Should Tattoos Be Allowed in the Nursing Profession?

This topic contains 193 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Onlyanurse Onlyanurse 6 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #3901

    Maybe I’m old fashioned and maybe a lot of nurses will get upset with me, but I’m wondering if others think that nurses with tattoos should be practicing? Frankly, I think that it looks very unprofessional, especially since many of us deal with the older generation and they don’t understand the obsession with this permanent skin art. I think it looks awful, but I seem to be seeing more and more young nurses with tattoos and piercings all over the place. What do others think about this? Am I just being old fashioned?

    Does your facility allow you to have tattoos?


    should nurses be allowed to have tattoos

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  • #3902


    I see no problem with having tattoos and I’m tired of this even being an issue. This is a different generation and the world needs to understand that this is our way of expressing ourselves. We have the right to do that.

    I don’t think nurses should be covered in tats, but I think there is nothing wrong with a few. This has nothing to do with your ability to do your job.

  • #3903

    No, I think they look awful and I would never get one. I’m in my 50s and in our generation, if you had tattoos it meant you were pretty rough around the edges. If you want to have tattoos go on to jail, they have lots of them there. There’s no place for tattoos in nursing. They look disgusting.

    • #21330

      Deb Benner

      I work in a nursing home and although  the people I serve are from a “different generation” – it is the generation that knows the golden rule and does not judge a person by how they look like but by how they treat others ❤️  – a valuable rule all nurses should practice by.

  • #3904

    While I would never dream of having one, I think that a nurse’s appearance has no bearing on how good of a nurse she is and she should be able to have tattoos, piercing and rainbow colored hair. It shouldn’t matter.

    This week I read about a nurses who was told she shouldn’t be a nurse because her hair was multi-colored. That’s ridiculous. If I’m sick, I don’t care what the nurse looks like as long as she’s a  good nurse. We need to stop focusing of people’s appearance so much

  • #3905

    Tattooed nurses are all over the place and although I don’t agree with having tattoos I really don’t see any  reason why employers should ban them. People have a right to dress their body however they want to.

    Personally, I think they look pretty bad and I can’t only guess what the nursing homes will look like in 50 years LOL A bunch of old people with wrinkled up black ink all over their bodies that you won’t even be able to tell what it once was. Just my opinion

  • #3906

    An employer can dictate what any nurse wears, including  “body art.”  If you’re working for them then they have the right to tell you how to look. While you could file a suit, I doubt you’d win. If you have them I suggest you have them removed.

  • #3907
    Princess Nurse
    Princess Nurse

    Get a big band-aid and wear it over the tattoos. Lots of nurses have tattoos these days.

  • #3908


    I had a clinical instructor that was covered in tattoos. If you are making a decision to get one then I would either skip it or have it done on a non-visible area, that way you don’t have to worry about it

    Unfortunately ,nurses are held to a much higher standard than the rest of the population and are not expected to look like Amy Winehouse. So I would say skip them if you don’t already have one. It would just be a headache.

  • #3909

    I think as long as they’re not huge your employer shouldn’t have a problem with them and they are becoming more prevalent so get used to them folks. They’re here to stay. Well, that’s until the next generation decided they look terrible and quits having them because they see what all the old folks with them look like haha

  • #3910

    If I interviewed you for a nursing position and you were sporting tattoos that I could see there would be no way I would hire you. Sorry, but they look very unprofessional and tacky

    • #4141


      lets hope that tacky very unprofessional person who happens too be more than 100% at their job is not asked to save your life one day !!! It all comes around…… Your in a job where it’s not your place to judge what comes through those doors!! But to still care and treat those people ….. Don’t be so quick to judge on why people do what they do … even the elderly have tattoos ??? There’s already to much hate xx

  • #3911
    Orthopod Nurse
    Orthopod Nurse

    I don’t see a problem with them. Covered them up while at work. It shouldn’t be a problem. Over the last few years it’s become much more acceptable to have them so I wouldn’t sweat it.

  • #3924

    Colleen Champine

    Yes…nursing doesn’t define me as a person…nor do tattoos…..the folks that complain about them have bigger issues than the tattoos and their unhappiness is usually rooted elsewhete

    • #22967


      the saddest part of your post is not the tattoo  issues (they will look on everyone pretty sad in several years when the ‘trend’ is over and skin is sagging) but the fact that being a nurse is not part of what defines you… this is a profession people are called to, and if this is just a job to you, that is the again the saddest part of this entire discussion…

  • #3926

    Elizabeth Long-Carter

    I’m pretty heavily tattooed and in nursing school. I currently work in human services with adults with Traumatic Brain Injuries. While I agree that in some cases, it is respectful to cover up, I’m glad my workplace has a lax visible tattoo policy and allows me to be myself. I find that most of the residents are curious about my tattoos and complement them often. Body art doesn’t effect my ability to care for others or be compassionate. As time goes on, this issue will certainly become less relevant. I do recognize that in some environments it may be more appropriate to cover up. I find there are more problems with nurses and caregivers wearing clothes that are revealing or tight than exposed body art. My opinion is, be yourself but be classy and appropriate for your particular environment. 🙂

  • #3927


    Shame on all of you that look down upon tattooed nurses. Some of the best nurses I’ve met have been covered in tattoos. Just as you decide how to wear your hair every morning for your entire life, someone with tattoos decided to add some design to their skin because that’s what they like. No one should be penalized for that. Will you turn down life saving cpr from someone because they have tattoos and 60 years ago that meant you were ‘rough around the edges’? It’s not fair for you to judge a patient based off how they look, so why do it to your fellow co-workers how have worked hard for their degree and work very hard to override the stigmas that YOU are keeping in place?!?
    A tattooed nurse

  • #3928

    Charlie Ann Comrie

    Are you kidding me? If nurses with tattoos should be practicing……every practicing nurse took the same NCLEX and shouldn’t be condemned because of body art. I work in a trauma ICU and you better believe that the next gun shot wound or MVC that rolls through the door isn’t going to care if their nurse has some ink on them.

  • #3929

    Amber Claborn

    Who cares if we have tattoos. If our patients are happy and cared for is the only thing that should matter. If I’m dying I’m not going to turn down a nurse from helping me because she has tattoos.

  • #3930

    Jenn ‘Schmidt’ Clark

    Seriously? Maybe we should wear long skirts and head covering while we’re at it. And no makeup! My tats are covered at work, but they do not define me. I’ve had patients that can’t remember names remember unique details about a person – a tat on their arm, unusual earrings, their hair color, etc.

  • #3999

    Sarah Harris

    Personally I don’t like the look of them for the most part. I feel that a tattoo’d nurse does LOOK less professional. I doesn’t bug me if they’re small. That is all personal taste. HOWEVER, I also know that I have worked with a lot of tattoo’d nurses who were amazing (some of them my treasured mentors), and we need all the good nurses we can get. Locking that person out of the workforce due to tattoos will directly translate to losing some really intelligent and hard working people. And again, in the healthcare environment today, we need all the intelligent, hard working, compassionate people we can get.

  • #3948

    Lecïa Reinächer

    Ones skin has nothing to do with the care they provide. I have several tattoos and I have been told I am a very compassionate caring nurse by patients and my fellow nurses. In this profession we are told to not be judgmental upon ones looks when it comes to our patients… Therefore in turn we as nurses should expect the same in return and not be judged. As long as we as nurses practice good hygiene, behave professionally, and alway advocate in the best interest of our patients, what does it matter how many tattoos we have.

  • #3949


    i have been in nursing 27 years and been with my now husband for that long. He too is a nurse. I have one bracelet tattoo and he has an array of tattoos. Ink makes neither of us a lesser nurse & I am saddened and shocked by some of the judgmental attitudes of fellow professionals. I am certainly not rough around the edges as someone suggested and my tattoo does not take away my care, compassion and commitment to my profession. I do feel the need to say to those who pass judgement on a fellow nurse for some ink- how do you judge your patients who are drug users, alcoholics, committed crimes or injured themselves doing something illegal? How can you call yourself a nurse if one glance allows negative judgement. I say look at yourself and your attitude before you worry about someone’s tattoo!

  • #3950

    Holly Minchin

    For God’s sake! Who cares?? If it’s not an infection risk it does not matter!! An older nurse complained about the younger nurses wearing to much make up on my last ward!! Apparently wanting to look nice means you can’t look after a ventilated neonate!

  • #3951

    April Branstetter

    I’ve never had a patient be bothered about my tattoos (or theirs haha) but plenty of administrators. It’s 2016, let’s get over the appearance of individuals and let their abilities speak.

  • #3952

    Vanessa Walton

    I don’t have any tattoos but I don’t see anything wrong with it. We are all unique individuals and may live how we see fit. We are taught to not pass judgement, and by the sounds of it, this is quite judgemental…

  • #3953

    Ke Meu

    We’re in 2016 !!! Who cares about others having a tattoo ? This has NOTHING to do with patient care.

  • #3955

    Amy Walters

    Tattoos don’t have anything to do with patient care.

  • #3954

    Carol Cartwright

    Saddened to have such a judgemental nursing colleague show how disrespectful they are of one’s uniqueness! 😞

  • #4007

    Jennifer Hutt RN

    The older generation is tattooed!

  • #4008

    Laura Chick Upham

    In today’s world it’s fine. It’s not the tatoo that makes a nurse who she/he is. Some are very beautiful

  • #4009

    Stephanie Dawn Edwards


  • #3962

    I think it has more to do with the fact that the patients are often older and in their eyes it doesn’t look professional. They don’t understand the younger generation so they feel it looks redneck and ugly to destroy your skin that way.

    If you’re reading this and you’re thinking about becoming a nurse and you have tattoos I would choose a different career. One that doesn’t hold you to such a high standard.

  • #3964

    Vera Dawber Power

    Agree with you.. I am a retired Nurse…I always kept my appearance pleasant..I always wore makeup.. Nurses should try to look nice for their patients..they do notice…& it cheers them up to see a pleasant Nurse …Male or Female. Tattoos…I think as long as they are not those huge coloured ‘limb’ jobs …!! That might be a bit off putting.

  • #3965

    Helen Vincent

    This person is most definitely being VERY old fashioned and VERY disrespectful to many nurses out there. Having tattoos does not affect the way a person does their job and to even question that those with tats shouldn’t practice is disgraceful!!

  • #3966

    Whitney Edgar

    As a tattooed cns I can say it most definitely dosent affect the way I care for my patients. It’s a way of expressing yourself. It has nothing to do with anyone but the person who has tattoos! Very sad to see that people, especially colleagues, would think the way someone looks on the outside would have any effect on the care provided. I’ve found that my patients are actually interested in my tattoos and piercings! Conversation starters!

  • #3967

    Kelley LaVanture

    I’m a home care nurse, in fact I’m a highly sought after nurse and I’ve had several families tell me they’re calling my office trying to get me assigned to their child more. I’ve been called back to my previous state to care for someone I hadn’t cared for in a year because I know how to care for him better than anyone an agency can provide. I have 3 tattoos but guess what? When I walk into a client home they’re not going to know about them because I choose locations that would be easily hidden and easily exposed so I can show them off when I want and hide them when I need to.

    According to the way this is written, if the author knew me as a coworker, they would judge me as a “good nurse” until we went out socially and I wore a dress, then I’d be unfit to practice? Really?! Good grief! A competent nurse is a competent nurse!

  • #3968

    Michele Sullivan

    Funny….nobody can see any of my tattoos unless I make them visible. Nobody even knew I had any until I showed a couple of them. I’d be pissed if I wasn’t allowed to practice based on having them. It doesn’t affect my ability to care for people.

  • #3969

    Carol Cartwright

    Fiona Starkey-norman & Robert Cartwright – what do you guys think?

  • #3970

    Sharee Castillo

    My tattoos do not affect my ability to be a nurse or the manner in which I care for my patients.

  • #3971

    Stephen Vann

    Literally every single nurse I work with is tattooed. From the charges to the care coordination nurse. I get that the ER is a different world from most nursing jobs, but it really doesnt affect anything about your job.

  • #4010

    Toria Hayes Logsdon

    I am a very neatly dressed professional Nurse and my Tattoos do not effect the excellent care my patients receive

  • #4011

    Amanda Voss

    So many patients have tattoos now. We talk and bond over the meaning of our tattoos

  • #4012

    Eden Buntin

    One of the biggest things taught in nursing is not to judge, then look, another post about judgmental attitudes from our own professionals.

    Frankly, there’s a bigger wave of acceptance and no tolerance to discrimination that’s much larger than those old fashioned.

  • #4013

    Eden Buntin

    One of the biggest things taught in nursing is not to judge, then look, another post about judgmental attitudes from our own professionals.

    Frankly, there’s a bigger wave of acceptance and no tolerance to discrimination that’s much larger than those old fashioned.

  • #3994

    Robert Cartwright

    I was tattooed before i even trained as a nurse. I was allowed them then and have more now. They have been bled on commented on and the colours traced by my dementia patients and spoken about by others. As long as they are not offensive. They are a statement they are true art and they are mine. One is very scottish and designed by my wife so i will keep my tattoos and others can keep their biased opinions. I will be a good nurse and human being regardless of my multi coloured skin

  • #3995

    Carol Cartwright

    Robert Cartwright 💋💜

  • #3996

    Shelley Squibb

    Is this even a serious question? So any one who has a tattoo need not apply? Not like something you can just take off once it’s already there.

  • #3997

    Charlotte Schut

    This question is just as stupid as the previous asking if the colour of your hair makes you not able to do your job.
    Seriously people.. Grow up

  • #4014

    Nikole Martel

    I don’t have a problem with tattoos. I have 3. Only one people can see though. But regardless tattoos have nothing to do with professional behavior. Nor do they impact my ability to do my job as a nurse

  • #4015

    Cynthia Currier

    And the geriatric set I work with has tattoo’s also ,it just the men. Times change we need to except the change

  • #4016

    Penny Jurgens

    Come on, this is the 21st century. I am a nurse, have tattoo’s, how do they make me less professional? Still perform my work & care for people tha same as I always have.

  • #4096

    Brie Milton

    I worked in a nursing home and home care. None of the patients or clients ever complained about tattoos or piercings or crazy colored hair. Most thought it was the coolest thing they’d seen. It brings a little color and joy to them in a vulnerable, uncomfortable situation. It doesn’t lessen a person’s ability to do a job. Let them have their dang tattoos!

  • #4097

    Kirsty Malone

    Absolutely! Same here. Does my tattoo make me a bad nurse? NO!

  • #4098

    Corri Chelle

    The older generation….

    I work at a nursing home and get nothing but compliments from the older generation. 🙄

  • #4099

    Graham Malone

    Yes you are old fashioned. Move on.

  • #4109

    Mary Walden

    Tattoos should not even be an issue for the most part. While I agree that a nurse should keep their look clean and professional, tattoos are so common nowadays that there would be almost no one to be nurses if nurses with tattoos couldn’t work. I think around 75% of the nurses I’ve worked with in the past 12 years have had at least one tattoo. I have some, I just keep them classy & mostly covered at work. If my sleeve rides up and a patient notices my half sleeve, the reactions I always get are “Wow, that’s so pretty!” Or “I just love cats!”

  • #4110

    Dwindy Eppard

    I have been a nurse for 17 years. I have 10 tats the only one that shows is my cancer survivor tat. It reminds me everyday what I went through. I have never had a patient even in their 70’s and 80’s tell me they didn’t want me as their nurse because i have tats. My cancer survior tat has given many of my patients hope that no matter how bad things get they can make it through it.

  • #4209

    June Pittman

    Political correctness gone mad– nurses are people not automatons. If it is not going to cause a higher risk of passing infection how does a tattoo, a piercing or altered hair colour harm a pt sometimes these things link us to patients sometimes they are a point of discussion starting. Flo’s virgins have long since died, we have not signed into the military — nurses sacrifice a lot to do their jobs so stop the judgements and leave them their little individualities if they want them

  • #4210

    Songi Des Moines Roach

    Really? Me having a tattoo does not have an effect on how I do my job… Um… Anywho?

  • #4214

    Dawn-Louise Harcus

    I have tattoos, so do many of my colleagues. It does not affect our ability to work in a professional manner. I can only assume this is an American rule. UK does not have these ridiculous restraints on nurses.

  • #4314


    Nurses are to display moral soundness,neatness and we’ll behaved attitude. People in the public,  classify people according to their appearance. No one will say to someone with a tattoo, that “this person is so decent”.

    Besides,  if such Nurses does take care of a psychiatric patient, no one will be surprised to hear that she is being molested by her patients.

    Not ever should a nurse, who wants to further her carrier, be so indecent and rough.

    • #4392

      1. Some of the comments on here are vile. Nurses with tattoos are not rough, they are not indecent people. Having a tattoo makes you no less of a person than someone who doesn’t have any tattoos. The sooner people understand this the better. I would rather have a competent nurse with tattoos than a incompetent tattoo free nurse. I have visible tattoos at work. None of my patients have ever complained. I am always clean and presentable with my hair off my collar. The only difference is I have tattoos, and sometimes pink hair. I have been told numerous times that my bright and cheerful appearance has helped cheer people up. Never that I looked unprofessional. I could point out many unprofessional looking nurses in my opinion though. Messy unwashed hair, bad body odour, uniforms too tight. None of these things come under any flack. The only difference between people with tattoos and those without is that those with them do not judge you for not having any.
  • #4377

    Naomi Gray

    I am 55, have been a nurse for 20 years, started getting tattoos at 40, I work in geriatrics, the older generation love the tattoos I have, frequently asking to see them, especially Rosie the Riveter on my forearm, which by the way, none of my tattos prevent me from doing any nursing procedures

  • #4378

    Rhiannon Williams

    Simple answer – no. To suggest nurses with tattoos should not be able to practice is unbelievable. I would question your people skills. Being non judgemental is a vital skill in nursing – it is you who should be questioned about fitness to practice.

  • #4379

    Debbie Gromoll

    I have several tattoos on my arms. I have many “older” patients tell me they are beautiful. I recently had a 74 year old female patient tell me I inspired her to go and get her first tattoo. She said she always wanted one but never did it. My tattoos do not define me as a nurse.

  • #4380

    Michael Anderson

    Really what year is this? As long as they arent offensive…give me a competent tattooed nurse any day

  • #4381

    Michael Anderson

    Nurses still eat their young for sure

  • #4382

    Lara Dubuc

    Shouldn’t be an issue. If they are helping me I don’t care what kind of art is in their skin. Is this an issue with police and firefighters, emt?

  • #4384

    Kelly Smith Meyer

    i am a 50 year old nurse and i am an excellent nurse and have tattoos where they can be seen and its never been an issue and it really shouldn’t ever a good nurse is a good nurse there are plenty of “bad” nurses out there that have no tats

  • #4385

    Samantha Hayes

    When i’m between living and dying I’m not going to be thinking of how “unprofessional” my nurse looks with her tattoos. They dont change the compassion or dedication that nurse has. It doesn’t change the fact that they worked their ass off for their degree. It will never be a easy job. Ever. So no. I will never care what kind of ink a nurse has.

  • #4386

    Maritza Delourdes Cogan

    see James Cogan

  • #4388

    Katherine Wallace

    Tattoos in no way make a nurse look less professional…..
    This mindset is archaic and unbecoming of a nurse professional. There are other things affecting our profession that need addressing …… Not tattoos. I don’t have them. Not my thing. I respect other people’s choice to have them.

  • #4389

    Donna Scheel Michelz

    Same for teachers. 😕

  • #4390

    Lynne White

    Tattoos have nothing to do with the ability to provide care. What a stupid topic.

  • #4391

    Theresa Ann

    Me having tattoos should not matter…. When you are lying in my stretcher I am going to save your life either way. It is my choice to have tattoos and to put them in places where I choose them to be seen. So I have a few tattoos, it doesn’t make me hellian. It is my way of expressing who I am.
    I find it a way to communicate with some of my patients too

  • #4394


    C’mon guys, let’s be honest, they look disgusting. I can’t believe there are so many people on here that believe they look good. They may look good to you, but they look terrible to older people who don’t have them and still are of the opinion that people that do look like inmates.

    We are there to serve the public and care for the elderly includes that. We owe it to them to look trustworthy and professional. When  someone is tattooed I see them as very scary, ugly and unprofessional. I have the right to my opinion, just as you all have the right to have yours.

    If you want a bunch of tattoos then maybe you’re best suited to be a mechanic, a factory worker or as someone else said, an inmate. It just doesn’t look good and people look down on you whether you like it or not.

    All of you can say that people shouldn’t be judging others, but the bottom line is that it’s human nature to judge and nurses who are tattooed make the entire profession look bad.

    Oh, and to the person who said this is political correctness gone mad. No this is not political correctness gone mad. I refuse to be politically correct there is way too much of that these days. :negative:

  • #4395


    Sorry, but I don’t appreciate that crappy “art” on your arms, neck, face, legs, head & who knows where else,any more than I want to see you plaster graffiti all over the ICU’s walls. It’s all punkish & trashy & has no place in professional settings. Yes, like it or not, I & many others more afraid to express their views on this, are judging you…just like you will me for making these comments!

  • #4396

    Shantel Marie Aldinç

    I have tattoos. I just feel they are more for my personal life and in scrubs I should look professional and not like I went through a rough patch in my teens

  • #4481

    Brenda Reynolds Ballard

    I am old fashioned but I like someone who looks clean to be taking care of me.

  • #4482

    Brenda Reynolds Ballard


  • #5062

    Paula Paiz

    Tattoos rule get over it!!!! I don’t give a f….. if the nurse has tattos , can she keep me alive

  • #5425


    Never have I come across an older person, or younger for that matter, that has complained or balked at mine. I’ve worked for one of the best hospitals in the DoD, the VA. The old folks are always the most interested in mine and always ask about its story. They promptly show off theirs and give me their story behind it. It would be wiser to change your anti-tattoo attitude than to carry-on about disliking them. Tattoos are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to things we nurses should be concerned with. My tattoos do not lessen my morals, standards, character, OR my badass level of care. You’d do better to know someone and judge, than to see a tattoo and judge. Mine are all fire service related. That in no way means I’m not competent enough to be a nurse. It means that you’ll see me on the fire ground or medical run saving your life and then on the unit after they’ve admitted you to the hospital, tending you. 😇

    • #5449


      And yes, both the DoD and VA allow visible tattoos, along with piercings and crazy coloured hair.

  • #5526

    Heather Saavedra-Wagner

    Never have I come across an older person, or younger for that matter, that has complained or balked at mine. My experience is like yours, they love them! The old folks are always more interested in them. ❤

  • #5783

    Heather Saavedra-Wagner

    I’ve found more of those “older generation” who have entire conversations about mine with me, and then PROMPTLY show me theirs and tell their stories. Let go of the anti-tattoo bullshit. It’s old, and ragged. Do yourself a favor and change your attitude about them. Not only are you missing out on lots of good nurses, you’re missing out on more important things in life. My tattoos don’t make my morals, standards, character, or my badass level of care any less.

  • #5940

    Emma Bleakley

    I have meet some lovely 80 plus year olds with tattoo who are happy to share there stories. As an RN with a tattoo I am happy to share my stories. Tattoo are self expression that tell a person story, as a profession RN I am a person with a story. It only improves my ability to care for my patients when I share myself with them.

  • #5942

    No, I don’t like them. I think they just make you look bad. Especially the older ones, that lose their shape and look disgusting on wrinkled skin.

    Nurses should be more professional than that. Your hospital isn’t the ghetto.  Do everyone a favor and stop getting tattoos if you’re in nursing. They look a hot mess.

    Make all the excuses you want. but they look like a person who’s rebelling to me.

  • #19356

    Heather Bickner

    Nurses do not judge any patient by gender, race, or religion, sexual orientation… The list goes on… We care for any and all. I would hope that a tattoo whether covered or not would not be detrimental to someone’s professionalism. I know plenty of professionals who have tattoos, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  • #19362

    Amanda Smith

    Does it stop us from doing our jobs? No…it doesn’t!!! It’s just the same prejudice as bikies or trades people, or footballers! They don’t stop anyone from doing anything!!!

  • #19363

    Elizabeth Thomason

    Universal precautions are mandatory for patients wth tattoos.

  • #19364

    Amanda Smith

    They are mandatory for ALL patients!!!

  • #19365

    Heather Saavedra-Wagner

    That’s why they’re called “UNIVERSAL precautions”

  • #19366

    Olivia Peterson

    I agree with Heather Bickner!

  • #19414

    Alison Kerekes

    Nurses come from the community they care for- and as a result come in all shapes, sizes, colours, religions, hair colour etc etc. I try never to judge people. I once nursed an elderly lady- with a tat on her arm. Druggie???? Criminal??? No -a Jewish survivor of the nazi death camps.

  • #20301

    I Heart Nurses


  • #20302

    Erin Frazier Noyes

    I’m sorry, but if you’re dying and someone is licensed and certified to wave your frigging life do you care if they have tattoos?? Come on. Especially tattoos covered by their clothing. Grow up and stop judging.
    And as far as the comment about universal precautions go, if you’re trying to imply that tattooing causes disease exposure (when done correctly in a licensed shop it doesn’t) do you also expect all nurses to never have sex at all? Because you’re far more likely to get HIV or hep-C that way.
    Tattoos have become the norm. I got compliments from a lot of my patients on my tattoos and my nose stud…..and many of those patients were older. A 95 year old loved my nose stud, she called it my glittery booger and giggled over it.
    There’s nothing about appearance that makes you good or bad at the job. Some of the worst nurses I ever saw had not a drop of ink, some of the best I ever knew had extensive tattoos….including one with full sleeves. The best RT at my old hospital has sleeves, a neck piece, and nose stud to boot and if I ever code I’d slap people out of the way to have her work on me. She’s that good at her job. I don’t care about her personal style.
    As long as you’re hygeine is in order and you don’t have any vulgarities or hate symbols tattooed, and your hair isn’t falling in your sterile field, or your piercings can be snagged or caught, you shouldn’t be hassled. Let it go. And frankly a lot of the elderly are nowhere near as prudey as you think.

  • #20306

    I Heart Nurses

    totally could not agree more 🙂

  • #20304

    Erin Frazier Noyes

    So I guess we can’t have sex either. Because you are far more likely to get HIV or hep-C etc from sex….the risk of exposure in tattooing and piercing when done by a professional in a licensed shop is near to nonexistent.
    And if you’re only using precautions with your tattooed patients, or the ones who “look” a certain way, then you’re not a safe practitioner and you need a serious safety refresher.

  • #20308

    I Heart Nurses

    I agree Nice ?

  • #20310

    I Heart Nurses

    Worlds biggest nursing super fan

  • #21140

    Amy Kate Turner

    I find patients like them, it’s a conversation starter!
    Plus I’ve never had one patient/person stop me from giving life saving treatment because ive got ink on my skin! that I should have a prejudice against me in the 21st century when tattoos done properly and safely are the law makes me so angry! What the hell does the colours on my skin have to do with my ability to be an amazing health care provider!!

  • #21317

    Roseline Webb

    im the patient you are the nurse what are practice,a healthy body n healthy eating or tattoos keep youre body away from the doctor!NOT COOL!!!!!!!

  • #21322

    Laura Schwalm-Hamlin

    Hell yes

  • #21323

    Mark Rowen

    What era are you from?

  • #21324

    Dawn-Louise Harcus

    This angers me. What exactly about a tattoo is unprofessional? Does it change the care and treatment given? Does it take away your ability to empathise? Has anyone asked the patients if what they think. I work exclusively with the elderly, they often ask about my tattoos, I have never had a negative reaction.

  • #21325

    Elizabeth Thomason

    Why so militant?

  • #21326

    Michael Anderson

    I dont care what is allowed its my body…and none of my tatoos are of an offensive matter

  • #21328

    Erin Frazier Noyes

    Why so ignorant?

  • #21331

    Marisa Shelnutt

    Having tattoos does not at all affect the skills the nurse has to save a patient life. I have tattoos I’m a RN and the population that you would think would hate them love my tattoos ask questions and want to know the story behind them. Hair color tattoos piercings are not going to matter at all when you are saving a life ever.

  • #21332

    Anne Ingram

    Tatted nurse…and don’t care what people think. My tattoo does not effect my care for my patients. My patients love it. This tattoo is in honour of my grandmother and I where it proud even in my profession.

  • #21333

    Marisa Shelnutt

    Universal precaution is mandatory for all patients ALL of them tattoos or not are you going to check a whole patient body from head to toe for skin issues and only put gloves on if you see a tattoo???? Hahaha I’m sorry but that’s just funny and honestly pretty stupid 😂

  • #21334

    Nancy Weaver


  • #22836

    Sonie Lea

    I’m an L&D nurse so my patient population is usually younger. For them tattoos, piercings and different colored hair is the norm. I’ve actually found my patient relate better to me at times because I appear more like them. I’m tired of constantly being told not judge patient and be accepting of their culture, etc but I’m constantly judge for my tats, piercing, etc. This double standard is getting ridiculous.

  • #22837

    Diana Baranowski

    Judging a nurses compassion and care based on a tattoo is like judging a mechanics ability on his ponytail. Doesn’t make sense.? My point exactly!

  • #22838

    Erin Frazier Noyes

    Be careful….apparently pointing out gaping holes in logic is being militant.

  • #22839

    Brittney Woten

    It’s 2016 and there are a lot worse things going on in nursing than tattoos..

  • #22840

    Brittney Woten

    Nurses take care of all kinds of patients, and I personally never pass judgement so why should I be judged for having tattoos. Tattoos do not determine how good a nurse you are 👌🏻

  • #22943

    Hayley Ekins

    I have tattoos and all i would say is that maybe a grim reaper sleeve may make a patient nervous… or the obvious vulgar or offensive ones in any profession is a no no but do they stop you going any job well … no..

  • #22944

    Geo Lovell

    Yes your old fashioned I find your comment rude and unprofessional 38 years of Heath care and not one nurse I know failed to do there job as a result of having tattoos I myself have 6 in total Never have been turned away from a code trauma or putting your dead son or daughter back together so you could view there dead bodies Conclusion on this is Get a grip on reality

  • #22990

    Peggy Vellanoweth


  • #23007


    I respect tattoos are form of arts. It’s an expression but as A NURSE by profession we should be conscientious enough dealing with it. We’re dealing with lives & different kinds of sickness. On my nursing school days we are taught to wear All WHITE, NO STAIN, BE CLEAN in all aspects even with hair color & nail polish.  Where is Our NURSING STANDARDS?  I love tattooes but I guess, it’s a case to case basis, not a provocative one like you’ll be dealing with Mentally ILL patients, with pediatrics et al., & you’re having tattooes like, What a hell with horn designs, big eyes😈 I guess it would be graceful enough to check our Nursing Standards & not just of what’s TRENDING. #PeaceOut #justSayin’

  • #68691

    Dawn-Louise Harcus

    A question I would ask is “do my tattoos affect my ability to practice?” the answer is no.

  • #68692

    Dawn-Louise Harcus

    A question I would ask is “do my tattoos affect my ability to practice?” the answer is no.

  • #68704

    Jen Girouard

    In all the years I’ve had tattoos, I’ve only ever had ONE person object. I’m self-employed. My patients could choose to go elsewhere for their care. But because they get top-notch service from a well-educated and experienced nurse, they overlook the tats, believe me.

  • #68705

    Susan Easter

    Also, Do my tattoos affect my education and experience?? No

  • #68706

    Carolyn DiPierro

    Why discriminate? Wear long sleeves if they are offensive types of tattoos. My work did make a secretary remove her facial piercings though ( lip), or risk unemployment.

  • #68707

    Arlene Facca-Proskiw

    Well said, Jen.

  • #68708

    Tina Marie Bruce

    Luckily we are moving past the idea that dyed hair, tattoos and other body adornment defines whether you are professional or competent. We also no longer require women to stay at home and vacuum in heels and pearls, and people of all colors, religions and nationalities can work in the hospital and you may have one as a nurse!!

  • #68709

    Marisa Shelnutt

    When your a nurse saving a life or anyone in the medical profession for that matter no patient is ever gonna say don’t save me you got tattoos. Tattoos are the very last thing on their mind.

  • #68710

    Ann Harris

    Never judge a book by its cover ,,, just saying ,,

  • #68711

    Virginia S. Lindstrom

    It is time we realized that not every person with tattoo’s did them without thought , regret them or have only a vulgar tattoo . All levels of education, backgrounds have customs we are told to accept and look look beyond, well then we need to practice the same toward our own ” Nurses”

  • #68712

    Diana Baranowski

    I don’t care what my team look like, it’s their passion and dedication that counts. I don’t judge a nurses ability to care by their physical appearance. This is so judgemental and stereotypical. Does it mean all patients should be little old ladies with white hair!!! Get with the times and open you eyes and ears and most importantly your heart!

  • #68713

    Patty Carter

    I am a nurse, not a nun! Love my tats.

  • #68714

    Tena Hampton-Dieleman

    Lol truth! Honestly I don’t think patients are worried about tattoos.. They want good care …

  • #68715

    Patty Carter

    I agree. When they are sick or in pain they aren’t worried about my tats.

  • #68716

    Heather Marie

    Pretty offensive. I work with a great group of nurses, most with tattoos who I would trust my life and my family’s life in their hands any day. We teach our children to be accepting of everything these days, but nurses with tattoos shouldn’t be practicing?! Sasha, Jef, Brian, Rhi!

  • #68719

    Brian Moran

    To insult me…I would first have to value that persons opinion of me…Male or Female this person sounds like a complete fucktard and has no idea what’s going on in the world.

  • #68720

    Brian Moran
  • #68721

    Jef Peznowski

    It’s very easy to sit and write an article or comment when you have no basis or research to back up your beliefs. I myself have a shit ton of beliefs based on no factual evidence; they are my beliefs and no one else’s so what gives me the right to bring others with? Further more, of this ass clown is offended by tattooed nurses and doesn’t want to receive care from them he is missing out on care by some of the best nurses I have ever worked with in my 20+ year career. Best of luck to you ass clown. I personally don’t like judgmental people that have never read the book but have the misconception they know all about its contents.

  • #68722

    Verna Gattone

    o the most my patients ever asked if i was in the military

  • #68723

    Angie Voisin

    Last time I checked there are many doctors with tattoos. Get over it. Some people put their art on their walls. We choose to wear ours proudly. The ink does not affect the brain, therefore my tattoos have absolutely nothing to do with my ability to be a great nurse, as so many of my patients have told me. I’m sorry but this is just uptight and snotty. I am going to assume the person who posted this is probably an older nurse.

  • #68724

    Angie Voisin

    My tattoos don’t make me any less of a nurse. I love my tattoos. Maybe we should say the same about judgmental nurses.. Maybe they are just not in the right profession. The oath I took promised to care for all people, it did not include me not being able to be myself. As nurses we should accept all people as nurses. Stop stereotyping. Just because I have some ink in my sleeve does not make me any less professional than you.

  • #68725


    I’m pretty sure the pts I resus’d yesterday afternoon did not really give a crap about my purple hair and my tattoos, actually I am pretty sure they had other things on their minds… Like not dying!!!! As an ER and ICU nurse I have participated and saved many lives but you would have me out of the profession due to your judgemental standards?? Imagine “I am sorry your loved one passed away but we were unable to find a nurse/doctor without a tattoo so we were not able to do everything possible”… Well like the old saying goes, nurses eat their young and is evident in this post! My advice, be the best nurse you can be for your pts, not to appease other nurses who believe you do not meet their standards!! Thank God my boss rocks the real world and not 1950

  • #68726

    Tonya Hopkins

    I am a CNA and I have tattoos. I have been a CNA for 12 years and the only thing my residents ever ask is what they mean. A lot of people have tattoos for a reason some for in memory of and others because it is their body and they do as they please. It don’t matter what they have as long as they are ok with them. This post is really being stereotypical

  • #68737

    Heather Levins

    Nurses are held to a higher standard. I feel it boils down to common sense, tact, placement of tattoos, as well as type of work environment. Piercings- don’t mind, but personally think it’s gross- just an entry point for bacteria or worse, lol.

  • #68741

    Marli Whitener-Patterson

    Tattoos don’t make you more or less of a nurse, so they sooner we stop feeding into these imaginary limitations and right down to what nursing really is about, the better off we’ll all be….I haven’t had a supervisor say to me yet, “oh, we’re short, &. I was going to ask you to stay a little Maltese, but never mind, I see you have tattoos!” 😜

  • #68742

    Amberr Maynard

    I’m an amazing tatted nurse, my dad died 10-2-16 very tragically at 53 I had to do something to honor him, the pocket watch is stopped at his time of death 🙁 my tattoo doesn’t impair my nursing skill set, if anything it shows my love and passion for human life 😇

  • #68748

    Jibran Miller

    you are very very old fashion! I’m a register nurse with a full sleeve and have the exact same education and professionals as any other nurse. I’m also a soldier. So tell me where do I belong ?

  • #68749

    Jibran Miller

    This a BS article. I have the same education/professionals/ and a dam good nurse with a sleeve. I’m also a army member. And you’re telling me I don’t belong! It’s crazy how you can stay stuck in negative non-helpful mentality. I hope you never need help from one of these thug no good tattoo nurses !

  • #68751

    Tom Schneider

    Absolutely ridiculous. Some of the best nurses I know have full or half sleeves. Live a little!

  • #68753

    Tina Marie Bruce

    Yes we are held to a higher standard. That’s why we have a college education and massive skills! It’s got nothing to do with appearance.

  • #68754

    Amanda Geyer

    All I require from a nurse to whom I’m assigned is that they not be a cotton-headed ninnymuggins. A good ink job is a great way to distract me from $procedure, as we chat it up.

  • #68756

    Denise Parent

    I worked with a male nurse who was required to cover his tattoos on his arms. He was in the navy years ago and our new director was a bully and wouldn’t budge. He even took it to court and lost. Anyway his wife sewed half sleeves that had elastics on both ends that he just slipped on. Just enough to cover the tatts. It was hilarious looked ridiculous and was made with the loudest brightest fabric. Drawing even more attention to his arms! We all loved it, and the tyrant could not say a word because those tatts were covered!

  • #72291

    Bill Leitenberger

    Should they be allowed? Hell, heavily tattooed and an RN for nearly 20 years.. I dont give a shit what your “style” or “image” is. If you know your shit and are good to people, you are ok by me

  • #72293

    Johann Botha

    Yeah sure, lets focus on tattoos and not on pay, nurse-pt ratios…. stuff that really matters…

  • #72292

    Krystal Laurentsch

    How ridiculous! I am the CEO of an Aged care organisation and the majority of our residents love our staff’s tattoos- some have even gone to get their own recently. Discrimination much?

  • #72294

    Nicole Miller Massey

    Been taking care of geriatrics for 23 years. They could care less as long as they’re taken care of. Plain and simple.

  • #72295

    Stephen Vann

    So, just to be clear, the author has a problem with the color of my skin?

  • #72296

    April Branstetter

    …And they don’t care.

  • #72297

    Krystal Laurentsch

    Clinton 🙄

  • #72306

    Clinton Laurentsch

    Oops. They may have been expecting a different reaction 😂

  • #72307

    Paul Nugent

    Ridiculous question.

  • #72308

    Kathy Good

    I don’t think so but I’m old school nursing.

  • #72312

    Patti Pitman-Fisher

    Is this an archived post from 100 years ago?

  • #72314

    Lianne Pepperell

    I think that if you have a problem with nurses having tattoos then YOU shouldn’t be a nurse because you are obviously judgemental and uncaring towards peoples beliefs and cultures and this goes against the mantra of nursing more than a physical tattoo. (I don’t have any by the way)

  • #72315

    Susan Scamehorn-duncan

    Yes a tat doesn’t make you dirty it’s a symbol of what a person has accomplished or has been through or has a meaning behind it

  • #72316

    Brevyn R. S. Fisher

    Not a nurse, but a paramedic. I’ve had many compliments and not a single complaint. Really seems like a non-issue…

  • #72321

    Amberr Maynard

    Hasn’t are many as you want just be tasteful. My dad died unexpectedly at 54 due to complications from surgery I would never remove this tattoo it’s up a clock that states his time and death and angel wings

  • #72323

    Ashleigh Nixon

    Of course they bloody should what a stupid question 😒

  • #72324

    Belinda Ann Trehearn

    Too late 😂 I’m in 😍😍

  • #72327

    Jada Buchanan

    Dumbest subject ever. They claim there’s a nursing shortage, but want to alienate so many possibly good candidates?!? They better worry about getting the brightest, and most compassionate people and don’t worry about tattoos.

  • #72328

    Theresa Minehane

    There are not enough nurses now in the NHS take away the tattooed ones your doomed just because their inked doesn’t make them
    A worse nurse and many old age men are covered in tattoos so….. as long as you are appropriately dressed and patient care and safety are delivered at a high standard who cares really

  • #72329

    April Luttrell

    Where I currently work I have to cover my sleeve tattoos. But where I worked previously I was able to go uncovered and literally every patient I had complimented me and wanted to touch it, got so much attention I almost wanted to cover it up myself lol

  • #72330

    Harley Peterson

    That’s just because your tattoos are so legit…

  • #72336

    Georgia Jenkins

    My tattoos have been a focal point of conversation amongst the patients. I’ll even go as far as saying that they have helped form therapeutic relationships. A large percentage of the older generation aren’t exactly fans of technology either. Maybe we should get rid of computers too?

  • #72338

    Lynn Blanchard

    Get a life. This is is just completely irrelevant. There are way more important issues that need to be addressed in our profession. (And by the way, I am 66 yo.)

  • #72339

    Siobhan Legge

    I have one. It does not effect the care I provide to patients.

  • #72344

    Stephen Vann

    Same here – constant compliments, no complaints.

  • #72345

    Tsumbedzo Netshiongolwe

    I don’t have a tattoo, but I see no effect in this profession , yea it is OK to have it

  • #72348

    Caroline Burgess

    Why is this even an issue?

  • #72351

    Steve Lam

    🙄 really? I take your “old fashioned” and raise you to prejudiced. Hugs and kisses from a tattoo sporting nurse 😘🤗😘🤗😘.

  • #72353

    Kimberly Ward

    Not asking if they should be covered but if a tattoed person should even be allowed to practice? What an utterly ridiculous question.

  • #72355

    Sarah Short


  • #72356

    Leanne Sheridan

    Very timely. I’m 50 and thinking of getting a tattoo on the back of one of my hands. Already have an out of sight one but haven’t thought if my hospital old have a problem with it. 😳

  • #72357

    Sarah Short

    Really…… Zzzzzzzz

  • #72361

    Eloise Johnson

    I have tattoos.. it doesn’t effect how I nurse.. its right up there with who you are and your sexual orientation..

  • #72363

    Patti Pitman-Fisher

    To me, this is similar to the ‘breast feeding in public’ issue.
    There is no issue!
    Move on to a legitimate public concern.

  • #72365

    April McGriff Rodriguez


  • #72369

    Sue DeAraugo

    Absolutely I have a professional job and multiple tattoos…..they don’t effect how I do my job at all!!!!!

  • #72373

    Pat Ellen

    Hair up,nairn short, no jewellery, or make up…….I agree with the author here….

  • #72372

    Pat Ellen

    Think the author of this article is getting too much of a bashing. ….I was a nurse all my working life and you were not allowed to have tattoos when I started,nor were you allowed to carry ant extra weight (pause,wait for ferocious back lash),hair had to be keep

  • #72379

    Kealeboga Shomolekae

    I am a nurse & I have tattoes,what others think of them is their business. I am happy with who I am.

  • #72382

    Please refrain from name calling on this thread. Your comment will be removed. Thanks for your cooperation.


  • #72396

    Kgomotso Gertrude Moholo

    I also dont think is professional ,tatoos have meanigs

  • #72400

    Diana Baranowski

    Really did Florence nightingale post this along side nurses showing their ankles is offensive. Shouldn’t make a bit of difference what a nurse looks like, what matters is does she have an unconditional heart that she can care selflessly for another in need? That’s like saying are patients with tattoos less worthy!!!!

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