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MTV edits travel nurse show after complaints, group says

November 27 2013

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 several 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.

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.

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, the group reported. Variety reports that the show received a cool reception among viewers.

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.

“Sadly, the producers spent most of their time filming the nurses on their off time, picking up people in bars, talking about their vibrators and fake boobs, urinating in public and having loud and trite arguments with each other, and spent too little time filming them in the clinical setting for the focus of the show to be entirely revamped,” Summers said in the press release. “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.”

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.”

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