Diversity, fulfilment and privilege: the image of nursing

Journal of Nursing Management (Impact Factor: 1.14). 07/2011; 19(5):683 - 692. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01268.x

ABSTRACT morris-thompson t., shepherd j., plata r. & marks-maran d. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management19, 683–692 Diversity, fulfilment and privilege: the image of nursingAim To explore the image that nurses have of nursing and the image of nursing held by the public to determine the difference between the two and the impact of this on nurse recruitment.Background Recruitment and retention nurses are important to the Strategic Health Authority for London (NHS London) who commissioned a study to explore the image of nursing.Method Qualitative survey research was used. Data were collected from nurses and from the public.Results Three themes emerged related to the image of nursing held by nurses. These were diversity, fulfilment and privilege. However, the public image of nursing does not reflect these. The public appear ill-informed of what nurses do, purporting to respect nursing but would not recommend nursing as a career choice for themselves, their children or their pupils. This study could have been enhanced through the use of questionnaires to gain quantitative data about the image of nursing.Conclusions The public image of nursing appears positive but also has negative aspects. The public image is different from nurse’s image of nursing and is based on myth, misconception and stereotype. This may influence recruitment of nurses.Implications for nursing management The results of this study offer a way forward to develop recruitment strategies that target changing the public’s image of nursing.

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