The UK media’s coverage of health issues paints a nostalgic picture of nursing education in the past while encouraging a negative view of the higher academic levels expected of today’s nurses, new research suggests.
Published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, a study looks at how British newspapers covered various relevant stories.
Its author Karen Gillett, from the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King’s College London analysed 11 British Newspaper articles, which related to the increasing academic level of nurse education in the period from 1999-2012.
It may come as no surprise that she concluded that much of the coverage negatively compared modern day nurses to their counterparts in an idealised “golden age” of nursing.
She said that by idealising the past, the coverage suggested that today’s system of nursing education did not compare well.
Ms Gillett warned that by glorifying the past, the media coverage was hindering the creation of an effective system of nursing education in the 21st century.
She added that the stance could sway public opinion and lend backing to government policies which may otherwise be seen as backward steps.