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2015 NINR Director's Lecture - Dr. MarySue Heilemann Presents: From the Silver Screen to the Web: Portrayals of Nursing in Media

June 24, 2015 10:00 am - 11:00 am


In June, the National Institute of Nursing Research held the first of two 2015 NINR Director’s Lectures. Dr. MarySue Heilemann, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing, presented: "From the Silver Screen to the Web: Portrayals of Nursing in Media." In her talk, Dr. Heilemann discussed historical portrayals of nurses in print and visual media, as well as issues related to future media representations of nursing.

If you missed the live event, the recording of Dr. Heilemann’s NINR Director’s Lecture is now available on NINR’s YouTube channel.

About the Speaker:

Dr. MarySue Heilemann is an Associate Professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and an internationally recognized researcher and methodologist. Her NINR-funded research interventions combined multiple modalities to increase resilience among low income, second generation Latinas in the U.S. This work led Heilemann to consider the use of media in health research and her move to the city of Los Angeles brought an unexpected role consulting with Hollywood filmmakers on the creation of nurse characters.

As an innovator on the use of media in nursing science, Dr. Heilemann initiated, organized, and moderated two national symposia which brought together nearly 300 scholars, filmmakers, nurses, media experts, actors, producers, and writers. The symposia examined historical portrayals of nurses in print and visual media in order to gain understanding and strategize efforts to influence media portrayals of nursing for the future. Together with her collaborators, she has deepened the dialogue about the effects of media stereotypes on the profession of nursing, health care, and society at large. Dr. Heilemann continues to advocate for more accurate media portrayals of nursing through collaborative efforts with scholars, activists, and Hollywood professionals.

About the Event:

Immediately following Dr. Heilemann’s lecture, the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) displayed a special selection from the Zwerdling Postcard Collection outside of Lipsett Amphitheater. NLM recently acquired the extensive collection of postcards which depicts nurses, the nursing profession, and a myriad of cultural perceptions that surrounds them. Dozens of postcards from the collection are currently on display in the Pictures of Nursing exhibition at NLM. To learn more about the exhibition, please visit:

This event was free, open to the public, and registration was not required.

The NINR Director’s Lecture series is designed to bring the nation’s top nurse scientists to the NIH campus to share their work and interests with a transdisciplinary audience. Please visit for more information.

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