Am I allowed to have tattoos as a Pediatric Nurse?

  1. Hi! I am a high school student, and my dream job is a Pediatric Nurse or Midwife! I was wondering if I could possibly have a tattoo because I want one in memory of my mom when I turn 18. But if it could hurt any chances of me becoming a PNP or Midwife then I'll refrain from it, thank you in advance!
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    About IconicJay

    Joined: Oct '18; Posts: 1


  3. by   brownbook
    Maybe yes, maybe no. It depends on the dress and "grooming" (for lack of a better word), code for each individual facility.

    If you get one on your upper arm that wouldn't be easily noticed I'm sure you'd be fine.
  4. by   Glucagon
    Yeah, it's going to depend on the facility. But regardless, you could get the tattoo in an area that is typically covered by scrubs/professional clothing. That way, you won't have to worry about differing policies.
  5. by   CrunchRN
    Put it in a discreet spot that is easily covered.
  6. by   KelRN215
    I have worked with plenty of nurses over my 11+ year pediatric career that had visible tattoos- on the wrist, on the back of the neck, behind the ear, for example. It's been a non-issue everywhere I've worked but there may be some employers that don't allow visible tattoos.
  7. by   ctdfmags
    If you're going to be advance practice you can pretty much do whatever you want, obviously you would not want anything offensive. I work with doctors and PAs with tattoos, I don't see any reason why a NP couldn't have one.
    I currently work in a hospital and I have visible tattoos and I am allowed to have them. It's personal preference to keep them covered with a long sleeve t underneath my scrubs though.
  8. by   verene
    Really depends on where you live and what kind of employer you work for. I live urban west-coast. Tattoos are not particularly controversial and I know any number of working professionals with tattoos, and it is not at all unusual to encounter health care professionals with tattoos. In fact the best phlebotomist I've ever had draw my blood was a former child-specialty phlebotomist with full-sleeves and a neck tattoo peeking over her scrub top - extremely professional attitude and highly competent at her work. In my current work place am in the minority by not having tattoos, but mental health tends to be more open to things like tats and alternative hair colors than some other specialties.

    That being said, not all employers are as open to tattoo or other body modification (piercings, alternative hair colors) and it is safe to assume that you will need to be more conservative as a student than as a proven professional. So be mindful of what you get and where you place it, but a tattoo will likely not impede your ability to be a nurse or APRN.
  9. by   AngelaD RN,BSN
    When I was young like you and wanted a tattoo the thinking was that sometimes you want to show off your tattoo depending on event or people your with. Sometimes you want to cover tattoo depending on event or people your with. Put it in a place where you can do that. That being said since your so young, maybe you can consider waiting a bit?
  10. by   adventure_rn
    Totally depends on your facility and region.

    When I lived in a big city on the West Coast, I worked with peds nurses who had full tattoo sleeves without issue. Working in the deep South, it's a hard 'no.'

    The bigger issue is honestly going to be nursing school. While hospitals tend to be a bit more lenient (they care more about skills and experience than body art), schools are notoriously strict about enforcing 'no visible tattoos' policies. You may not be allowed to perform clinical rotations with tattoos visible, which means long sleeves, makeup, or flesh-tone bandages. This poses a challenge in peds units like NICU, which often have a 'nothing below the elbows' clothing/jewelry policy for infection control, and you can't use make-up to cover because you're expected to scrub up to your elbows.

    Your easiest, most reliable long-term solution (for most scenarios, not just nursing) is to get it somewhere you can cover it.
  11. by   tonyl1234
    Or wait 20 years until our generation steps up into upper management of all these companies and then tasteful tattoos probably won't really matter anymore.
  12. by   Chrispy11
    It really depends on the employer. Get one that can be easily hid.
  13. by   masonicusRN
    In my experience, nursing schools in my area are more strict about tattoos than workplaces. If this is something that means a lot to you, which it sounds like it does, then I would hate for you to miss that opportunity to commemorate your mom. With that being said, I waited to get my first tattoo until I graduated nursing school. If you do go ahead and get it, you will probably just be asked to cover it up while in nursing school. For example, if it is on your arm, you might have to wear those little compression sleeves, tattoo tape, or a long shirt. If the tattoo is on your back, foot, or leg, no one would see it anyway while you are in uniform/dressed for an interview.