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10 Nurse Depictions We Wish Would Go Away

10 Nurse Depictions We Wish Would Go Away

Marijke Durning | Scrubs Magazine

What would a Halloween party be without a naughty nurse? What porn movie isn’t complete without the rather large-chested and always available nurse? And then, of course, there are the soap operas (and seemingly legit evening medical dramas) with the pouty-lipped nurses who are out to nab Dr. Right. Is it any wonder why nurses are fed up with how we’re portrayed in the media?

It’s not as if nurses don’t have a sense of humor. Heck, you have to be able to laugh to do what we do, right? But there’s a line—and it’s not that fine a line—between laughing with nurses and laughing at them. And when people are laughing at them, you can bet there’s less respect for the profession. Nursing isn’t the only profession that has stereotypes – librarians and policewomen are just two examples.

We nurses have to do our part to educate people about what the profession is really about. We certainly have our work cut out for us! Take a look at this list, then roll up your sleeves!

Here are 10 nurse depictions (with some horrifying examples!) we wish would go away:

1. Naughty Halloween Nurse

Let’s forget the super-short dresses and the low-cut tops these naughty nurses wear—how on earth would a nurse be able to run in those shoes? It used to be that Halloween was for children, but now it’s also the time of year when adults routinely sexualize nurses. Children see these costumes in the stores and it’s not doing nurses any favors.

2. Addicted Nurse

Whether you love her or hate her, Nurse Jackie has brought another unfavorable nurse persona into the national consciousness – that of the addicted nurse. Nurse Jackie, played by Edie Falco, is an uber-competent nurse whom many nurses identify as a ‘real’ nurse. That is, the kind that regards patient care as her highest priority. However, a weakness for narcotics has become one of the ‘humanizing’ factors for this Hollywood character. Most nurses would not agree that the profession is so overwhelming that nurses need a crutch like drug abuse in order to face the daily hardships.


3. Sex Object Nurse

If nurses already have a difficult time taking care of patients who are demanding things left, right and center, they definitely don’t have time for men who think that nurses are sex objects. A quick search on YouTube shows that there are more videos on this topic than one cares to think about. When was the last time you met a real nurse who behaved this way?

4. Celebrities as Naughty Nurses

Are you a Mariah Carey fan? She lost some fans who were nurses with her song and video “Up Out My Face.” She and a costar in the video wear the typical naughty-nurse outfit, with lots of cleavage allowing viewers ample boob shots. Of course, you can’t have a sexy nurse without her preening and rubbing herself; that’s a given, right? Mariah isn’t the only one to do this type of thing, but it’s getting old, don’t you think?

Next: Fetish Nurses >>

  • Photo_user_blank_big


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  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    None of these stereotypes have really bothered me - except for maybe the bimbo nurse. I do get tired of people asking me why I don't get a 'real' job and if I wasn't smart enough for medical school. Most nurses definitely aren't stupid and most have no desire to become MDs. People just don't realize how much nursing school demands from you and they don't realize how many things nurses do in the clinical setting! As for anyone who thinks I'm a sex object there for them to ogle, all of my patients can tell you different!

    I have one more stereotype to add to the list:

    Waitress/Maid Nurse

    Seems like most patients think all I'm there for is to do all their work for them! They get all upset and irritated when I explain to them that they need to care for their own ileostomy before they get to go home. They don't understand why it's better for them to walk (with assistance) than have me push them in the chair. And the media portrayal of nurses doesn't help this image. Nurses aren't there just to do your (and the dr's) bidding!

  • Us_men_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I guess being a male nurse, I look at all these stereotypes with a grain of salt. I don't condone them, but I'm far from offended by them! Even the gay reference! Some people have asked me if I was worried about people thinking I was gay and I just tell them to ask my wife or one of my four boys! As far as "Nurse Ratched" being a turn on for men, makes me wonder what kind of idiot wrote this article in the first place!

  • Iraq_164_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I get the "hello, nurse" comments a lot. I don't know how many times I have been asked "are you going to be a naughty nurse for Halloween?" (it gets very frustrating and very old) Well, last year I gave in and said "yea, I'll dress up as a naughty nurse for Halloween". I know that a LOT of my male coworkers and patients (as well as female coworkers wondering if I was really going to do it) were waiting to see what I would show up in for work the next day. Imagine the surprise when I walked in wearing my regular set of scrubs and devil horns on my head. I grabbed a 3cc syringe with an 18 g 1 1/2 in. needle filled it with saline and commented, "shall I show you how naughty I really am? bend over and drop trou! Oh and this might hurt a...LOT" After that, none of my male coworkers/patients have commented on me being a naughty/sexy...etc nurse since! And they now give me the respect I deserve (even if I had to do it with a little fear mongering haha!!)

  • Smurfnurse_max50


    over 4 years ago


    So true... especially the sex object nurse!

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