Diversity, fulfilment and privilege: the image of nursing

Journal of Nursing Management (Impact Factor: 1.5). 07/2011; 19(5):683 - 692. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2011.01268.x


morris-thompson t., shepherd j., plata r. & marks-maran d. (2011) Journal of Nursing Management19, 683–692 Diversity, fulfilment and privilege: the image of nursing
Aim 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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    • "In the USA the widely held view of nursing is of a not intellectually demanding or challenging occupation (Cabaniss 2011), although over the years the Gallup surveys show that the public perceives nursing as the most honest and ethical profession (Gallup 1999 through 2014) (Gallup 2014). Morris-Thompson et al. (2011) found that UK nurses themselves have an image of nursing that is quite different from the public's image of nursing (Morris-Thompson et al. 2011). Nurses' image of nursing was found to be distinctly positive and was derived from nurses' experience of diversity, privilege and fulfilment they gain through being a nurse. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aims of this paper are to present the findings from a discursive analysis of key issues associated with providing excellence in nursing care; and to provide an exemplar framework to support excellence in nursing care and describe the potential benefits when excellence in nursing care occurs. The challenge facing the nursing profession is in ensuring that the core principles of dignity, respect, compassion and person (people) centered care become central to all aspects of nursing practice. To regain the public and professional confidence in nursing, nurse leaders, managers and educators play a pivotal role in improving the image of nursing. Excellence in nursing care will only happen by ensuring that nurse managers, leaders and educators are able to respond to the complexity of reform and change by leading, managing, enabling, empowering, encouraging and resourcing staff to be innovative and entrepreneurial in practice. Creating healthcare environments that enable excellence in nursing care will not occur without the development of genuine shared working partnerships and collaborations between nurse managers, leaders and educators and their associated organizations. The importance of adopting an authentic sustainable leadership approach to facilitating and supporting frontline staff to innovate and change is imperative in restoring and evidencing that nurses do care and are excellent at what they do. By focusing attention on what resources are required to create a healthcare environment that enables compassion, safety and excellence in nursing care and what this means would be a reasonable start on the journey to excellence in nursing.
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