Nursing and Media

Topics: Nursing, Florence Nightingale, Nurse Pages: 3 (770 words) Published: January 11, 2014


Portrayal of Nursing in the Media
Neil Delimont
NURS 313 – Professional Seminar I
Dixie Poe
November 10, 2013

Portrayal of Nursing in the Media
Some people may view nursing differently then others. Some may view nursing as negative and some positive. This perception may actually be due to the way the media depicts nursing. One television show or movie may portray the nursing image as loving and caring, where another may portray the image as incompetent or unpleasant. There has been much research conducted over time on the portrayal of nursing in the media and the impact it has on the public’s view. Some research says the public views nursing positively despite the media, while others say the media has a very negative impact on nursing. Whether the media depicts nursing as good or bad, or can influence the public’s views, it is up to the nurses themselves to be aware of their own behaviors and portray nursing positively in real life. People may know the name Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was a nurse seen as an angel due to her work during the Crimean War and is known as the founder of modern nursing. Her image embodies the caring fundamentals of nursing. Today, many people may know the name Nurse Jackie – a nurse on a television show portrayed quite differently than Nightingale. Nurse Jackie is seen as a strong-willed nurse who needs the help of narcotics to make it through her day, which is much different from Nightingale’s angelic image. This portrayal raises the question of whether people realize that television shows are fictional and the portrayal of nurses is a dramatic effect and done purely for ratings. Some research has been done to study the affect the media may have on nursing. Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN conducted a study in 2007 and found that despite less-than-authentic portrayals of nurses on some television shows, the media positively influences public perceptions (Howell, 2010). However, some say that the...

References: Howell, W. (2010, March 23). Media Portrayal of Nursing: Ready for a Close-Up. Retrieved
from Whitney Howell: http://wljhowell.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/media-portrayal-of-
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Muehlauer, P. M. (2012, December 6). How Can We Improve the Way the Media Portrays the
Nursing Profession? Retrieved from Connect: http://connect.ons.org/issue/december-
2012/a-closer-look/how-can-we-improve-the-way-the-media-portrays-the-nursing
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