MTV agrees to compromise after nurses protest controversial reality show

After angering numerous nursing groups – including one at Ryerson – with its controversial new reality show, Scrubbing In, MTV has bowed to the pressure and agreed to a compromise.

The show  won’t be cancelled, but MTV has tried to make amends after consulting with The Truth About Nursing, a non- profit organization which promotes accurate, balanced and frequent media portrayals of nurses.

The group’s website stated Saturday, “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.”

Alfred Lam, education and equity co-ordinator of the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association at Ryerson, has been an active member in promoting the petition against MTV ever since it started because he says all the partying in Scrubbing In portrays nurses negatively.

“I am happy that the campaign was a success,” he said. “The show was not cancelled, but we did manage to gain MTV’s attention through our petition and they did end up contacting The Truth About Nursing organization.”

He added, however, “I’m not 100 per cent satisfied because if they really cared, they would have cancelled the show.”

MTV’s change of heart comes about a month after a petition, started by a Wisconsin nurse, garnered more than 30,000 signatures.

Under the new terms, MTV said it would change Scrubbing In‘s air time to midnight from 10 p.m., cutting viewership in half to 250,000, according to the station.

It also said it would re-edit three of the six remaining episodes to include more scenes featuring the nurses exercising their skills.

Truth About Nursing wrote that MTV also agreed to create a “Day in the life of a nurse” feature on its website with photos and text “to educate viewers about real nursing,” as well as a nursing blog post on what it takes to become a nurse.

MTV has agreed to consult with Truth About Nursing if any more similar programs are produced.

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