The history of nurse imagery and the implications for recruitment: a discussion paper
Version of Record online: 13 NOV 2013
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 70, Issue 7, pages 1502–1509, July 2014
How to Cite
2014) The history of nurse imagery and the implications for recruitment: a discussion paper. Journal of Advanced Nursing 70(7), 1502–1509. doi: 10.1111/jan.12289& (
- Issue online: 5 JUN 2014
- Version of Record online: 13 NOV 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 SEP 2013
- Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- nursing image;
- nursing recruitment;
- professional socialization
This paper presents a discussion of the history of nurse imagery in the context of recent career choice research and the need for contemporary images for nursing recruitment.
The critical and growing shortage of nurses is a global concern. Understanding how individuals come to know nursing as a career choice is of critical importance. Stereotypical imaging and messaging of the nursing profession have been shown to shape nurses' expectations and perceptions of nursing as a career, which has implications for both recruitment and retention.
Relevant research and literature on nurse imagery in relation to career choice and recruitment were identified through a search of the CINAHL, PsychINFO, Sociological Abstracts, PubMed; Medline and Embase databases from 1970–2012.
Historical images of nurses and nursing remain prevalent in society today and continue to influence the choice of nursing as a career among the upcoming generation of nurses. Students interested in nursing may be dissuaded from choosing it as a career based on negative, stereotypical images, especially those that position the profession as inferior to medicine.
Implications for Nursing
Understanding the evolution and perpetuation of popular images and messages in relation to the profession has implications for not only how we recruit and retain future generations of professional nurses but also holds implications for interprofessional collaboration between nursing and other health disciplines.
Strategies for future recruitment and socialization within the nursing and the health professions need to include contemporary and realistic imaging of both health professional roles and practice settings.