular doctor-centric TV shows like "House", "Grey’s Anatomy" and it’s spin-off "Private Practice", people sometimes forget that there are many unforgettable non-doctor medical personnel onscreen as well. Some of the feisty nurses who heal patients with attitude hail from the long-gone days of "E.R." and some of them are in currently hit TV shows which show promise of sticking around for years to come, so get to know them now!
1. Zoey Barkow, "Nurse Jackie"
"Nurse Jackie" would not be the hit show it is without nurse Zoey Barkow. Serving as the comic relief to dark and hot tempered Nurse Jackie, Zoey always steps in with impeccable timing to crack a joke or make you grin by being her clumsy, endearing self. Although she’s a side character, Zoey has a tendency of stealing the show away from the talented Edie Falco, who plays Nurse Jackie. Once, when Zoey accidentally gives a patient an overdose and sends him into a coma, she’s so overcome by her careless mistake that she trades in her printed, cheerful scrubs for gray ones to go into mourning.
2. Peter Petrelli, "Heroes"
Some people aren’t aware of the fact that the good-looking superhero who fulfilled the prophecy “Save the cheerleader, save the world” was initially a hospice nurse. Although Peter quits his day job as the show progresses, his career choice as a caretaker reflects who his character is and will become-a superhero. Along the way, he falls in love with the cheerleader, adding a touch of romance to this medical professional-turned-superhero adventure.
3. Sam Taggart, "E.R."
Sam is a gorgeous nurse who is much stronger than she appears. Coming from a family of screw-ups, alcoholics and underachievers, she’s become a nurse in spite of their attempts to keep her down. Even having a son at the young age of fifteen doesn’t hold her back. Sam stands out from day one on the job when she sedates a patient who’s out of control. She even punches a patient’s abusive boyfriend in the face. Her impulsive, headstrong ways may not always be tactful but eventually land her in a position of power as head nurse.
4. Carla Espinoza, "Scrubs"
Carla is a feisty nurse on the sitcom Scrubs. Married to a surgeon, Carla puts up with her husband and friend’s juvenile antics with a mere eyeroll and a lot of patience all while juggling her duties as Head Nurse at Sacred Heart Hospital. What makes Carla stand out from her co-workers is her impulse to always tell people what to do and her uncanny knack at getting it right. Eventually, they always see it her way, making her the mama bear among a group of silly, immature friends and scary surgeons.
5. Abby Lockhart, "E.R."
Abby looks gentle and feminine but is hard as nails. She deals with her personal demons with quiet perseverance and still manages to survive kidnappings, bombings and disease outbreaks. Tired of being under-appreciated and looked down upon, Abby eventually gains an M.D. title, proving she was no less than the hot shot doctors who once treated her with condescension.
6. Jackie Peyton, "Nurse Jackie"
No one can surpass the caustic wit of Nurse Jackie, who heals the ill skillfully but keeps her co-workers on their toes. “I don’t like chatty. I don’t do chatty. I like quiet. Quiet and mean. Those are my people,” she warns a young bubbly nurse on first meeting. It’s hard to get on her good side, but once you’re there, it’s a good place to be. Jackie balances the stress of being a good friend, mother, wife and girlfriend by popping little blue pills throughout the day. “Watch and learn,” she says. “Percocet should never be crushed, broken or chewed unless you want it to hit your system like a bolt of lightning. Which is only a problem if you're afraid of lightning which I am not.”