discuss factors that influence the public’s perception of nursing?


The perception of the nursing profession has definitely changed over the years from a profession of solely women to a fantasy to drug addicts. Male nurses used to be ridiculed and seen as less of a man “why aren’t you a doctor?”. Nurses are not seen as professionals in their own rite simply due to ignorance. It’s a vicious cycle, nursing isn’t seen as a desired field of practice so why would someone research the education and training requirements, but without exploring those topics, people don’t fully grasp the intricacy of the field Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., Arantzamendi-Solabarrieta, M., & Canga-Armayor, A. (2012).

In sitcoms or TV shows they are portrayed as expendable and objects of sexual interest for Doctors. I’ve seen films in which nurses are portrayed as drug addicts or lower middle class, certainly they aren’t seen as well off. Social media had meme’s of nurses showing them as everything from tired people who drink wine all the time to hardworking. These meme’s of course portray nurses as mostly female and funnily enough do not address the deep level of education we need to attain. I think that historical perception has an incredible influence on present day perception of nursing. Which I find funny in a world moving forward, they hold on to the bad or wrong points in history.

Since COVID there have been a lot of campaigns to encourage the public to see healthcare workers and nurses and emts specifically as heroes. I think that its has worked a little, but old perception is hard to break from.

The nursing field is a highly specialized field in which the individuals undergo intensive education and training, have a unique skillset, address specific and unique patient needs and have the autonomy and competency to provide care. I think that if places like social media, TV and film were to all jump on board to accurately portray nurses it would make a word of difference, but accuracy doesn’t sell does it.

Errasti-Ibarrondo, B., Arantzamendi-Solabarrieta, M., & Canga-Armayor, A. (2012). La imagen social de la enfermería: una profesión a conocer [The public image of nursing: a profession to learn about]. Anales del sistema 

sanitario de Navarra, 35(2), 269–283. https://doi.org/10.4321/s1137-66272012000200009

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