Developing a nursing personnel policy to address body art using an evidence-based model

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2010 Dec;41(12):540-6; quiz 547-8. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20100601-04. Epub 2010 Jun 8.


Background: An increase in the prevalence of body art as a form of self-expression has motivated health care organizations to develop policies addressing nursing personnel's body art.

Methods: A systematic review of literature on body art was completed and a telephone survey of 15 hospitals was conducted to query existing policy statements addressing nursing personnel's body art.

Results: The literature established no prevalence of body art among nurses or effect of nurses' body art. Of the 13 hospitals (86%) that shared their policy on body art, none provided a rationale or references to support their existing policies.

Conclusion: A lack of published evidence identifying the effect of body art among nurses shifts the burden of determining care outcomes to the leadership of individual hospitals. Further research on patients' perception of nursing personnel with visible body art, using an evidence-based model, is recommended.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Body Piercing* / psychology
  • Body Piercing* / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Humans
  • Models, Organizational
  • Montana
  • Motivation
  • Nurse Administrators / organization & administration
  • Nursing Administration Research
  • Nursing Service, Hospital / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital* / psychology
  • Nursing, Supervisory / organization & administration
  • Organizational Policy
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Personnel Management* / methods
  • Personnel Management* / statistics & numerical data
  • Policy Making
  • Professional Competence
  • Tattooing* / psychology
  • Tattooing* / statistics & numerical data