When MTV announced it was doing a reality show based around travel nurses, RNs everywhere waited with bated breath to see how the industry would be portrayed. Some took a stand against “Scrubbing In” before it even premiered, others waited to see it in action. Either way the majority of nurses were very against the show and what they saw as a negative portrayal of travel nurses. A Change.org petition to cancel the show was forged (as of this post it had more than 30,000 signatures) and as the episodes rolled out, the criticisms from nurse groups and nurse leaders mounted. Travel Nursing Blogs followed the run-up to the show’s premiere, eventually deciding to stop covering it and releasing this statement.
While MTV has not elected to cancel the show, we’ve just read that MTV responded to the “Scrubbing In” controversy by reaching out to The Truth About Nursing (TTAN). In a November 16 blog, TTAN says that in response to collective efforts to cancel or improve the show and a letter from TTAN, “MTV reached out to The Truth About Nursing to engage in extensive discussions about how to ameliorate the situation. MTV has agreed to take several helpful steps, including airing the show at a less prominent time, some re-editing of episodes, and other efforts to convey accurate information about nursing, although the last six episodes will air.”
The other efforts are expected to include an MTV blog post on what it takes to become a nurse, creating a “Day in the Life of a Nurse” MTV website feature, and continuing to consult with nurse-affiliated groups such as TTAN.
TTAN’s post thanks all the nurses who reached out to MTV execs and worked to combat the negative portrayal of travel nurses, adding, “MTV executives reached out to the Truth after receiving our letter and we engaged in lengthy discussion. They were unusually open to hearing our concerns about the links between the stereotypes, the undervaluation of nursing, and the underfunding of nursing practice and education. Our main executive contact was disturbed that there was such a strong and unanimous condemnation of ‘Scrubbing In’ by nurses, calling it an ‘eye-opening experience’ for MTV.”
While TTAN acknowledges this outcome is not what they’d consider ideal, they also assert that it is a major step in the right direction.
What’s your take on the way MTV has responded to the “Scrubbing In” controversy? And have you been watching “Scrubbing In”?