In the segment about weight loss last month, six women wearing high heels, retro nurses' caps and white dresses with visible red lingerie underneath danced briefly with the host Dr. Mehmet Oz, as well as the audience.
"Many people look to Dr. Oz for reliable health information, and he should teach them who nurses really are, and be part of the solution to the nursing crisis," said Sandy Summers, executive director of The Truth About Nursing group.
"It's disappointing in terms of a show like Dr. Oz using that kind of sexist caricature of nursing," American Nurses Association spokeswoman Joan Hurwitz said. "With a physician, I guess we would expect more."
The show issued a statement apologizing for "any hurt feelings" and promised to "do better in the future."
"Dr. Oz has worked alongside extraordinary nursing professionals throughout his medical career and holds nurses in the highest regard as they save lives and heal patients," the statement said. "Any attempt at humor should never call into question Dr. Oz's utmost respect for the nurses with whom he works and has lauded in other shows."