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I viewed a partial episode of MTV’s Scrubbing In (as it was all I could take), but what I will tell you is “Don’t believe everything you see on TV”.  This sad exhibit of the life of a nurse, is FAR from real life.  I find it sad that this is how nursing is represented, which is considered one of the most respected professions.

This show does not promote a positive image of nursing and it is an insult to the nursing profession as a whole.  I am encouraging people to sign the petition on change.org to cancel the show and will be starting a dialogue on social media about nurse portrayals, and what can be done to promote more positive depictions in popular culture.  Simply click on the link above to sign the petition, and please visit www.facebook.com/americannursesassociation and/or www.twitter.com/ANANursingWorld to join the conversation.

Here is a letter from the ANA to MTV regarding the show:

Dear Mr. Friedman:

On behalf of the American Nurses Association, I am writing to express our disappointment at your depiction of nurses in the new reality show, “Scrubbing In.”

Each and every day, nurses take on more responsibilities in the delivery of health care. Negative nurse portrayals seriously damage nurse-recruitment efforts and may well exacerbate a shortage that is fast reaching crisis proportions in our nations. Negative images reinforce sexist and inaccurate nurse stereotypes, and these depictions do play a role in shaping the values, impressions and ultimately career choices of young people – the very people who are so desperately needed in the profession. Even more importantly, such negative portrayals erode the highly valued trust of patients and consumers who need the expertise of nurses in their respective health care situations. Based on the premiere, this show is neither “reality” nor entertainment; it is harmful and irresponsible.

Our message to the millions of nurses and nursing students in the U.S. and the millions more people who they influence is – do not patronize media channels, companies and sponsors who persist in disrespecting the most respected profession.


Karen A. Daley, PhD, RN, FAAN