Stereotypes of Professional Roles


Ms. Kaler, Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90024.


To determine the current public image of the nursing profession, this survey investigated the nature of stereotyping. Subjects approached in a shopping mall (N = 110) were asked to rate the degree to which 12 characteristics typify individuals in 14 professions. The results indicate that the public image of the nurse continues to turn on feminine and nurturant characteristics. The need for increased public awareness that nurses are scholars and leaders is underscored. Asserting the right to practice may produce a new stereotype of the nurse as intelligent and autonomous.