Public Image of Nursing

Discuss the current public image of nursing and how events in history have formed that image. utilize at least one scholarly source other than the textbook.


Public image is the general impression a person or people have on an organization or person. It encompasses what other people who are outside of the organization think about an organization. The nursing public image is the overall impression that people who are not nurses see nursing practice and what they believe it is. The public image of nursing has changed over time due to various historical events. This discussion presents the current public image of nursing and how historical events have contributed to forming this image.

Despite the fact that nurses have been acknowledged to have a significant impact on healthcare service provision and the general population, the public has always seen nurses as inferior to doctors and nursing as a feminine profession, especially due to the nursing activities such as directly caring for and protecting the patients. However, the current public image of nursing has changed over time. More people have embraced that nursing is a profession for both genders. Additionally, the public has come to view the nursing practice as a stand-alone profession that is as important as other health-related professions. Research shows that the current nursing public image of nursing is a recognized healthcare profession with its rights and essence of delivering care in close contact and relationships with the patients in a partially or completely dependent manner (Rodríguez-Pérez et al., 2022).

According to Grinberg and Sela (2022), the current public image of nursing has improved from being seen as inferior to other health-related professions such as medicine. One event that contributed to the change is the development of nursing competencies and the improvement of nurses’ professional identity. In their study, Rodriguez-Perez et al. (2022) note that nurses’ professional identity, encompassing their practical and theoretical knowledge, the definition of their professional role, their moral values, and their representation of the profession, has painted a positive picture of the nursing practice towards the public. More so, nursing competencies have evolved to improve skills such as information technology, thus creating a positive public image.

Furthermore, the presentation of nursing practice in media and the increase of male nurses has considerably improved the nursing public image. In the past, nurses were portrayed by the media as doctors’ helpers who were only supposed to listen to the doctor’s instructions without questions. The image led to the public viewing the nursing field as inferior. However, when the media began to depict nurses as knowledgeable, autonomous medical professionals who practice in collaboration with other care providers. Hence the public image has improved.

Additionally, having more males in the nursing practice field has formed a positive public image of nursing. Professions with fewer males are associated with less power and are considered feminine, while male-dominated professions are considered more managerial and masculine (Grinberg & Sela, 2022). The technicality of nursing practice has been seen recently by the increase of males pursuing and practicing nursing.

As discussed above, the public image of nursing has improved, and nursing is viewed as more prestigious, academic, and independent. Various events have contributed to these changes, as discussed above. A positive public image of nursing boosts the nurses’ confidence, enhances the better quality of care, and encourages more people to pursue nursing. Nurses should perform their roles diligently and ethically to maintain a positive public image.




Grinberg, K., & Sela, Y. (2022). Perception of the image of the nursing profession and its relationship with quality of care. BMC Nursing21(1), 1-8.

Rodríguez-Pérez, M., Mena-Navarro, F., Domínguez-Pichardo, A., & Teresa-Morales, C. (2022). Current Social Perception of and Value Attached to Nursing Professionals’ Competences: An Integrative Review. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health19(3), 1817.

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