I have been a LPN for about 5 yrs . . . I toy with the idea of going back for my RN or getting out of nursing completely. I recently got a large tattoo that goes from my shoulder to my elbow. The sleeve of my scrubs
cover all but the tip (most of the time). Administration does not have policies about tattoos at my facility and I have received many compliments on it. My dilema is that a co-worker made the statement "I guess you won't be going back for your RN now. They'll never accept you with that tattoo showing through white scrubs." I was taken back by this, obviously I hadn't thought about the affects of my new tattoo when applying to a RN program in rural southern oklahoma, lol. I've thought that I could just wear long sleeves when I apply and interview
and it would probably mean covering it with bandages or such while in clinicals . . .
. Any how, just wanted to see what others think . . . whether or not it will be a big deal and maybe warn others BECAUSE I honestly didn't think about this before hand.
Sep 16, '06
I think a little old lady might be offend, but most average aged people today would not think anything of it. My teacher even gave a little talk about how it is being seen more and more in nursing as it becomes a form of expression. (as long as your not the record piercing or tattoo type) It is a matter of professionalism though. At my school you have to wear long white sleeves. If you get a thick enough fabric I bet it would cove it up with out showing through. That is a rude thing your co-worker said. Just because you have a tattoo does not mean you can not get into an RN program, that would be discrimination! There is even a girl with dread-lock in the ASN program I applied to (got into the BSN though) and I would rather have a nurse with a big tat than dreads..IMO
Don't let something like a tattoo stop you from becoming a nurse, the tattoo does not determine your intellect or nursing abilities. Your tattoo does not mean you can be caring for a client. Your tattoo does not mean you will be bad at giving shots or starting I.V.s....
Last edit by HeartsOpenWide on Sep 16, '06
Sep 16, '06
I think many people do care. I had surgery recently, and one of the people who wheeled me into the operating suite had tattoos all the way up his arm. I have to admit I internally 'startled' at the sight and felt my heart skip. It just doesn't inspire confidence or appear professional. If I feel this way as a 32 year old female, imagine how many little old ladies feel?
I don't see this as being about discrimination, but rather about professionalism. You have zero control over your race or ethicity. Your race or ethnicity does not have any bearing on your inherant ability or morals. You do have control over tattooing yourself or not. Tattoos are associated with a certain cultural element that many aren't comfortable with. Rightly or wrongly, this is the case. So if you need to cover the tattoo up - so be it.
I know that this is absolutely what you DO NOT want to hear. I hesitate to post this because I know that people who have tattoos will feel hurt or angry reading this. I just think it's important to balance your views of your rights with the perceptions of many, many patients.
I certainly hope you don't let the tattoo alter your school plans. That would be a shame. I'm sure you can find a solution - perhaps long sleeves.
Last edit by Multicollinearity on Sep 17, '06