Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Media coverage 'idealises nursing from the past'


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.




Readers' comments (6)

  • We should celebrate the past as those that have gone before us have contributed to the direction in which we travel. Nursing today must articulate to the public why it is taking the health journey that it is and how it will benefit. Better educated, highly skilled RNs = improved health outcomes. Tell your story.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Have just been discharged from hospital and whilst some nurses were caring most were not and quite frankly didn't give a damn! Degree or otherwise it made no difference and I found their lack of medical knowledge quite staggering! A very sad state of affairs.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous | 21-May-2014 7:31 pm

    why a lack of medical knowledge. surely, degree or not, all those who are qualified and NMC registered have been through a three year theoretical and practical training course?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • tinkerbell

    cos' if this so called government have their way that's where we'll be going back to the past - Victorian workhouse style. The media are in on the deal.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I trained in the 1960's and am still working. We live in a completely different world of healthcare today by comparison. My training prepared me for nursing then, todays nurses are educated for the nursing world of today. All have a duty to maintain up to date skills and knowledge, but none can or ever will know everything. In 1969 when I qualified, my word was accepted without question on matters of health by patients. Today while I am explaining medical details I may be having every word checked on line by someone using a mobile phone -it happens all the time - as I say, it is a different world!!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Nursing is a calling; you need to have a passion for it, if not than you will not become a good nurse.
    For any profession, you need to be equipped with the knowledge and the skills, nursing is NO exception

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs