MTV Reschedules, Edits ‘Scrubbing In’ After Nursing Orgs Condemn The Show

Scrubbing in Rescheduled

Network has bumped the docuseries from 10 p.m. to midnight following criticism and low ratings

MTV will be scrubbing out certain elements of “Scrubbing In,” after nonprofit nursing organizations decried the reality show’s sudsy depiction of nurses both in and out of the field.

Not only will the net be editing the remaining “Scrubbing In” segs to include more clinical scenes that highlight nursing skills, but MTV has also moved the show from its primetime lineup to midnight, where viewership will be decreased.

“Scrubbing In” debuted on MTV on Oct. 24 in the net’s 10 p.m. timeslot, and immediately drew criticism from orgs including the American Nurses Association, which stated that the series’ “negative images reinforce sexist and inaccurate nurse stereotypes.” A petition on Change.org that calls for MTV to cancel the series has also accrued over 30,000 signatures at the time of this story. The program offers a docusoap portrayal of young traveling nurses, and features cast members partying, drinking and arguing when not on the job.

In an interview with Variety, The Truth About Nursing‘s founder and exec director Sandy Summers said she spoke with Jason Rzepka, MTV’s senior veep of communications and public affairs, about the issues surrounding the 51 Minds-produced show earlier this month.

“He said that he and others at MTV did not know much about the nursing stereotypes or that they undermine nursing, leading to a dearth of funding for nursing practice, education, research and residencies,” Summers said. “Jason indicated to me that he wanted to help ameliorate the impasse between MTV and the nursing community.”

This is not the first time MTV has received complaints regarding its reality fare (“Jersey Shore” and “Buckwild” unleashed a firestorm of criticism from organizations and communities over the shows’ content), but it is a rarer instance where the net has rescheduled and edited episodes in light of negative response.

“[Rzepka] set out to work with us to make things as better as possible, given the constraints he was under trying to balance MTV’s business dealings,” Summers relayed.

Nursing org reactions to “Scrubbing In,” however, weren’t the only elements factoring into the decision to push the show to the midnight timeslot. During its first three airings on MTV’s primetime lineup, “Scrubbing In” wasn’t performing strongly for the net, averaging less than 500,000 total viewers.

In addition to rescheduling and editing “Scrubbing In,” MTV has also agreed to promote a “Day in the Life of a Nurse” web feature, add a blog post to MTV’s website that details the nursing profession, and consult with The Truth About Nursing should any future nurse-centric programming be added to the cabler’s lineup.

Summers stated she “gives great credit” to the network for its “openness and willingness to learn new things.”

“It’s a characteristic that is less common than it should be in Hollywood,” the exec remarked. “In this case, it enabled MTV and the nursing profession to meet in the middle…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 with Jason and MTV.”

MTV did not have comment regarding changes made to “Scrubbing In.”

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  1. rory says:

    It’s a matter of perspective, it’s all about friendship, love, hate, conflicts and resolution, A group of Nurses who sacrifice their lives to augment the need of other state is admirable.

  2. Ashley says:

    Wow how ridiculous. Some “nurses” who are offended by this need a shot, get over it. I’m a nurse and I don’t get my panties in a wad over a show.

  3. Kris says:

    Emily, I do have an amazing career and if u find there behavior demeaning turn the channel. These are hard working nurses!! I will advocate for them

  4. mary ellen says:

    this is an add on from my earlier comment, for all the pain, heartache and heartbreak these admirable women and men see on a daily basis, if they do not deserve to unwind in any manner, then who does?

  5. Sissy Chaisson says:

    I think this is BS this show is one of the few MTV shows I like if people want to get upset about a show it should be the show that makes these teens famous for having a baby at 16 what is this world coming to.

  6. Emily says:

    Kris, you admit that you are a nurse, yet you advocate for something so demeaning and demoralizing. I hope you find pride in your work and take pride in a trusting relationship with your patients. The mere thought of this show makes me sick to my stomach. It goes against every characteristic I do not want to be associated with and upsets me there are nurses that would encourage this behavior. Oh and I am a twenty-something, not to mention a travel nurse. This is disgusting.

  7. Kris says:

    This is not cool!!! what is wrong people, this is the best show, the closest thing to the real world and it happens to involve people who are nurses. when they are working they act as they are suppost to. When they are off they do what they want, they way anyone should be able to act when they are not at work. I have been a nurse for 4 yrs and found this show to be a great outlet and i am sure MANY people can relate. This is the best show MTV has put out in a while, to the people who are complaining change the channel and the people who actually took the time to sign the petition on change.org find something a bit more proactive to put your time into such as animal abuse or strictor laws on child abuse etc. GET A LIFE!!!! we do live in 2013 and this is reality tv at its BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!! thank you

  8. Carol says:

    I love the show, i don’t know why people can be so shallow, we are not in the stone age, the ones that don’t like the show turn that channel and mind your own business.

  9. JKForsman says:

    My best friend is a nursing major, and I know many other people in nursing programs. They ALL go out and enjoy their PERSONAL time in various ways, and yes: this includes (dare I say it) drinking and partying. The people upset about this show are just cranky because these students have found time in their busy lives to do both the program and enjoy college’s experiences and they couldn’t.
    Find something else to complain about.

  10. Megan Phillips says:

    I honestly watch this show and enjoy every minuet of it. Why? because i realize that it is young adults living their lives to the fullest. They worked hard for that license, they deserve to play a little too. Old bitter nurses— you know you would do the same if you had the body and age they did. Take a chill pill.

  11. Byanka says:

    No offense people gotta stop being so uptight. Its a show. Obviously it’s not a representation of all nurses. And if any of you nurses want to claim this misrepresents you, please further your reasons as to why. Not just only that “you dont drink”. People argue, people have outlets for stress release, create and destroy relationships… you name it. Get off the high horse.

  12. Leyann says:

    I will have to watch the show. I’m a nurse. I love nursing but it is not without it flaws.We like to act like we are all golden angels and that is simply not the case. Nursing is a great profession, but it is evolving into a money driven industry. Nurses are highly stressed, overworked, and yes many if them drink and argue and do a whole bunch of other stuff. I respect the nursing orgs but unfortunately in the real world nursing is a gritty profession and at times I wonder if the schools and nursing organizations are out of touch with reality.

  13. Brian says:

    Did so poorly. You give nurses a bad name and you wonder why it doing poorly? I, being a nurse myself, tried to watch it and it just made me sick 97% of all nurses do not act this way, but you want to make the first reality TV show about them highlight the three percent that probably won’t get anywhere in there professional careers due to there behavior.

  14. Cherie says:

    I heard about this show, while on a travel assignment. I have been a nurse for 25 years, and a traveling nurse for the last 3 yrs. I would like to thank our nursing organizations and MTV for coming to a reasonable agreement. I love being a nurse and have worked hard and continue to educate myself to keep pace with the required knowledge to take care of patients. Being a traveling nurse you not only have to be comfortable with your skills, but constantly adaptable to new enviroments, staff, and computer systems. Anything that depicts nursing as carefree, mindless, profession, detracts from all the hardwork of educated, and dedicated, caring professional nurses. You need an RN to save your life.

  15. Susan says:

    As an RN for over 40 years I’ve had to deal with the way to public and physicians viewed us…..patients thought we had no mind to make life and Seth decisions…we were just a cute nurses in a white uniform and hat and that we slept with the doctors. ……to make it worse I had to dodge doctors disgusting groping hands or avoid being cornered by them….administration turned a blind eye…..when. Started I cleaned metal bedpans and sterilized glass thermometers and syringes. IV Floyd’s came in glass bottles and there were no pumps to accurately admin meds. I’ve trained hundreds of nurses teaching them to stand up for themselves and put the pt first. To this day we review the MD orders to correct ther mistakes…..we have advanced training in life sport measures …..
    I’m fuming at those snotty nosed brats calling themselves nurses …..
    The average new nurse lasts 5 years because they can’t hack the work and don’t like working nights weekends or holidays…..
    I never watch MTV….it’s a joke…and quite disgusting at times….it’s what’s wrong with young people today…they think sex alcohol drugs and drama are the norm
    I’m embarrassed for the executives at the hospitals that allowed this to go on….shame on you !

  16. Tori says:

    Please don’t become a nurse if this show is what motivates you! I am motivated by the hope that I can make a change, that I will touch another person’s life, that I may ease the burden for someone else during a difficult time. People who go into nursing for the wrong, selfish reasons are the ones who ruin it for those of us who work hard and actually care! This show is a joke and a slap in the face to a respected profession.

    P.S. I have been a nurse for 5 years and am currently 28 years old. Those “grandma nurses” will be the ones mentoring you and teaching you your skills (because trust me honey, school does not prepare you to be a strong, experienced nurse). Have some respect!

  17. Raquel says:

    I have worked with nurses with varying levels of intelligences for the past 12 years. Reality is…even the great ones behave as depicted on that show. Point blank. People are human. Quit with all the ridiculous facades. No one thinks nurses are perfect. They are expected to give great patient care while on the clock. And anyone who’s been in healthcare for a decent measure of time knows that there’s been a day or two when you could use a drink after a rough one.

    • Leyann says:

      So very true!! We need to be real about it! Thank you for saying this!

    • mary elen doyle birchenough says:

      Bravo Raquel! do these other people who commented think Grey’s Anatomy is a fair depiction? My Grandpa was a doctor and 3 of his 4 daughters were nurses, and the next generation is following in their footsteps! They are/were noble women and men, that being said some of the best party’s I have ever been to were “hospital” party’s, its a drop everything, literally, and go invite! Maybe none of these other people were ever invited to one.

  18. AC says:

    Get rid of this show completely this show is an embarrassment to the nursing profession as a whole. We work hard to gain the respect of our doctors, patients, and families and then this show portraits us like idiots. I cannot stand the idea that I might have to work along side these individuals one day and have to trust that they will be able to help me provide the top quality care that I want for all my patients

  19. Carol says:

    To Angie, I myself am not an old judgemental nurse. Infact I am in my 20s and am a professional nurse. The problem I have with this show is that it portrays nurses as down right idiots who drink, party, get DUIs (two of the cast members have them) and fight. Nursing is a profession. One that I am extremely proud to be in. People need to see what real professional nurses do on a daily basis and not what MTV. considers good television.

  20. Angie says:

    This is ridiculous!! Seriously, it’s a reality show! That’s what is wrong with people they can’t accept reality!! I have been working on my RN for over 4 yrs, getting unmotivated and pushing it off and THIS SHOW has me more motivated than I have been in years!!! I do agree, show more of the work side however, I don’t “look down” on nurses now because of the show. These old ass grandma nurses need to realize and stop being so damn judge mental!! It’s a sad thing that the world is leaning to more reality shows as it is, but I give this show all support!!! I hate to say but if it turns into a old boring ass show now I may lose interest!!

    • Tori says:

      Please don’t become a nurse if this show is what motivates you! I am motivated by the hope that I can make a change, that I will touch another person’s life, that I may ease the burden for someone else during a difficult time. People who go into nursing for the wrong, selfish reasons are the ones who ruin it for those of us who work hard and actually care! This show is a joke and a slap in the face to a respected profession.

      P.S. I have been a nurse for 5 years and am currently 28 years old. Those “grandma nurses” will be the ones mentoring you and teaching you your skills (because trust me honey, school does not prepare you to be a strong, experienced nurse). Have some respect!

    • Rita says:

      You find this motivating? As a Rn, I don’t need a show full of boobs and debauchery to motivate me as a professional. Our personal lives are irrelevant to our professional practice. I do not want my clients to perceive me as a wild party girl that spent the evening making out with strangers and drinking like a fish. It is difficult enough to be respected by clients without them developing a preconceived notion as to what kind of person I am. Stop playing the victim role and empower yourself as a professional to change your environment. Find your motivation through your own actions and not through some constructed television personality.

  21. Melissa Blackman says:

    I’m a Registered Nurse from the Caribbean and I love the show cause I truly can relate. People need to separate personal and professional,we are human first and professional after and this show depicts how young nurses handle their very stressful jobs in their down time. It’s a sad thing that it has spiked so much controversy.

    • Tricia Morris says:

      Wow. The only reasonable response gets completely washed out by self-righteous blabber. I’m a nurse. I drink. I party. I argue. (And I do a HECK of a lot more than that). Melissa is right, we are humans before we are professionals. And if some crappy TV company wants to make a (fictional!) crappy show about nurses, it’s their freedom to do so. Freedom is a double edged sword. Deal with it.

      A huge problem with nursing nowadays is that many older nurses have a puritanical view of nursing. They envision a “Super Nurse”, who does no moral wrong and is consistently graceful and merciful both on and off the unit.

      You want respect for our profession? Treat it like a profession. We are NOT little girls and boys who need moral shepherding in our personal lives. What nurses do on their off time is none of your beeswax.

      What next? We gonna start protesting against naughty nurse porn? I’m pretty sure its got some images these nurse organizations would consider “unprofessional”. LOL

      • Kris says:

        Thank god there are real people in this world. Love your comment and the show.

      • bub says:

        I wholly agree with you! The ones that are griping about this show are the Nurses with a stick up their arse, and cobwebs in their $natch – give me a break. This is a fricken’ reality show. Get off your high horse, and get over yourselves. If people watching this are low-brow enough to think that this show will alter the way nurses are viewed, then so be it.
        Nurses are from all walks of life, and all backgrounds, and believe me, having worked as one for almost a decade, I can say emphatically that many are NOT perfect. How about those that HATE their jobs, and despise working in the field, but only do it for the paycheck. You would be shocked and astounded by the behavior of the ill mannered nurse, and the crotchety RN’s having worked over 3 decades, are as cynical, and negative as an ill-mannered politician.
        These Nursing organizations that are rallying against this show need a reality check.
        I think all medical professionals should rally together, and pitch a show to Bravo network to start one that depicts the TRUTH about nurses, the real drama that is involved in this line of work, and their ill-mannered behaviors, and they’ll be begging for this light-hearted, whimsical Scrubbing in show to come back.
        What a bunch of twats!!

      • Erin says:

        Best comment ever.

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