Can Nurses Have Tattoos or Piercings?

“Can nurses have tattoos?” is a question that we nurses get asked a lot. For me, this particular question came up for the first time when I was studying nursing.

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I could not answer my friend’s question right away.

So I read a lot of articles about nurses and tattoos and also asked a couple of my teachers about it. Back then that was enough information for me.

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Now as I have worked as a registered nurse I can give even more detailed answers based on my own experiences.

But before I dive into tattoos, I let you know that this article covers answers to questions like “Can nurses have piercings?” and “Can nurses have acrylic nails?” as well.

Okay so, can nurses have tattoos then?

Most of the time the answer is “Yes, nurses can have tattoos”.

Did you know that an average of 38% of Dalia Research respondents say they have at least one tattoo? That’s a huge portion!

So let’s do a little bit of math here.

According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that there are 20.7 million nurses and midwives in the world. Based on this information there are approximately 7,87 million nurses out there that have at least one tattoo!

Can nurses have tattoos on their wrist?

Here is a Dalia Research infographic for you about the most tattooed countries in the world.

It looks like European countries are more tattooed than countries from any other continent. Cool!

PS. The answer continues after the graph.

The possibility of 8 million nurses having tattoos might convince you that nurses definitely can have tattoos. But are there any circumstances where nurses can’t have tattoos?

Well, yes there are.

For example, some facilities may require their nurses to have no tattoos at all or to cover them up.

Especially if you have a large tattoo that is even potentially unsuitable for the work environment.

How do you cover up tattoos then?

Personally, I don’t have any tattoos so I asked one of my colleagues. She said that since her tattoo is a big one, only covering it up with clothes and accessories will do it properly.

One viable option that I have seen many nurses using is the covering sleeves for tattoos. Of course, this requires that your tattoo is in your arm.

If covering up tattoos is too much work for you every day, you should consider applying for nursing jobs that are more open to tattoos and piercings.

See also: Can Nurses Have Dreads or Not?

Can nurses have tattoos on their wrist?

Let’s dive a little deeper here, shall we?

So can nurses have tattoos on their wrists also? Of course, this again depends on the circumstances and where you work or study.

A positive side about tattoos on the wrist is that those are quite easy to cover up because they are usually very small.

The easiest options to cover up the wrist tattoos are with makeup or with accessories, like watches or bracelets.

If basic makeup doesn’t do the work, you could try to use specialized products for covering up tattoos on the wrist.

Here’s a detailed guide for you on how to cover up tattoos with makeup or specialized products.

See how I went pretty straight to covering up tattoos on the wrist rather than bouncing back and forth whether nurses can have tattoos on their wrist, or not.

That’s because it is always better to cover them up to be on the safe side of things.

Now that I have covered up generally the subject “Can nurses have tattoos?“, we can go even deeper into the subject.

Examples, guides, and facts I have given you above are mainly based on the United States of America.

Next up I’m going to go through a situation in Australia and Canada. After that, you will find answers to questions like “Can nurses have piercings?” and “Can nurses have acrylic nails?” also.

See also: Can Nurses Accept Tips?

Can nurses have tattoos in Australia?

Australia – The land of Nope – does not differ from the United States of America that much on the subject: “Can nurses have tattoos?”.

In Australia, there are no such regulations regarding not to join as a nurse if you have the tattoo in your arm, wrist or hand.

Recommendation for all the nurses out there in Australia:

  • Cover up tattoos with sleeves.
  • Cover up tattoos with makeup.
  • Cover up tattoos with specialized products.

As I said before, it is always better to cover up tattoos to avoid problems or misunderstandings with your employer or clients.

Can nurses have tattoos in Canada?

Can nurses have tattoos in Canada

What is the tattoo situation with nurses in Canada then?

You guessed it right, as a nurse you can have tattoos in Canada.

As long as your tattoos aren’t offensive, in Canada as a nurse it is allowed to have as many tattoos as you would like. In spite of that, I would still advise you to try to cover them up.

Now that you know the answer to the question “Can nurses have tattoos?”, I’m going to go through other subjects closely related to that.

Let’s start with a different kind of piercings.

Can nurses have piercings?

If you are studying to become a registered nurse or a nurse practitioner, you might be wondering, could you wear piercings at work.

I know the feeling because that’s what I was thinking at nursing school.

But no worries about that since the next two chapters will fully cover that subject.

First I’ll give an answer to the question “Can nurses have nose piercings?” and after to the question “Can nurses have ear piercings?”.

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Generally speaking, piercings are very common accessories among both women and men.

Did you know that according to Statistic Brain Research Institute, about 83 percent of Americans have at least ear lobe piercings?

Based on that fact we could highly assume that there are many nurses working that have piercings on their bodies.

Can nurses have piercings?

Can nurses have nose piercings?

Whether can nurses have nose piercings or not, is mostly dependent on what facility they are working on.

For example, a former colleague of mine had a nose piercing when we worked together at the municipal hospital.

Our supervisor was a bit of rockstar so he let my colleague have a nose piercing. And that specific nose piercings was (and still is) pretty small.

On the other hand, I personally know some nurses that can’t have nose piercings while at work. So what’s the best bet about nose piercings?

I’d recommend you go straight to your supervisor and ask about it. Or if you are still studying nursing, ask your teacher about nose piercings.

See more detailed answer: Can Nurses Wear Nose Rings?

That’s all about nose piercings. Next up I’m going to cover up the subject: “Can nurses have ear piercings?”.

Can nurses have ear piercings?

Did you that according to Infinite Body Piercings, Inc. ear piercings were the most popular piercings in 2017 by category?

Based on that fact it’s pretty easy to assume that nurses can have ear piercings, right?

Yes and no.

In most circumstances, you are allowed to have ear piercings as a nurse if those are small ones. But big ones that are likely to grab hold of everywhere?

Nope for sure, haha.

But what size of ear piercings are too big to have as a nurse? Yeah, you guessed it right: I’d recommend that you ask your supervisor or your teacher about it.

Can nurses have acrylic nails?

Can nurses have acrylic or fake nails?

Nowadays it’s quite common for to women have acrylic or fake/gel nails. We want to look as beautiful as possible of course. But can nurses have acrylic nails at work?

Based purely on my (Ida Koivisto) own experiences at many different hospitals and work locations the answer is: “No, nurses can’t have acrylic or fake/gel nails at work”.

See also: Can Nurses Wear Nail Polish?

Okay, but why is that?

Simply because you can’t work properly if the nails are too long. How about if your acrylic or gel nails are short ones?

Maybe if those are short enough not to be recognized, you are good to go with those.

That’s all about mostly women related topics like, can nurses have tattoos or acrylic nails. What about men?

Can nurses have beards? That’s the topic I’m going to cover up next.

Can nurses have beards?

“Can nurses have beards in a hospital or at nursing school?” is a question many male nurses are looking for an answer to.

I’m a female nurse so who I’m for you to answer, right?

I have known and work with a couple of male nurses in the past (and currently). A couple of them had beards at work but one of them once told me this:

“You are only allowed to have a beard if it is purely shaved. You can’t look like you’ve been living alone in the woods for the past three years.”

– Male nurse with 12 years of experience

See also: 24 Funnies Male Nurse Memes

And to think about that, it’s pretty obvious. A long non-shaved beard could shed hair everywhere and that’s not very hygienic.

See also: Can Nurses Have Colored Hair?

If you would like to learn more about nursing, check out these articles of ours:

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.