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Nurse-environment misfit and nursing practice


Miyuki Takase, School of Nursing, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia. E-mail:


Nurse-environment misfit and nursing practice

Aim of the study. The purpose of the following descriptive correlational study was to investigate nurses’ responses to the image discrepancy between the public and nurses, and its relationships with their self-concept, job satisfaction and performance.

Background. It has been long said that nurses live in a dual structure wherein the nurse’s journey toward professionalization is constrained by nursing stereotypes in a society. This duality of the nursing universe is assumed to have created a person-environment misfit which could lead to nurses’ job dissatisfaction and low job performance. Nonetheless, little study has been done in this area.

Design/Methods. The study was conducted in 1999 with ethical approval from an Australian University. A sample of 80 Australian registered nurses participated by completing the Porter Nursing Image Scale, Index of Work Satisfaction (IWS) and Six-Dimension Scale of Nursing Performance. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation.

Results. The results suggested that there is a discrepancy in the images of the nursing profession between nurses and the public, which can contribute to the nurse-environment misfit. The results also supported a negative correlation of the misfit with nurses’ job satisfaction and performance.

Conclusion. Despite the limited sample size and characteristics, this study provides evidence to encourage nurses to improve the public image of nurses, which will enhance the professionalization of nursing.