San Francisco Bay Area Nurses Dish up Humor, Stir Opinions, and Give Practical Advice

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Nurse Talk, a new radio show hosted by two registered nurses, focuses on health care topics with humor and advice. Tackling everyday caller questions, along with issues of policy, legislation, and socio-economic barriers to care, Nurse Talk provides listeners with timely information in a dynamic format.

Hosts of Nurse Talk, (front) Casey Hobbs, RN and Shayne Mason, RN

"I was thrilled and honored to learn I had become the new co-host of the Nurse Talk radio program," said USF School of Nursing and Health Professions Instructor Shayne Mason. "Patient advocacy and education are extremely important to me."

“Hi who’s on the line? Nurse Talk radio show co-host Casey Hobbs, RN, asks with an up-for-anything tone in her voice. A caller named Mary Ellen describes “very swollen legs from my groin down to my toes.” “Oh my god, death is imminent for you,” co-host Maggie McDermott, RN deadpans in her Irish brogue. “Now Magster, let’s not start right like that,” Casey chides. And so goes another weekly episode of Nurse Talk, where laughter is the best medicine.

That was the very first broadcast. Since then, a lot has happened. Beginning in January of 2013 the show will expand to 50 stations nationwide. They will also move from the current one-hour format to two hours. Hobbs is still co-hosting but is now joined by RN and Nurse Practitioner Shayne Mason, who also teaches at the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Nursing and Health Professions. Maggie McDermott retired from nursing and from the show. Both Hobbs and Mason are full time RN’s, Hobbs with 36 years of experience in hospitals, visiting nurses, and hospice, and Mason with 13 years of experience in psychiatry/mental health, and now works as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Nurse Talk was the dream of two wild and crazy RNs who, after 30-plus years in nursing, decided it was time to make their vision of a national radio show a reality. In 2008, RNs Casey Hobbs and Maggie McDermott, along with long-time entertainment professional Pattie Lockard and award winning sound designer June Miller ,crafted their Nurse Talk pitch demo. Armed with the demo, a tag line of “laughter is the best medicine,” and a lot of optimism, the group started to play the demo to friends, relatives and anyone else who would listen.

Next, the radio stations. Their response? “Why isn’t it a doctor show?” “Is it just advice?” “There are too many advice shows.” “Dr. Dean Edell has a corner on the market.” “Maybe they’d like it in Mexico.” “Radio is dying.” “It’ll never fly!“ Since that time, the show has expanded continually, and just got picked up for nationwide syndication. Other mediums have been added as well as many Internet and iPhone app stations such as TuneIn, I Heart Radio App, Radio Or Not, and ITunes.

"The opportunity for the public to learn about health care issues from a nursing perspective can dramatically increase their understanding of ways to deal with problems and proactively engage in prevention and health promotion," said Judith Karshmer, dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco. "We are excited that Shayne Mason, one of our faculty members, has been recruited to provide an on air voice for nursing and a resource for health advocacy."

"I was thrilled and honored to learn I had become the new co-host of the Nurse Talk radio program," said USF School of Nursing and Health Professions Instructor Shayne Mason. "Patient advocacy and education are extremely important to me, and the opportunity to reach a wider audience with this message is very exciting. My goal in becoming the new co-host is to utilize both my sense of humor and my academic credentials to bring healthcare advocacy to the listeners. As an alumnus and faculty member of USF, I am proud to have an educational background that enables me to articulate both the mission of the university, and the nursing profession as a whole."

You can listen to Nurse Talk every Saturday @ 11am on KNEW AM 960 San Francisco and on 50+ terrestrial stations nationwide. For more information about Nurse Talk visit

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.” For more information, please visit


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Anne-Marie Devine
University of San Francisco
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