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Nurses with tattoos, is it acceptable?

I will be starting my BSN class this second week of November. So technically, I am not yet a nurse but soon will be. I have been long delaying my plan of getting a tattoo on my right shoulder blade. It has always been my dream to have this one tattoo but I am now apprehensive because of the different feedback that I am getting. Have you heard of any employment trouble if the nurse that is applying has a tattoo or piercing?

I do want to get my tattoo soon but I am not getting the right answers. If this, one way or the other would affect possible employment in the future, especially that I am planning to work overseas. Any enlightenment will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

zipadeezoe, BSN, RN

Specializes in Surgical ICU, Cardiac/Surgical Telemetry.

as long as they can't see it under normal clothing it shouldn't be a problem.


Specializes in Telemetry/PCU.

If it is on your shoulder than I would think that no one could see it under scrubs. It would be just like any other job, cover it for work and your interview. I have one and it is always covered and I haven't had any problems

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED.

Do you plan on exposing your shoulder blade at work?


Specializes in Vascular Surgery.

I'd say around 25% of the nurses under about 33 that I've worked with have visible tattoos.

Up2nogood RN, RN

Specializes in pulm/cardiology pcu, surgical onc.

As long as it's covered it would be acceptable. I have a 3/4 sleeve and it doesn't have any bearing on my job.

Most places I have worked don't care of they show unless they are considered offensive. If it is covered, no problem. My current employer is the only one that enforces the covering it up rule. Our new tech, who has forearm tattoos, just wears sleeves over them and no problem.

tewdles, RN

Specializes in PICU, NICU, L&D, Public Health, Hospice.

I did work with a manager who was VERY biased against nurses who had color or jewelry...so keep your art covered.


Specializes in ER/Acute Care.

I'm in nursing school and we practice skills on classmates. I've seen several tattoos. You should be okay, as long as they're covered of course :)

Lacie, BSN, RN

Specializes in jack of all trades.

As long as they are not visible particularly in clinicals you should be fine. I have a full back piece and no one would know it unless I tell them or they see me on off hours. I also have some on my leg/ankle. I have only had one instance in which an employer even made comment when she told me "It's in the bible that's a sin to mark your body and your going to hell" LMAO!!!! Needless to say I eventually left the job but it wasnt because of my ink :)


Specializes in ER.

why would any professional in a working environment ever see a tattoo on your shoulder blade? I can't see how it's anyone's business - if you could see that, then you would be wearing inappropriate work attire

.... unless it's on your neck. There's a security guard who has one on his neck, where I work, and he wears collared shirts, but I can still see it. Maybe because he's a security guy it's excused....

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

I have three, none show under scrubs. My ankle ones do show on field day when I wear shorts (school nurse here), but I talked to the principal in advance and no one really cared. We have a couple teachers with ink on ankles/legs that show when they wear skirts.

I am getting a wrist tattoo this week which will be easily covered by a wide banded watch (hint: buy the watch first and have the tattoo artist design the tat to fit under it. Much easier than getting inked then trying to find a watch to cover it up!) I may also get one on the other wrist, but it will be in that flesh toned ink that you have to look really, really hard to see.


Specializes in LTC Family Practice.

Mine are older than dirt but they are also where the sun don't shine ;)

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I worked in white scrubs so very observant patients would occasionally ask about my tattoos if the light hit me the right way, but beyond that it has never been an issue. A shoulder blade will certainly be covered by your uniform so there should be no issues. Just think twice once you get the tattoo bug and want to cover yourself (cause we all know tattoos are addictive) in body art.


Specializes in ER.

Mine are older than dirt but they are also where the sun don't shine ;)


Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source.

Tats are becoming the new normal...

Those of us who are un-inked may soon be the ones looked at askance.

Ditto - If it's covered by short-sleeve scrubs then you've nothing to be concerned about.

No offense to those wearing body art, it's a free country after all. Just curious, does anyone worry about what it's going to look like when they get old? The elderly navy men who have the tattoos on the forearms, for instance- a furry anchor or hursuit hula girl is probably not what they envisioned long ago.

Purple_Scrubs, BSN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing.

I just figure that by the time I am that old, everything else looks junky so why not the tats also :) It has never really bothered me.

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

that's part of the fun - i know a lady that has a tattoo of a horse on her breast that has gracefully evolved into a giraffe!


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