Nurses Take Aim at Stereotypes, Mariah Carey Video

Sarah Kearns, April 15, 2010

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 men in the profession have a hard time breaking stereotypes, just think of Gaylord Focker in Meet the Parents.

For female nurses, 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 stereotype, nurses 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."

Sarah Kearns Sarah Kearns is an editor for HCPro in the Quality and Patient Safety Group. Contact Sarah at
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