March 10, 2010 | | Comments 5
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Nurses speak out against “naughty nurse” image

For years, nurses have been fighting an uphill battle to change the way the public views them as professionals. With television shows like Nurse Jackie, Grey’s Anatomy, and Mercy each portraying nurses in a different light, it’s no wonder the public’s view of nurses is skewed. Even the phrase “naughty nurse” has the public believing female nurses should be wearing white stockings, a short skirt, and heels while attending to their patients.

In an effort to change this belief, nurses around the world are speaking out against Mariah Carey’s recent music video for her song “Up Out My Face.” Nurses want Carey to reconsider the video, in which Carey and fellow pop star and rapper Nicki Minaj are wearing white stockings and high heels.

“I’m sure Ms. Carey was inspired by the nursing research that shows how music can improve patient outcomes, and she just wanted to pay tribute to the profession, ” said Sandy Summers, executive director of Baltimore-based advocacy group The Truth About Nursing, in a press release. “But these images associate nursing with female sexuality, undermining our claims to adequate resources.”

Millions have already viewed the video, but Summers thinks this may mislead people who do not know much about the profession into thinking nursing is just “a tired sex joke, not a life-saving profession for college-educated men and women.”

To view Mariah Carey’s video, click here.

What are your opinions about the video? Should Mariah Carey reconsider the music video and its effects on the nursing image?

Source: The Truth About Nursing

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Filed Under: Hot topicsImage of nursing


Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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  1. My ex-mother-in-law told me- a registered nurse- that nurses just like to look at naked bodies and want to molest people. She is a teacher–maybe that makes her a child molester? I was so hurt i could not speak, but one day i’m going to slash her tires or do some other damage. Other than that she was an intelligent, very kind mother-in-law. BTW, why are there so many doctor shows on tv–doctors are revered on tv-gorgeous, hunky, arrogant, misanthropic–look @ House; yet there are no good shows focusing on the interesting work nurses do? I know–we are not as FASCINATING as doctors and we are not as RICH. I wish i lived in another country, actually another planet. The inequities, i’m sure, have shortened my life span. Beam me up!!!!!!

  2. Why would a woman as gorgeous and as talented as Mariah Carey have to prostitute herself? RIGHT–MONEY!!! When is enough enough for these people?? R

  3. I don’t watch medical shows. Any little bit or clip I have come across while waiting for something I wanted to watch was insulting to the whole health care profession. I imagine cops and government agents probably feel the same way about shows depicting their work. I imagine that we all feel the same way-that if Joe Public ever really had to depend on us to save his or a loved one’s life, then he would understand what it’s really all about and then he would scoff at the freak-show stuff, too. In the mean time, educate your family, friends, and by example, your patients. If you are the creative sort-send your ideas to the producers of the shows in question and let them know how off base they are. Actions of nurses are the things that will change our image. One day, there won’t be a market for the ‘naughty nurse’ image because the public will know it for the hoax that it is.

  4. Are nurses united in letting Ms. Carey know of the stance we take on her video? Is there a website or email address to which we can all write and address this issue?

    All of our displeasure in her actions and ridiculous portrayal of nursing won’t get the message across unless SHE knows about it….????


  5. I agree with ONCRN we need to voice our opinions on this horrible image of nurses. Ms. Carey needs to be informed about her cruel display of a nurse. Her performance makes me sick!

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