Public perceptions about the professional nurses Public perceptions about the professional nurses Years ago, I remember family members watching a television ser

Public perceptions about the professional nurses

Public perceptions about the professional nurses

Years ago, I remember family members watching a television series called, M*A*S*H in which one of a number of iconic figures included the female nurse named, Hot Lips Houlihan (Friberg & Creasia, 2016). It was a largely comedic role with gross sexualization of women nurses. The perception from my personal point of reference was one of a demeaning nature. That particular television program preceded my entry into nursing but the effects of media representations like these did affect some patient perceptions and my role as a nurse. Sexual harassment is a potential secondary topic that can be connected to improper stereotyping of the nursing profession in media. I wonder if part of the disregard for how nurses have been portrayed in media is also related to the producers of media known to have violated vulnerable persons, such as women, reflected in media production. One very widely identified example is recent allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein (Nurse staff writer, 2017).

Public perceptions about the professional nurse are best defined by individual nurses and as a professional collective. I believe it is our responsibility to educate the public about who we are, our role, and how we function as a profession. If we allow other interests, such as media to be our representative to the public, we have given a non-stakeholder a portion of our power to influence how we are portrayed. Even if the perception is supposedly a positive representation of a nurse, where is our responsibility in that? In chapter 3 of our reading for this week, it starts with one nurse’s professional growth. In her shared story it was her grandmother who was a nurse who gave her the impression of what a nurse is (Friberg & Creasia, 2016). Personally, I think modeling who we are as nurses through our actions at our work place and in our private life is how the public’s understanding of who a nurse is will be best conveyed.


Friberg, Elizabeth, John Creasia. Conceptual Foundations: The Bridge to Professional Nursing Practice, 6th Edition. Mosby, 072015. VitalBook file.

Sexual Harassment In Nursing – It’s More Common Than You

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