Watch an episode of ER, Scrubs, General Hospital, and just about any other medical drama or comedy, and you will see your fair share of doctors getting into trouble. Watch even more closely, and you’ll notice that it is often the nurses on those shows who hold their hospitals together.
From Nurse Christina Hawthorn (Jada Pinkett Smith) running her ward on HawthoRNe to Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes) taking control on the medical comedy Scrubs, there is no loss of strong female nurses.
Not only are some of TVs most iconic nurses powerful and strong-minded women, they are also HOT!
From sultry blondes to dark haired beauties, we can’t help but praise these women for using their brains more than their looks.
Our list of the top 10 hottest TV nurses who demand respect includes fan favorites from the last 40 years. Even with the passage of time, these women all share one very distinct characteristic — they aren’t willing to allow male or female doctors to boss them around on the job or in their personal lives.
Spoiler: For the record, Kitty Forman is hot. If you haven’t watched her take control of That ’70s Show, you probably won’t understand.
Check out our top 10 hot TV nurses and let us know who you would add to this list.
Nurse Christina Hawthorne (Jada Pinkett Smith) – Series: HawthoRNe
Jada Pinkett Smith demanded the attention of her peers as Christina Hawthorne on the hit series HawthoRNe. She was committed to her job, sexy, and extremely smart. It’s not easy to look sexy while rushing patients to the ER, but that didn’t stop Christina Hawthorne.
Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes) – Series: Scrubs
If you were a fan of the comedy series Scrubs, you know that Sacred Heart Hospital was actually run by head nurse Carla Espinosa. Employees wouldn’t listen? Go to Carla. Have a medical question you can’t answer? Go to Carla! Your bromance with her husband is going south? Go to Carla! Judy flawlessly portrayed her character with that type of innocent but strong sexiness that guys love and girls don’t feel threatened by. Plus, there is something super sexy about a girl who goes from innocent looking to total bad ass.
Sam Taggart (Linda Cardellini) – Series: ER
Talk about a conflicting character. When she joined ER, Sam Taggart was a spirited and independent single mom who left everyone questioning her ability to do the job. Fast forward, and, in the last years of the show, she served as County General’s main nurse who demanded respect from her fellow co-workers. Even after Sam and her son were kidnapped by her ex-husband, she managed to pull through and show off her strong will to not only survive but also thrive. Hot, smart, and independent, Sam Taggart definitely fits the role followed by many other head nurses on top-rated medical dramas.
Maj. Margaret ‘Hot Lips’ Houlihan (Loretta Swit), M*A*S*H
There are a lot of hot, strong, independent female nurses on TV but none of them as tough as “Hot Lips” Houlihan of M*A*S*H fame. Not only was she a stickler for Army protocol, she also spoke her mind to an Army post full of men. She controlled the operating room and the barracks without apology. Sure, she was a hot nurse, but she also wouldn’t stand for chauvinism and quickly became a female nurse that female viewers could appreciate.
Lieutenant Colleen McMurphy (Dana Delaney) – Series: China Beach
Lieutenant Colleen McMurphy is yet another example of how a hot female character can succeed in a military-based TV drama. On China Beach actress Dana Delaney led her character through the often bumpy road of military service. She was promoted to Captain, and she saved people in the heat of battle. The 510th Evac Hospital wouldn’t have been the same without Nurse McMurphy.
Nurse Veronica Callahan (Taylor Schilling) – Series: Mercy
Taylor Schilling portrayed Nurse Veronica Flanagan Callahan, a nurse who joined Mercy Hospital after serving a tour in Iraq. While her character faced many demons and alcoholism, she still attempted to sort out her life while working to stay ahead of the competition at her hospital. Gorgeous and facing plenty of demons, I know plenty of guys who go after those type of girls.
Nurse Carol Hathaway (Julianna Margulies) – Series: ER
Carol Hathaway, despite constantly being pursued by womanizer Doug Ross (George Clooney), managed to assert herself as a leader of the ER. Even when she was constantly taken for granted, Nurse Hathaway proved that she often knew more than the doctors she worked with. In one famous speech, she proclaimed “Haleh [a staff nurse] may not be able to cross clamp an aorta, but she has over 20 years experience in emergency medicine and if you would step off your pedestal maybe you would realize it’s the nurses that make this place run and not you.” She made the ER run, and she looked awfully hot while doing it.
Rose (Lauren Stamile) – Series: Grey’s Anatomy
While she only appeared in a handful of episodes, Lauren Stamile’s character managed to win over the heart of Dr. Derek Shepard. Sure, their relationship only lasted a short time, but this hot nurse won over Derek by asserting herself and not letting him forget that she’s a damn good nurse. Derek eventually broke off his relationship so he could once again be with Dr. Meredith Grey but not before Rose made an impression on fans of the show. We don’t hear from a lot of nurses on Grey’s Anatomy, but Rose refused to be silent.
Sabrina Santiago (Teresa Castillo) – Series: General Hospital
Even before she graduated from the nurse’s program at General Hopsital, Sabrina Santiago sets out to revive the “Nurse’s Ball,” and she ultimately succeed with the ball and graduating from the program. Still a rather new character for the long running series, she has proven that looks and smarts can be tied together. Like all of General Hospital’s characters, she has her major flaws, but it’s her demand for results that place her on our list.
Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) – Series: That ’70s Show
Debra Jo Rupp might not be the young hot nurse portrayed by other characters, but she’s awesome. As a fan of That ’70s Show, I can’t get enough of Kitty Forman. She’s an alcohol swigging, cigarette smoking mom of the 70s who won’t put up with any lip from her son or husband Red Forman. When Eric Forman joins his mom for a day at the hospital, we quickly learn that she runs the hospital with an iron fist while mocking the dumb doctors who try to control her.
What other hot TV nurses would you add to the list?