birth defect, not allowed to practice nursing?


A friend was born with birth defect, around 3 fingers missing.

When I asked her about taking up nursing like I plan to do, she said someone told her it's not allowed.

I find this so hard to believe.

Can someone shed a light on this?

She can write and carry anything like a normal person.

Otessa, BSN, RN

1,601 Posts

Has 19 years experience.

Never heard anything about that...hmmm..


503 Posts

Specializes in Hospice, LTC, Rehab, Home Health. Has 20 years experience.

Difficult to believe as there are hearing impaired nurses and many other types of physically challenged persons in nursing.


657 Posts

Specializes in Professional Development Specialist.

I have a birth defect. Occasionally I've been told by instructors or others that I "can't" be a nurse (or a CNA years ago.) It's plain old not true, just a lack of knowledge or elitist thinking. Hell one of the nurses I graduated with had only one arm! She's a great nurse and was one of the first hired in class, into her chosen specialty.

healthstar, BSN, RN

1 Article; 944 Posts

Some people are full of negative energy. I don't see this birth defect as a problem. If she is able to use her hands to write, she can also do other things. I had blind teachers teach me math and it is a hard subject.


Specializes in Complex care, tele. Has 1 years experience.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is legislation that protects individuals with disabilities from employment discrimination. With reasonable modifications, a nurse missing 3 fingers should still be able to perform the essential functions of any nursing job duties.

Have your friend review the ADA's information regarding employment rights - seems like she's gotten some bad information.

diane227, LPN, RN

1,941 Posts

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

Who told her that? I don't think they know what they are talking about.

TiffyRN, BSN, PhD

2,315 Posts

Specializes in Nurse Scientist-Research. Has 30 years experience.

My nursing instructors didn't like the idea of males in the profession. Now they had enough sense not to say it out loud, but I'm saying maybe your friend talked to someone who has unreasonable/outdated thoughts regarding who can and can't be in nursing.

And just a thought, maybe your friend has no desire to be a nurse and uses her birth defect as a reason, I'm sure she could find some random person to agree with her that this is something that's not allowed. I've personally never heard that.


24 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry, Neuro, Renal, Ortho. Has 8 years experience.

I worked with a nurse who had maybe 3 fingers and she was an awesome nurse. You just can't listen to people that talk negative. They don't know what they are talking about.

Specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

I know two working Nurses with 2.5 arms between them.

I work with an anaesthetist who only has a couple of fingers on one hand. The only thing he can't do properly is fill a glove.

can't be a nurse because of a couple of fingers? ridiculous!