MTV agrees to change controversial nursing show

After protests and letters from national nursing organizations, along with a petition sporting more than 30,000 signatures, regarding its new reality show "Scrubbing In," MTV has agreed to make changes to the show to more accurately reflect the profession, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The program, which follows nine nurses from around the country working in Orange County, Calif., depicts the nurses boating and at nightclubs, and the opening trailer includes shots of the nurses jumping naked into a swimming pool, the article states.

MTV will now air the show at midnight rather than its previous 10 p.m. time slot, and it will be edited to include more scenes highlighting actual nursing skills, as opposed to the personal lives and relationships of the nurses, the Times reported. The network will also consult with The Truth About Nurses, a nonprofit group, regarding any future nurse-related programing, as well as promote a web feature called "Day in the Life of a Nurse," according to the article.

"Hollywood producers and executives have often simply dismissed our concerns, claiming that their programming can't affect the real world, even though they are eager to accept credit for improving public understanding when their work is well-received. So, we were very pleased with our interactions," Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing, told the Times.

"Scrubbing In" aired Oct. 24, but averaged less than 500,000 viewers total during the first three episodes. While some healthcare leaders praised the show for bringing attention to the nursing profession during a time where the country is experiencing a shortage of nurses, the debut launched a storm a criticism from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, who called for the show to be cancelled, and the American Nurses Association, which said the show reinforced negative and antiquated stereotypes about nursing, FierceHealthcare previously reported.  

"This program portrays nurses in a disrespectful and unfair light for purely salacious purposes," Carol Manchester, president of the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, wrote in her Nov. 5 letter to the president of MTV. 

To learn more:
- read the article