RN stereotypes

Nurses General Nursing


Just watched a pretty funny movie about a guy w/cancer and his experiances in the hospital...Of course, there were several nurses present, all of which fell into a stereotypical nurse type:

1. "The Big Black-Take NO Crap" Nurse: Always an overweight black woman w/attitude. Definitely has an "I know best" demeanor, and utterly no-nonsense.

2. "The Overly Optimistic (but bungling) PHillapino" Nurse: Very polite, very happy, willing to do anything, but usually messing it up.

3. The "Drop Dead Gorgeous Sexually Inappropriate" Nurse: Wearing a sexy classic RN mini-dress, longing stares at handsome patients, lots of touching pts, and always w/sexy siren smile.

4. The "I Just Do what they tell me" Nurse: Doing everything exactly by the book, word for word- unintelligent, and unable to think for herself (they were filling out paperwork and she asked HIM if he had any unexplained vaginal bleeding)

5. The "Motherly" Nurse: Older woman, wise in her years, able in her job. Acts more like a surrogate mother than a nurse.

So, I have only been a nurse for 3 yrs, but have never met anyone who fits these descriptions (I'm a peds persons). I know stereotypes are just that- and the whole point of the movie was to be funny, not a political statement of any sort. I also know that recently an Herbal Essence ad was removed r/t complaints b/c of it's portrayal of a nurse(#3?).

SOOOOOO- Do you think these sterotypes are harmful? What do they mean for us as a profession? Do we need to rectify this situation somehow, or just accept it as a new classic archetype in the world of fiction?!? Do we laugh it off, or do something? What do you think about these 5 stereotypes in particular- can you add any more?

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,525 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

Stereotypes of any group are wrong. They don't do us any good. Particularly the nurse vixen sex object.

Roy Fokker, BSN, RN

1 Article; 2,011 Posts

Specializes in ER/Trauma.

I'm male. And a nursing student.

I'll give you one guess as to what stereotype hits me the most....

I swear to God/heavens/ that the NEXT time somebody asks me :: "Oooh! You are a nursing student?! Have you seen "Meet The Parents"?" I don't know what I'll do to them.....

PS :: Although my username here resembles Ben Stiller's charecter, it is by no means related :p


76 Posts

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