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'Let's hope the RCN's campaign reassures the public that nursing hasn't lost its way'

  • Comments (21)

For the past two years nursing has been hit by a barrage of reports into devastating failures in care.

It is little wonder that many of the general public believe the profession has lost its way.

Of course the reports are shocking, and what they reveal should never have been allowed to happen. Poor practice should have been addressed before it turned into abuse and neglect. However, these examples do not reflect the reality of most patients’ experiences. Most nurses deliver technically excellent and compassionate care – often in trying circumstances, and their work should be celebrated rather than tarnished by the actions of a few people who bring the profession into disrepute.

Not too long ago the image of the teaching profession was at an all-time low. The knock-on effect was a rush of excellent but demoralised teachers leaving the profession. Universities found it impossible to attract high-calibre students to enter the profession to replace them, and it seemed to be on a downward spiral that could only get worse.

The situation was turned round, however, and a significant factor in this was a government-funded advertising campaign highlighting the best aspects of a career in teaching. The fact that it was accompanied by improved pay and conditions also helped, and once again the profession began to attract the sort of people it needed.

In today’s climate of austerity the government would no doubt argue that it cannot afford to spend money on a similar campaign for nursing – although some might argue that it can’t afford not to.

But the RCN has now stepped into the breach, launching a huge advertising campaign to show the public the other side of nursing – the side experienced by the vast majority of patients.

The campaign celebrates caring, compassionate, skilled and innovative nurses – in other words, ordinary nurses. Let’s hope the campaign reassures the public that the profession has not lost its way, that they can feel safe in its hands – and that it shows what a rewarding career nursing can be.

A career fit for the brightest and the best.

  • Comments (21)

Readers' comments (21)

  • Anonymous

    Apologies from employers, regulatory bodies, patients, patient support groups, the media and relatives who have made false accusations against nurses would help, why should it be left up to the RCN to defend nurses.

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  • tinkerbell

    this is fantastic morale booster too for when we feel a bit down in the mouth about it all too, a reminder of why we became nurses, if we might need one sometimes. Although it is long overdue, better late than never. Well done RCN.

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  • Anonymous


    "Ten Myths About Nursing


    We all have heard the stories about nurses, some of them true and some not true and here are ten of the some of the biggest myths about nurses."

    http://www.paidemployment.com/Articles/Ten_Myths_About_Nursing;40.aspx

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  • Anonymous

    I'm very proud to be a nurse even with all the pressures n troubles I've encountered over the 27 years. After receiving an email from the RCN about the, 'This is Nursing' campaign I was both sadden n pleased to see my union support a positive push to engage with the public however isn't it sad that the public need this also. I hope nursing gets the boost it needs and the MP's support that process. Well done the RCN...

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  • Good for the RCN...at least there is some support for nurses out there given that we are being attacked from every direction. We haven't lost our way....we have been pushed to the brink by moronic management who feel we are the sacrificial lambs they need for their economic drives; by a governing body intending to fleece us by outrageously increasing our registration fees in a time when a lot of households can't afford to pay the bills, when nurses go into work everyday wondering when they will be told they will no longer be needed, on the back of some highly dubious and suspicious figures not helped by their refusal of external auditors to examine the figures. All in all, I think we do a fantastic job and it would be nice if, for once, the National Media would get behind us and remind the public of just how good a job we do rather than 100% focussing on the negatives.
    The RCN is a good start but, until we can get the National Media to stop their inflammatory, sensationalist reporting, I feel the damage has already been done.
    A note on the Teaching Profession mentioned in the article: It is noted in the article that an increase in pay and conditions helped the teaching profession out of their all-time low. Pity then that that particular help will not be any good to nurses given that, rather than looking to make pay and conditions for nurses more appealing, almost every Trust in the country (and especially the "South-West Cartel") are looking to cut pay and conditions to a point where even the most dedicated nurses will no longer be able to afford to stay in the profession. Nursing is well beyond an all-time low and I would suspect that nurses in the Third-World are treated with more respect and dignity than we are in the NHS. Despite the RCN and other Unions efforts, I just don't see our profession recovering from everything that has happened recently and I am not sure how we can get out of this.

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  • michael stone

    I might be wrong about this, but I have been getting an impression that since the Act was passed, the RCN has become rather more forceful in speaking out and trying to stand up for itself ?

    Before the Act was passed, my criticism of the RCN would have been that it wasn't critical enough - perhaps because it had been misled into thinking it might achieve something through co-operation ?

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  • Anonymous

    Having nursing, midwifery and teaching qualifications (but now retired) I beleive the fall in nursing standards across the entire field came about when the RCN/RCM where no longer included in the fitness for practice element of what happens in hospitals. The main focus of achieving a qualification appears to me to be on the requirements to produce written work which is accuratley referenced. I am NOT suggesting nurses and midwives should not be graduates but in achieving a degree there appears to be less emphasis on nursingcare/standards. While it may seem logical that mentors to trainees are practicing nurses/midwives who is monitoring the maintainance of the mentors practice. Many years ago work was carried out on practice in theatres and on lifting and handling and both found that within 6 months of having been through a training programme standards had fallen. Now many years on from that work how low have care standards also fallen because if a trainee is not shown how to undertake a procedure/practice then he/she will never learn nor can pass the skill on to the next trainee. This coupled with the ever quickening turnover of admissions and discharges nurses and midwives spend more time on administration then on actual practice yet another reason in my opinion that care skills are not consolodated. My final thought and possibly the most important one is the reducing numbers of staff on wards and in departments. How can an overworked and understaffed clinical area be it in hospital or the community give what the recipient desires and the clinician really wants to give - that of sound care with time to do it.

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  • To me, personally speaking, I know nurses are totally amazing. If I go into hospital, I know the superb and brilliant nurses will look after and heal me and I am proud to tell everyone that a nurse healed me. Doctors cure but Nurses heal

    LOVE
    PDaveANGEL

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  • Anonymous

    PDave Angel | 18-Sep-2012 10:27 pm


    "Ten Myths About Nursing"


    "9. Nurses just follow doctors’ orders. Ask any nurse if this is true and they’ll laugh – nurses work with doctors to create care plans for patients, with nurses providing valuable input and implementing essential services. Nurses have to exhibit strong critical thinking skills, and must have the knowledge and confidence to make life and death decisions. The most fundamental aspects of patient care fall to nurses, and they’re a vital part of the healthcare team."


    http://www.paidemployment.com/Articles/Ten_Myths_About_Nursing;40.aspx


    Nursing is a fully autonomous profession and nurses work alongside doctors but are fully responsible for planning and implementing their own work and for their actions. If they followed doctors' orders unquestioningly and these were erroneous they would soon be out of a job on the grounds of their errors or professional negligence. Following doctors' orders is no defence in such cases.

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  • Anonymous

    this rather seems to suggest complacency and self-satisfaction at the professional status quo.

    wouldn't it be more purposeful to invest instead in making improvements which better meet the changing demands and expectations of the public and to provide the best standards of care and safety?

    the complexities of nursing are little understood outside the profession but patients are able to witness its work from their own perspectives and others show an interest in what appears in the media no matter how misguided, biased and inaccurate some, but not all, of the information may be. Some experiences or impressions are positive and some negative but just showing a brief video or adverts such as these it seems will not alter anything except to show that nurses have a need to draw attention to themselves and their profession for better or worse.

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