Being an ugly nurse

Nurses Relations


Hi folks. My questions in this thread are actually more serious than they'll seem...

We've discussed at length here how awesome it is to be a young, hot nurse. Well, how about if you're old and ugly? The first strike against me is I'm male. The second strike is I'm going to be past 40 by time I finish Nursing school. My hair is thinning a little and I've got a mild case of rosacea. I'm somewhat overweight, but I've also got a condition known as Diastasis Recti which makes it look like I have a beer gut. I never was a cute little kid to start with and never got to be "young and hot" like everyone else. Basically, I'm at tops a step up from your standard Level 4 bridge troll. In real life, if I'm too nice to people or too eager to help them with anything (an innate flaw of my personality) it somehow translates to "creepy" instead of "kind". This disqualifies me from L&D and Ped for sure, but I'm fine with that.

When a classmate of mine tells people he is going into nursing, the responses he gets are usually "*swoon* nothing like a hot male nurse!". When I tell people, I usually get stuff like "You'll be useful for all the heavy lifting and cleaning up".

Surely some of you Studly Guys and Lovely Ladies have had to work alongside someone who looks like they stepped out of the Mos Eisley Cantina scene before (and I don't mean that in the cool way). Even if the ugly nurse is reasonably intelligent, competent, fairly personable with a great sense of humor and doesn't smell bad, would their dodgy appearance make them more prone to:

1) Discipline for mistakes.

2) Lateral violence.

3) Getting a bedpan dumped in their locker

4) Patients being 'creeped out' in the presence of an ugly old man

5) Jealousy from co-workers (see Mos Eisley comment above)

6) Getting hired in the first place

7) ???

I'm not becoming a nurse to go hit on all the hot young female nurses (as my friends seem to believe) so I'm not overly worried about dating prospects. It's a job, it's a career and I'm driven to help people.

The people I work with now love the crap out of me because I'm good at what I do, I'm good at understanding what THEY do, I'm good at getting everyone and everything to work together and I make the work environment fun and enjoyable with humor and good cheer. However, we're all a bunch of computer/Star Wars/Lego/DnD geeks and we don't work with the public a whole helluva lot.

But nobody goes to a hospital to see ugly people, right? Should I just pack it in and join the circus instead?

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma/Critical Care Nursing.

My mother gave me a miller, fannypack, and insisted I should wear a nice pant suit to homecoming (I'm a chick lol), but so what? I know that if i ever end up an ER pt in the resus room, w/hairy legs, no makeup, and granny panties on, I definately dont want McDreamy on staff to see it! Lol

Besides, those of us who are "less than perfect", tend to compensate by having awesome personalities and hella funny jokes!

Relax, breathe, and go become a great nurse and give yourself a break, okay?

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty.

We've discussed at length how awesome some young, hot nurses think they are and how that perception fits with what sort of impression they make on patients and coworkers. I still believe that one's spirit and personality have far more to do with your success in that area, mofomeat. Any of us who have been around for a while know what I'm talking about. Just the fact that you care what kind of impact your physical appearance may have on others puts you at tops in my book for someone I'd like to work with someday.

Specializes in ortho, hospice volunteer, psych,.


First of all, you are NOT a troll, an ogre, super hideously ugly! As I say to my husband occasionally,

"Knock it off and quit feeling sorry for yourself! You have so much on the ball and so much to offer

the world!"

Were you abused or neglected or not nurtured as a child? My husband was fed, clothed, kept clean,

housed, and that was about it. When we met shortly after grad school, he was sweet, funny, considerate,

very very intelligent, but said he felt like Mortimer Snerd (look it up) and was silly.

He dressed like a typical bachelor, (you women know exactly what I mean) his goatee was straggly,

his socks were always clean but frequently mismatched, and was still living like a grad student, and

was still keeping all-night student hours. That look is endearing when you're in your twenties, but much

later than that...NOT!

He was very very self consious about his ostrich egg-sized bald spot and always wore this stupid looking

collection of hats absolutely EVERYwhere. Finally I asked him if he wore a hat to bed like Ed Norton

on The Honeymooners every night. That made him laugh and when he realized being... uh... follically

challenged?... was no big deal, his confidence grew by leaps and bounds.

My husband and I are both 5'4" and that was an issue, but guess what? His students absolutely adore

and flock to him. They even go to him with their personal problems!

The point of this rant/comparison is that you're psyching yourself out with your complete lack of confidence.

Don't be so darned hard on yourself! You are NOT Herman Munster or any of his relatives! Make sure

you're freshly showered, wearing clean clothes, have hair not cut with a bowl, and assume you'll be well

liked and appreciated by all but a few crabs. You don't have to be Richard Gere to get and keep a job!

Honestly, though my husband tells me I'm the hottest thing since sliced bread, I'm very short, round, past 40, and have uneven skin tone and pores you could park a car in. I don't wear makeup to work most of the time because if I sweat during my shift, it becomes cake-like and I feel disgusting. I don't think anyone in their right mind would call me a hot babe.

I'm the charge nurse of a medical unit, where I'm the oldest nurse by quite a few years. We frequently hire nurses straight out of school, many of whom are around the age of my oldest daughter. I feel like I have fewer problems and more positive interactions with coworkers and patients because of my age, how I conduct myself, and my pts' perception of me. Maybe younger pts tend to treat me as an authority figure (like a teacher) and less like a peer (as they do the newer, hot nurses); older pts might be more comfortable with someone who appears to be the age of their child, as opposed to someone closer to the age of their great-grandchild. I'm the same age as many of my coworkers' parents, so they often treat me with the same respect they would treat their mother, and see me as a resource and a source of support and reassurance.

I'm a really good nurse. I have a lot of experience, I keep up with new medications and technologies, and I continue to take classes to improve my knowledge base and skills. I also am in general a happy, confident, secure, low drama person. I think all of this is apparent in interactions with me,and if you spend more than 5 minutes with me, that's what you see. Patients respond to to attitude and personality much more than looks, in my professional experience.

Seriously, beauty and youth really don't count for much with patients. They want someone who is friendly, professional, and confident. They are scared, they feel rotten, they are out of their element, and they aren't looking too hot themselves. They don't care about your looks, just about how you take care of them.

Specializes in Home Care.


In any job personality, team work, and skills are far more important than looks.

Specializes in ICU.

For the record...

You don't have to be ugly to be a computer/Star Wars/Lego/DnD geek. Just throwing that out there.

Also, I never said I wasn't old.

Carry on.

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health.

If you seemed caring and competent as a patient that is all I want.

If you have my back and work as a team member and have a sense of humor as a co-worker that is all I care about.

Looks - hot or not do not factor in 1 iota.

Specializes in Med/Surge, Psych, LTC, Home Health.

I'm pushing 40, have pores that you can hide a small family in, I'm very tall, and

I'm classified as morbidly obese.

So... where am I going with this... um, I feel for ya? :lol2:

If I am in a hospital bed looking over the rails towards the nurse, I could care less if the nurse was dro-dead, Brad Pitt georgeous or a troll--as long a the nurse has a clean appearance, was confident, capable and treated me with respect and kindness.

As far as a little muffin top that spills over the top of your scrub pants, there is something like Spanks for men...possibly we could call them Manks. Actors use them all the time.

Specializes in Informatics, Orthopaedics.

Don't feel bad at all...I felt ***EXACTLY*** the same way 6 months ago. I am 6'1", 42 years old, and at that time I was 310 pounds.

Since then, I finally got off my a**, quit smoking, and started walking and changed my diet a little (mainly stopped drinking pop). It was rough at first where 2 mile walks seemed insane, and anything faster than 2.5 mph was not possible. But here I am a few months later and I regularly do 7 mile walks 3x a week at 3.6 mph and I have lost 30 pounds so far. It really is that simple.

I also finally decided to stop trying to fool myself that I wasn't ridiculously bald and started shaving it all off. I think it's sexy now, and as soon as I get the guts to tattoo 3 black spots on my head, looking like a bowling ball will be a life's dream come true!

For the record, I am just off a 23 year career as an IT geek...there is nothing particularly attractive about me other than I am smart, funny as hell, and am friendly to everyone no matter what. THAT'S what people care about.

It wasn't until I started making all these changes that people started noticing me again. While I am still single, that's only by choice.

You are what you THINK you are. If you think you are an ugly, boring, unpopular person then that's what you will be. OR you could be totally in touch with your inner-insanebaldolduglyashellbutIamstillsexy, and watch how things change.

Trust me.

Specializes in Oncology/hematology.

I feel the opposite way. When I was delivering my child, I had that hot, young male nurse. He intimidated me and I was totally mortified and embarrassed because this hot young guy was, very obviously, seeing me at my worst. I would have given anything to have had a normal looking person.

I'm going to be 44 when I graduate, am not ugly, but am not some 22 year old hot chick. I don't particularly care what my patients think of the way I look. I am a whole lot more worried that I don't give them the wrong dose of a med. :D

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