A nurse in Missouri has been fired after she put on blackface as part of a Beyoncé costume.

Shelbi Elliott-Heenan shared a photograph of herself alongside an unidentified man on Facebook with the caption “Jay Z & Beyonce”.

The image appears to have been taken at a Halloween event in Kansas City earlier this week.

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Saint Luke’s Health System told local broadcaster KCTV it became aware of the photo on Monday and dismissed the nurse following an investigation.

“Saint Luke’s is deeply committed to our culture of diversity and inclusion,” the hospital continued in a statement.

“It is fundamental to who we are as an organisation and we vigorously protect it on behalf of all our patients and employees and expect those who represent us to do the same.”

Blackface has roots in 19th century minstrel shows that produced racist stereotypes such the “Uncle Joe” and “Jezebel”.

The debate around blackface has been revived in recent days after Megyn Kelly defended the desire of white people to darken their skin for Halloween. 

Following the comments, Ms Kelly lost her job as a host of NBC’s Today programme. The broadcaster apologised for her remarks to colleagues, saying she had realised the “the history of blackface in our culture is abhorrent; the wounds too deep.”

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