An Evolution Of Stereotypes: The Nurse

Much to the chagrin of professional nurses everywhere, there are at least 5 unfair and outdated stereotypes that nurses endure on a daily basis. From saint to sex object, from mother-figure to battle-axe, and perhaps the biggest and most widely accepted stereotype of them all: that nurses are supposed to be women.

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An artist's representation of an early nurse is used to advertise ‘liquid bread’, a malt-extract for those on liquid diets.

1895: An artist's representation of an early nurse is used to advertise ‘liquid bread’, a malt-extract for those on liquid diets. Source: National Institute of Health

1913: The healing mother, shown in the saintly position of feeding the poor and unfortunate.

1913: The healing mother, shown in the saintly position of feeding the poor and unfortunate. Source: NIH

1913: A sick man expresses his want to be sick forever as long as a pretty nurse is there to fulfill his needs

1913: A sick man expresses his want to be sick forever as long as a pretty nurse is there to fulfill his needs. Source: NIH

nurse-evolution-1915-angel-saint

1915: This nurse dressed in flowing robes is depicted as the angel of the Red Cross. Source: NIH

1918: Implying that injured soldiers really just wanted their mommies.

1918: Implying that injured soldiers really just wanted their mommies. Source: Smithsonian Magazine

1935: The start of a more modern uniform for the profession.

1935: The start of a more modern uniform for the profession. Source: NIH

1940’s: Young Navy nurses shown in the classroom.

1940’s: Young Navy nurses shown in the classroom. Source: Wikimedia Commons

1950’s: A bedside prayer vigil is held for a patient; supporting the ‘good Christian woman doing God’s work’ archetype.

1950’s: A bedside prayer vigil is held for a patient; supporting the ‘good Christian woman doing God’s work’ archetype. Source: NIH

1950’s: Nurses get a nod of respect in 1950’s advertising, with at least one photo emerging of a modern and organized head nurse making the rounds.

1950’s: Nurses get a nod of respect in 1950’s advertising, with at least one photo emerging of a modern and organized head nurse making the rounds. Source: NIH

1950’s: And with one step forward, two are taken back. Pinup Nurse.

1950’s: And with one step forward, two are taken back. Source: NIH

1960’s: A reproduction created in the 2000’s showing a nurse in full 1960 style pinup-mode.

1960’s: A reproduction created in the 2000’s showing a nurse in full 1960 style pinup-mode. Source: NIH

1980’s: The archetype of a Battle-axe makes an appearance in this comic postcard; a tyrannical and fierce matronly woman.

1980’s: The archetype of a Battle-axe makes an appearance in this comic postcard; a tyrannical and fierce matronly woman that enjoys giving pain... especially to men. Source: NIH

1980: About the same time nurses were shown getting involved in sordid love triangles.

1980: About the same time nurses were shown getting involved in sordid love triangles. Source: NIH

1981: In celebration of 100 years of the Red Cross, this recruitment poster (along with the first day of issue stamp) was remade into a patriotic postcard.

1981: In celebration of 100 years of the Red Cross, this recruitment poster (along with the first day of issue stamp) was remade into a patriotic postcard. Source: NIH

1985: Another reproduction of a 1953 novel showing a home nurse having to fight off unwanted advances.

1985: Another reproduction of a 1953 novel showing a home nurse having to fight off unwanted advances. Source: NIH

2000’s: A call out for males to enter the nursing field; “Are you man enough?”

2000’s: A call out for males to enter the nursing field; “Are you man enough?” Source: AllNurses.com

2000’s: A saucy nurse is used to sell a watch/mp3 player.

2000’s: A saucy nurse is used to sell a watch/mp3 player. Source: NIH

Early 1900’s: This wealthy mother has procured a ‘pretty nurse girl’ so that when the nanny is out in public with the children, the male police will have a watchful eye turned toward them.

Early 1900’s: This wealthy mother has procured a ‘pretty nurse girl’ so that when the nanny is out in public with the children, the male police will have a watchful eye turned toward them. Source: NIH

Early 1900’s: Already the old battle-axe and the sexy young stereotype make appearances; this young boy clearly has a preference.

Early 1900’s: Already the old battle-axe and the sexy young stereotype make appearances; this young boy clearly has a preference. Source: NIH

1970s: This postcard advertisement is supposed to be for the electro-surgical unit, but the focal point was the attractive, heavily made-up nurse/model.

1970s: This postcard advertisement is supposed to be for the electro-surgical unit, but the focal point was the attractive, heavily made-up nurse/model. Source: NIH

1971: Probably quite brazen for a postcard at the time; they’re nurses and they’re nasty.

1971: Probably quite brazen for a postcard at the time; they’re nurses and they’re nasty. Source: NIH

2009: One of the more recent nurse characters to be portrayed in the media as a modern woman with intelligence, though not without her share of problems. The Truth about Nursing website notes that “Jackie turned out to be arguably the strongest and the most skilled nurse ever depicted on serial U.S. television".

2009: One of the more recent nurse characters to be portrayed in the media as a modern woman with intelligence, though not without her share of problems. The Truth about Nursing website notes that “Jackie turned out to be arguably the strongest and the most skilled nurse ever depicted on serial U.S. television”, even if they didn’t agree with her depicted coping mechanisms. Source: Showtime

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In the mid 1850’s, the pioneer of nursing emerged amid the Crimean War conflict – Florence Nightingale. A statistician and versatile writer, Nightingale became known on the battlefield as the “lady with the lamp” because of her predictable night rounds. Nightingale founded the first secular nursing school in London.

Fast forward to the present day: nurses have been portrayed in all the above ways, and then some. From postcards to modern media, the common conception of what makes a nurse is explored in a postcard exhibit by the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. The exhibit shows that while stereotypes are persistent, the occupation has continued to grow thanks to the dedication and steadfastness of these often underestimated, greatly underappreciated health professionals.

Blackout City

What might London’s night sky look like without light pollution? Through some clever editing, videographer Nicholas Buer brings you the answer.

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10 Stargazing Sites To Make You Feel Wonderfully Small

There are very few moments more humbling than when you gaze up at the night sky and see the massive world around us, which nevertheless represents just a tiny fraction of the Universe we live in. At least in theory. If you’re a city dweller, heightened light pollution means that if you bother to look up at all, you’ll see maybe a handful of stars. You really need to be in a dark, cloudless area with a wide sky to enjoy the cosmic spectacle to its fullest. But fear not, fellow stargazer, for such places still exist.

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The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Stargazing Sites Grand Canyon

There are few places out there better for stargazing than the Grand Canyon, which is why “star parties” are regularly hosted here. Best of all, you can marvel at the sky at night and enjoy the magnificence of the canyon during the day. Source: Lightcrafter

Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

Stargazing Sites Galloway

A few hours away from Glasgow, Galloway Forest Park is known as a Dark Sky Park and its primary attraction is, you guessed it, the wonderful night sky. Proving that there are indeed many shades of black, the Dark Sky Association uses the Bortle Scale in order to determine Galloway’s degree of darkness. At Bortle 2, Galloway Forest Park is about as dark as you can get on land. Source: Crichton Cross

Headlands National Park, Michigan

Stargazing Sites Michigan

Another great Dark Sky Park is located in the Michigan Headlands. Besides a great view of the stars, on certain nights you can even see the Northern Lights. Source: Michigan Radio

Westhavelland Dark Sky Reserve, Germany

Stargazing Sites Germany

Just a few hours away from Berlin is the Westhavelland Dark Sky Reserve, a place that offers one of the darkest and clearest skies in all of Europe. Source: Distractify

Atacama Desert, Chile

Stargazing Sites Atacama

If you want to feel like you are on an alien planet while simultaneously gazing at the rest of the Universe, there’s no better place than the Atacama Desert. Several observatories are located here because of the excellent view of the sky. Source: Kit Skinny

Denali National Park, Alaska

Stargazing Sites Alaska

Without a doubt, one of the most wondrous spectacles the sky has to offer is the Northern Lights. If you want to see them in all their splendor, the Denali National Park in Alaska is one of the best places on Earth to do so. Source: Enjoy Your Holiday

National Bridges National Monument, Utah

Stargazing Sites Bridge

If you want a truly unique perspective, head on over to Utah and use the beautiful night sky as the backdrop for the stunning Owachomo natural bridge. Source: NPS

Mont-Megantic Dark Sky Reserve, Canada

Stargazing Sites Canada

Last but not least is Mont-Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve in Canada. It is part of a National Park and also has a state-of-the-art observatory built in order to take advantage of the dark skies lit up only by thousands and thousands of stars. Source: Rice MM

Mauna Kea, Hawaii

Stargazing Sites Hawaii

Because of its elevation and distance from the city lights, Mauna Kea is an ideal spot for stargazing, which is why it also houses some of the most advanced observatories in the world. Pictured here is a rare close encounter between Venus and Jupiter shown in the center. Source: Subaru Telescope

Aoraki Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand

Stargazing Sites New Zealand

Another place declared a Dark Sky Reserve due to its beautiful night skies, Aoraki Mackenzie is found on the South Island of New Zealand. Getting there might be a bit tricky, but well worth it for enthusiastic stargazers. Source: Land And See

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“Millions March” In Protest Of Police Brutality

Source: Chris Altman

Source: Chris Altman

Christian crosses and Communist Party flags. Gil Scott-Heron and Frederic Chopin. Wizened women in floor-length coats and raw-throated university students shouting “This is what democracy looks like”. Children carrying hand-drawn posters of other kids, just like them, being gunned down by police officers. This is just a taste of what today’s “Millions March NYC” demonstration looked and sounded like.

Source: Chris Altman

Source: Chris Altman

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