->''If Mr. [=McMurphy=] doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some [[AssShove other way]]. But I don't think that he would like it.''
-->--'''Nurse Ratched''', ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''

Nurses, like doctors, are [[MadDoctor usually]] good in fiction. After all, a person who works to save lives can't possibly be evil, right?

Not in the case of the Battleaxe Nurse.

The Battleaxe Nurse is an incredibly sadistic and cruel nurse, often older (and [[BeautyEqualsGoodness uglier]]) than her more angelic counterpart, and AlwaysFemale. She gets her kicks from kicking patients, the weaker the better. If she isn't already the head nurse, her cruelty gives her a degree of power over both the patients and the other nurses. Anybody who goes against her ends up injured or worse, and she jumps at the chance to give a particularly rebellious patient a lobotomy. Sometimes the Battleaxe Nurse has a hint of the MadDoctor in her, especially if she decides to test interesting new drugs on her helpless patients.

In terms of her origins, the Battleaxe Nurse has many. First is the {{Subversion}} of what the audience expects - nurses are supposed to be caring right? This type of subversion is similar in its origins to the EvilClown trope - clowns are supposed to be associated with joy, and thus it creates a rich irony to associate them with terror. Likewise for the Battleaxe Nurse.

Another origin is by subverting the HospitalHottie trope - rather than conform to male fantasy, the Battleaxe Nurse crushes it.

On a deeper level, the concept of a sadist nurse explores a very real fear that many patients have going into hospital. It is, sadly, TruthInTropes that some of the most vulnerable people are badly treated while they are weakened and in the care of strangers. By creating characters in media that express this fear, negative emotions can be explored from a safe distance.

The most famous example of this trope, if not the TropeMaker, is Nurse Ratched from ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.

There's also a milder version more common in comedy. This version is still hugely unsympathetic and enjoys having power over the patients and other nurses, but can still say with some justification that everything she's doing is [[ForYourOwnGood for the patients' own good]] (although the patients are unlikely to see it like that). In British works, she almost certainly has the title Matron and is played by Hattie Jacques (who actually was a Red Cross nurse during W.W.II). This type of Matron figure was also popular in older Australian series.

A subtrope is the TriageTyrant.



[[folder: Anime ]]

* Katherine from ''GregoryHorrorShow''. A rather perverted pink lizard nurse with a needle the size of herself which she.....seems to '''REALLY''' love draining all the blood out of people with.
* Mako Yakumaru from ''RosarioToVampire'' has an injection fetish. Her injections temporarily turn people into her slaves, and proceed to help her carry out homicidal Antithesis missions.
* Played straight and including a souped-up MadDoctor version in an episode of the ''SorcererHunters'' anime. A hospital run by two women who [[spoiler: use the facility as a cover for torturing male patients because they've been betrayed by men in the past.]]
* Prison doctor Rei Takashima of the titular ''DeadmanWonderland'', though calling her "doctor" is putting it nicely. She gets sadistic pleasure removing the body parts of fully conscious Deadmen when they lose a {{Gladiator Game}}. She happily skips into the {{Moral Event Horizon}} when gleefully removing the right eyeball of {{Badass}} former cop, Senji Kiyosama after losing to {{Troubled But Cute}} protagonist, Ganta. She's last seen creating a hideous abomination of combined forgeries (fake Deadmen who were former prisoners brainwashed into becoming drugged up killing machines) before being unceremoniously killed by the {{Ax Crazy}} Wretched Egg.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Nurse Lois from Creator/FrankMiller's ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}: [[Comicbook/DaredevilBornAgain Born Again]]'' story arc is a gruff, intimidating nurse who supervises Nick Manolis' recovery. [[spoiler:She's also a mob enforcer for the Kingpin who breaks Ben Urich's fingers and kills Manolis.]]
* During Jason Aaron's run in ''Comicbook/GhostRider'', Ghost Rider fights an ''army'' of these at some point.
* ''{{Fables}}'' has Mrs. Sprat. It turns out she became a nurse out of immense jealousy towards all the other beautiful Fables, for the chance to have them on their backs and completely at her mercy.


[[folder: Fan Works ]]

* In the Anime/FullmetalAlchemist AU fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5998743/1/Asylum_rewritten Asylum]], Lust is a nurse. Rather predictably, she's also this. "I wouldn't be so foolish as to pin me with the stereotypes of my profession, if I were you... I don't feel compassion, and especially not for the condemned."
* John Gafe deals with one from canon in the ''{{Series/Emergency}}'' fic [[http://www.tbillingsemergencyfanfic.com/complicationspart1.htm "Complications"]]. He is confused and recovering from encephalitis. He also still struggles with a badly abusive childhood and a mild case of Asperger's, and when the nurse wants to examine him, he panics and fights. Her answer is to slap him and restrain him, which only terrifies him more,due to his background, and sedate him.Roy,JoAnn,Dr.Brackett and Dixie are all outraged. The nurse is fired and the Desotos take John to recover with them. That said, Roy is still kind and helpful to the nurse when he comes upon her in a car accident later.

[[folder: Film ]]

* Nurse Ratched in ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.
* Nurse Davis from ''Film/TheSnakePit'' is mean and petty and in one scene essentially proves the mental patient she hates into a relapse.
* The uber-example of a comic version would be HattieJacques' character in the various ''Film/CarryOn'' films.
* The interrogation scene in ''TheEnglishPatient'' probably qualifies.
* ''{{The Right Stuff}}'' has a Battleaxe Nurse conducting tests on the potential astronauts.
* The Mel Brooks film ''Film/HighAnxiety'' has Cloris Leachman as the rather grotesque Nurse Diesel.
* ''FoxyBrown'''s boyfriend has a nurse who doesn't take kindly to his state of arousal after Foxy's visit.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* As mentioned above, Nurse Ratched in ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.
* Annie Wilkes in ''Literature/{{Misery}}'', who has the bonus of being a {{Yandere}} LoonyFan.
* In "Down on the Farm", a ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries Laundry]]'' short story by Creator/CharlesStross, the Laundry's BedlamHouse is run by a deranged, [[spoiler:demonic]] 1960s mainframe called "Matron", and three robot "Sisters" slaved to it. As in ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', one of the nurses is called Nurse Ratchet.
* The senior nurse in ''Discworld/GoingPostal'', who seems to be a little hazy on the difference between a hospital and a prison. Dr Lawn, supposedly in charge of the hospital, claims that the only way to deal with the nursing staff is to throw a handful of chocolates in one direction and then run in the other as fast as possible.
* ''Assignment Gestapo'' by SvenHassel. [[DumbMuscle Tiny]] falls in love with the (so-called) milder version, because she's the first woman he's met who's tough enough not to take any abuse from him.
* Head Nurse Noakes, from the "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish" segment of ''CloudAtlas''. Bonus points for the film version, who is portrayed by HugoWeaving.
* Willis Sr.'s housekeeper Deirdre Donovan is a mild comic version of this in ''[[Literature/AuntDimity Aunt Dimity and the Lost Prince]]''. Early in the book, she bars all visitors to the house (including Lori's cabin-feverish sons) when her employer has a severe head cold. Later, Bree recounts a series of phone messages to Lori, including these two: "Deirdre Donovan rang. She's given William the all-clear to attend church on Sunday. William rang. He will attend church on Sunday, with or without Deirdre Donovan's all-clear."
* ''Creator/Betty MacDonald'' describes several such in ''The Plague & I'' her fictionalized memoir of her six months in a TB sanitarium.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Dr. Pulaski, Beverly's short-lived replacement on ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', was pretty tough. You'd think that ''she'' was the one Captaining the whole ship.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' had one of these as the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Ghost of the Week]] in [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E19FolsomPrisonBlues "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19)]].
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'''s first victim was a mad nurse who slowly euthanized patients--willing or not.
* In the 4th season of ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the We're So Screwed 3-parter had one of these torturing/testing Aeryn and her unborn child.
** While she is never referred to as a nurse, Tauza is presumably one of these. She is the only person to ever interact with Scorpius while he is a child and is said to be the one who treated him for heat delirium. She also enjoys tormenting him, including one occasion where she turns up the heat in the room (which he can't stand due to his hybrid physiology) and forces him to crawl to her to get water. When he says "please", she dumps it on the floor and hits him.
* Mrs. Raven from the British sitcom ''Series/MyHero''. Fond of such things as staging a fire drill just to torment geriatrics, hypnotizing patients into giving her their money, and blackmailing her boss to secure her position. At one point, upon gaining superpower, she goes on to become a multinational supervillain for an episode.
** She's also an administrator, not a nurse. God forbid her job should involve helping people.
* Averted, oddly enough, with Major Margaret "Hot Lips" Houlihan of ''Series/{{Mash}}''. While she was generally depicted, especially in the early seasons, as a humorless and short-tempered authoritarian in her interactions with the rest of the staff, her manner with the actual patients was always kind and caring.
* The nurse looking after Gage in the ''{{Series/Emergency}}'' episode "The Nuisance" is a mild one. She's grumpy, looks down on the paramedics, and just wants to yell and complain.
* Sister Evangelina in ''Series/CallTheMidwife'' falls into the second variety of Battleaxe: a stern nun-midwife who hides her absolute devotion to her patients' and fellow midwives' welfare behind a facade of grump, boss and snark.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* In one episode of ''28 Minutes to Save the NHS'', Dr Phil Hammond claims that media stories about the health service going downhill are exaggerated because the quality of pillows has improved, and [[BreadEggsMilkSquick the number of psycho killer nurses has remained more or less constant]].


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The Medivac from ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' is a cross between this trope and a ChuckYeager, with a dose of BlackComedy thrown in. Turns out, teaching regular [[TheDitz Medics]] how to fly transports will turn them into callous, cynical surgeons. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avN7vICX208 Listen for yourself]].


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Jeremy's stalker in ''PlatinumGrit'' becomes this for a while.
* [[http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/comics/health-care/ One]] appeared in ''{{Shadowgirls}}''. Unfortunately for her, Mrs. Snow was currently friendly to her victim, around, [[AlphaBitch more skilled at trampling people into dirt]] and "needed the exercise".


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has the robotic Nurse Ratchet, an obvious parody of Nurse Ratched.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'' had one of these show up when Pebbles was born. A few other times, too.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* A 2006 [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/feb/15/health.crime Guardian article]] reports that a male nurse in an English hospital poisoned a bunch of patients just so he could impress people when he resuscitated them. Problem was, in two cases the resuscitation didn't work.
* There was also a story in the Toronto Star once about a young American nurse who fatally poisoned three patients (and never attempted to revive them) to impress her friends.
* There were four Austrian Nurses dubbed the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lainz_Angels_of_Death Lainz Angels of Death]] who killed 49 elderly people by flooding their lungs with water.
* During the World Wars there were several horror stories going on in the front about sadistic nurses who enjoyed tormenting the wounded soldiers, some which apparently were true.