UNISON is taking action to promote a more progressive and positive image of nursing and clamp down on nurse stereotypes.
Gail Adams, UNISON head of nursing, warned delegates at the union’s annual health conference this week that stereotyping nurses ‘gets in the way’ of recruiting young people into the profession.
‘Nurses have long suffered from stereotyping. Painted as everything from the naughty nurse, to the battleaxe matron or the angel in a crisis they have seen it all. These stereotypes may seem like harmless fun, but they are patronizing, undermine the public image of nurses and call into question their professional standing,’ she said.
‘Stereotyping nurses gets in the way of encouraging young people into the profession at a time when a recruitment crisis is looming. And it downplays the diversity of roles available in nursing,’ she added.
A motion to update the public image of nurses was passed by conference delegates. It called for nurses to be given more professional respect as caring, confident, assertive and knowledgeable professionals.
‘It is time to get rid of the outdated stereotypes and to get real about nursing. Nurses do a tough and vital job and they deserve professional respect,’ Ms Adams said.
Are nurse stereotypes holding back the profession?