As a nursing student, it is essential to maintain a clean and professional attire. But, when people think about tattoos they find them trashy, unprofessional and tacky. Having a tattoo does not define my attitude towards my career or how I will function at my job.

I have 5 tattoos and they are all hidden. I have all 5 tattoos hidden because patients, and parents, are quick to judge you for having a visible tattoo. As a future nurse, my goal is to ensure each and every patient is safe & healthy - I am not in your room to have a conversation about how "unprofessional" it is to have my black arrow showing.

Each tattoo I have resembles something - and most of them are related to religion. In any kind of career, you are going to encounter individuals with different religious views and beliefs. There have been cases where a patient will ask for another nurse just because of their tattoo. I am a Christian, but I am also a future nurse. I want to nurse you back to health, regardless of your views, not throw a Bible at you.

And for the Christians reading, I am aware of the scripture stating, "You shall not mark your body, your body is a temple." I understand that God would not like me marking myself with black ink, but I am sure God would also dislike you sleeping with Susan on the weekend & then going back home to your wife Martha, Carl! Not all Christians are perfect, but as a Christian, you should not judge one another - do not forget that the next time you want to harass someone about their ink.

People also feel that if you have a tattoo then you are not going to be good at your job. If someone has an entire sleeve with a dragon on his face but is performing open heart surgery on me, then I do not care what he has printed on his body - he is there to save my life, to provide care & simply do his job. Having a tattoo does not impact the overall quality of an individual. I have 5, does that mean I am going to be an awful nurse? Of course not. I chose to get each tattoo, spontaneously, because I want to be able to express myself in ways that words cannot.

Tattoos show expressions, feelings, and words. Look at the art behind each design, ask about the story - because it is usually really interesting. But, stop belittling the people & their work ethic because they have art on their skin.