National Nurse Day 2021: Celebrating Frontline Heroes and Rewatching Our Favorite Classic TV Show Nurses

by Katie Maloney

Happy National Nurse Day!

Nurses should always be celebrated, obviously. But if there ever was a year to shower nursing professionals with gratitude, it’s this year. Fearless nurses everywhere bravely went to work every day during one of the most frightening times in medical history. So, before we continue with anything else, we want to say, “Thank you.” Thank you to every nurse and medical professional out there. You deserve all the thank yous every day. But we wanted to make sure we gave you a special little shout-out today for National Nurse Day.

Here are some of our favorite classic TV show nurses that give nurses the Hollywood spotlight.

Our Favorite Classic TV Show Nurses

To celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite classic TV show nurses. Now, it’s impossible to rank these incredible medical professionals. So, in no particular order, here are a few of our favorite classic TV show nurses.

Mary Ellen Walton From The Waltons

Certainly, The Waltons come to mind when we think of some of our favorite classic TV shows. Despite initially being told that she didn’t have the algebra and chemistry school credits required to enter nursing school, Mary Ellen persevered. And, eventually, she landed a spot in her coveted nursing program. It’s not surprising that Mary Ellen made a great nurse. After growing up in a loving and supportive family, like The Waltons, caretaking skills probably come naturally.

Judy Norton talks about The Waltons episode “The Nurse”

Minnie “Mary” Simpson In The Andy Griffith Show

Nurse Minnie “Mary” Simpson is the town nurse for Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show. She appeared in two episodes of the show but was played by two different actresses. In the episode titled “The County Nurse,” actress Julie Adams played Mary Simpson. However, during the episode titled “Three’s A Crowd,” actress Sue Ane Langdon played the nurse. During Landon’s episode, Andy and Mary attempt to go on a date but Barney keeps interfering.

Sue Ane Langdon (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Nurse Kellye In The Classic TV Show M*A*S*H

When there’s a war on, it’s certainly essential to have a dependable nurse at the ready. And for the M*A*S*H crew Nurse Kellye was that person. Actress Kellye Nakahara gave life to the character. Halfway through the first season of M*A*S*H, Nakahara landed the part of Nurse Kellye. She appeared in 169 episodes of the classic TV show.

Actress Kellye Nakahara (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)