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->''"If Mr. [=McMurphy=] doesn't want to take his medication orally, I'm sure we can arrange that he can have it some 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 rather 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), and sometimes [[TropesAreNotBad she's actually right.]] In British works, she almost certainly has the title Matron[[note]]which is the actual, if old-fashioned, job title for the most senior nurse in the hospital[[/note]] 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.



* Katherine from ''Anime/GregoryHorrorShow''. A 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 ''Manga/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 ''Manga/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 ''Manga/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|s}}. She happily skips into the MoralEventHorizon when gleefully removing the right eyeball of badass former cop, Senji Kiyosama after losing to TroubledButCute 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 AxCrazy Wretched Egg.
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' features one in the side story ''Pinto''. Tsukiyama introduces Chie to a beautiful nurse hopelessly in love with one of the doctors, and constantly harassed by one of her elderly patients. Later on, it's revealed that she regularly beats the old man and steals gifts from him, knowing that he won't remember the abuse later on. When her reputation is threatened, she murders the old man and claims to have failed to save him from a Ghoul attack. It earns her the admiration of her coworkers and the affections of the doctor she'd been crushing on.

* Nurse Lois from Creator/FrankMiller's ''Comicbook/DaredevilBornAgain'' 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.
* ''ComicBook/{{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.
* The milder version appears in Doug Moench's ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' run as Nurse Charlotte, who takes Harvey Bullock's cigars away and criticises his diet. Impressed by a tough woman who doesn't take any crap from him, he asks her on a date, and she accepts. [[spoiler: She then gets shot by a mugger]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5998743/1/Asylum_rewritten Asylum]], Lust is a nurse. 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.

* Nurse Ratched in ''Film/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.
* Nurse Davis from ''Film/TheSnakePit'' is mean and petty and in one scene essentially provokess the mental patient she hates into a relapse.
* In ''Film/DoubleIndemnity'', [[FemmeFatale Phyllis]] was the nurse for her (then future) husband's first wife and cared for her. "Cared" meaning [[spoiler: "killing her by giving her hypothermia"]].
* The uber-example of a comic version would be Creator/HattieJacques' character in the various ''Film/{{Carry On|series}}'' films.
* The interrogation scene in ''Film/TheEnglishPatient'' probably qualifies.
* ''Film/TheRightStuff'' has Nurse Murch, at the hospital where the potential astronauts are being tested. She has a moustache, and she likes torturing the candidates. She seems to especially like it when they enjoy it, too.
* The Mel Brooks film ''Film/HighAnxiety'' has Cloris Leachman as the grotesque Nurse Diesel.
* ''Film/FoxyBrown'''s boyfriend has a nurse who doesn't take kindly to his state of arousal after Foxy's visit.
* ''Film/CloudAtlas'': A scary one runs the nursing home where Cavendish is confined.

* Nurse Ratched in ''Literature/OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest''.
* Annie Wilkes in ''Literature/{{Misery}}'', who has the bonus of being a {{Yandere}} LoonyFan.
* In ''Literature/TheLaundryFiles'' short story "Down on the Farm", 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 Creator/SvenHassel. [[DumbMuscle Tiny]] falls in love with the (so-called) milder version, because she's the first woman he's met [[BrawnHilda who's tough enough not to take any abuse from him]].
* Head Nurse Noakes, from the "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish" segment of ''Literature/CloudAtlas''. Bonus points for the film version, who is portrayed by Creator/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/BettyMacDonald'' describes several such in ''The Plague & I'' her fictionalized memoir of her six months in a TB sanitarium.
* In Creator/IvanYefremov's ''Razor's Edge'' there's a bit character whom a protagonist (a qualified SuperDoc himself, but he cannot do SelfSurgery due to trauma location) visits to see a serious abscess on his hand. The woman evacuates the boil in the most painful and traumatic way, babbling about the need to [[MenDontCry man up and tough it out]], until the hero fied-shrinks her into admitting to slipping into sadism due to stress.

* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** One of these was the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Ghost of the Week]] in [[Recap/SupernaturalS02E19FolsomPrisonBlues "Folsom Prison Blues" (S02, Ep19)]].
** In "Sam Interrupted" when the Winchesters go [[GoAmongMadPeople undercover in a mental hospital]], Dean lampshades the trope to the nurse who's giving him an initial examination. The nurse is quite friendly though [[spoiler:except she's the MonsterOfTheWeek.]]
* ''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.
* ''Series/{{Millennium}}'' had a {{gender inverted| trope}} example as its villain of the week in "Paper Dove". This one was a hospice nurse by day and stalked and killed hikers on the Appalachian Trail by night.
* Not as extreme as some of the examples on this list, but ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' had Nurse [=DeFarge=] (played by [[Series/TheHoganFamily Edie McClurg]]) in its final season episode "Beauty and the Beast". The episode's B-plot revolved around a scenario where Sophia fakes being injured so she can be tended to by the aforementioned Nurse in a wheelchair.
* ''Series/FatherBrown'': Matron Sophia in "The Angel of Mercy". She runs the nursing home with an iron hand and shows no shred of sympathy to any of her charges.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/{{FMW}} Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling's]] Bad Nurse Nakamura of the Mad Dog Military.
* Wrestling/LunaVachon disguised herself as a nurse to attack Wrestling/{{Vader}} for the Artist Formerly Known As Wrestling/{{Goldust}}.
* Nurse Veronica, the leader of "[[PowerStable Bitch Slap]]" in Wrestling/{{TNA}}. Her partners all had [[WrestlingDoesntPay second jobs]] too(Secretary Traci Brooks, Cheerleader Valentina, Stunt Woman Trinity) and was a (misguided)AntiVillain in that she was trying to improve the standing of women in the company.

[[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]].

* 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]].
* Nurse Nina of ''Videogame/BorderlandsThePreSequel'' is a large Russian woman who loves to openly mock her patients. One of her sidequests involve finding a suitor for her, which requires you to damage them with specific elemental types in order to test whether or not they are "strong enough for Nina's love".

* Jeremy's stalker in ''Webcomic/PlatinumGrit'' becomes this for a while.
* [[http://www.shadowgirlscomic.com/comics/health-care/ One]] appeared in ''Webcomic/{{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.
* Nurse Claiborne, who first appeared in the ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' episode ''Operation: P.I.N.K.E.Y.E.'', was both this ''and'' an EvilChef. A school nurse who seemed sweet and friendly, her apple crumbles were popular among the students, even Numbuh Two... Then it turned out that she was behind the mystery epidemic of pinkeye going around the school, simply so she could use the eye crust from her patients as topping for the crumbles. Unlike most examples of this Trope, Claiborne was ''very'' much capable in a fight, packing a water gun with highly concentrated conjunctivitis (pink-eye) germs. She escaped at the end of the episode, but didn't learn; her second appearance had her go into the cereal business [[spoiler: by making the sweet bits from Rainbow Monkey dolls. Including one of Numbuh 3's most prized doll.]] Kuki was not amused. (On another note, Claiborne is one of the few villains who was regarded as insane ''even in-universe'', which is hard to do, considering what the KND's RoguesGallery is like; pretty much ''all'' of them would be labeled criminally insane if put into any remotely realistic context.)

[[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.