Nurses: Tattoos at work, a do or do not…?

This one sparked a fire in my belly. I’m a nurse, have been for over a decade. And I have Tattoos. In fact I have three of them, and still have plans to get one more.

Does that make me a bad nurse? This topic has a ba-zillion applications. But ultimately how do my tattoos have anything to do with the care I give?

I mean I’ve saved thousands of lives in my short tenure as a nurse.

Oh, I’m now a Nurse Practitioner. So do my tattoos make me less of a provider? Less of a proffesional?


Like I said, it lit a fire in my belly.


By the way, here was my response to the question:

Tattoos do not reflect ability. Dress professional. Period. The only difference between the tattooed and non-tattooed person, is that the tattooed person doesn’t care if you don’t have a tattoo.


2 thoughts on “Nurses: Tattoos at work, a do or do not…?

  1. As a Vet Nurse applying for Paramedics and considering Nursing Degree as a backup plan…

    I’m about 20% covered in ink, and in animal medicine it is much less of an issue with clients. It’s considered more of “customer service” industry as the humans pay us $$$ and the patients are their animals. Maybe because they subconsciously know we are going to get their animals’ blood shit mucous vomit and other such all over us, they don’t mind so much what our skin looks like before hand? Or our hair, shoes, jewelry… it’ll all get covered!!

    The only times I have had comments (not to my face, but a complaint after the fact) was when someone said I looked unprofessional. I found out later that it was a client I saw around 3am, admitting their pet for seizure monitoring on a lot of medications, and I asked them for the deposit and it was a lot. They were very upset with me and I spent some time discussing it with them. I’m fairly sure their complaint was about the money but since they knew the money was actually a reasonable amount, they picked something else. As if my tattoos have anything to do with the cost of vet care. It’s just a visible thing people like to choose to whinge about because they can get away with it.

    So long as I do my job, nobody minds. Private practices I’ve interviewed with have told me I’d need to wear long sleeves, long pants, no facial piercings… I now have a hand tattoo so would I be rocking the michael jackson one glove look too? I’m too far gone to be censored. Thank dog I now work in public health admin and everyone is weird and wonderful 🙂

    I think it’s irrelevant, and a great way to help people who think only crims and sailors get tattoos realise otherwise, is to have a smiling nurse or neurosurgeon with tattoos treat them.

    Janey from Perth, Australia.

    1. A great attitude to have regarding your ability and your tattoos. Best of luck to you. Always glad to hear when someone is considering Nursing as a career!

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