Healthcare Staffing Report: Nov. 26, 2013

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MTV edits travel nurse show after complaints, group says

The final three episodes of MTV’s controversial show on travel nurses, “Scrubbing In,” are being re-edited to focus more on clinical scenes featuring nursing skills, according to The Truth About Nursing, a nonprofit that seeks to increase public understanding of nursing. MTV also moved the show to a midnight time slot on Thursdays from its original 10 p.m. slot.

“Scrubbing In” raised the hackles of some in the nurse community, including at the American Nursing Association. The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists called for the show to be canceled because of its portrayal of nurses. The show features nurses during their time off drinking and arguing among other things.

In a press release, The Truth About Nursing reported its Executive Director Sandy Summers spoke with Jason Rzepka, senior vice president of communications and public affairs at MTV. And the network will re-edit three of the six remaining shows, and move the show to midnight. The time-slot change could lower viewership to 250,000 from 500,000, according to the group. However, its concerns were among several that prompted the time-slot change. Variety reports that the show was not a strong performer for MTV in terms of ratings.

In addition, The Truth About Nursing reported that MTV plans to do a “day in the life of a nurse” feature on the MTV website, include a blog post about what it takes to become a nurse and the network said it would consult with Truth About Nursing if more nursing shows are planned.

Summers in a press release said her group had called for the show to be canceled rather than re-edited given the content and the dearth of time spent filming the nurses in a clinical setting. “But we are happy that MTV cut viewership of the show in half by moving it from 10 pm to midnight and that they agreed to re-edit the final three episodes so as to include more nursing skill to the extent possible given the amount of footage they shot,” Summers said.

The Truth About Nursing also reported that Johnson & Johnson has stopped advertising on the show. The group has a petition on Change.org that targets companies advertising on television shows that degrade nursing.

MTV’s changes were also recognized by the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists, which had called for the show’s cancelation.

“We at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists want to convey our appreciation to you and your colleagues at MTV for your thoughtful response to the concerns expressed by NACNS, other nursing organizations and several other entities about the reality television show ‘Scrubbing In,’” Carol Manchester, president of the association wrote in a letter to the president of MTV. “While we would have preferred that the show were more substantially changed or cancelled, we believe you have acted in good faith in your attempts to address our concerns and those of our colleagues.”

For the original Healthcare Staffing Report story click here.

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