Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Publicising the scope of nursing roles, both academically and clinically.

I feel that the media, public and often patients have a limited understanding of the sheer scope of the nursing role. Patients coming to outpatients clinics do not understand that the knowledge and skills of the specialist nurses can often outstrip those of the junior doctors, but patients often feel that they are being 'short changed' when they see the nurse. 

I personally feel that not enough acknowledgement, opportunities and credence is given to nurse led nursing research in the UK. I know that nurses have such an enormous body of knowledge, skills and experience to contribute to the improvement, innovation and development of nursing and healthcare. So much of our 'evidence-base' is coming from the likes of America, Australia and Asia. I feel that we are too shy and afraid of pushing the boundaries too far. We are inhibited by too much health and safety, infection control and information governance, when there is no evidence base to support it, usually at the expense of common sense. 

Representation to potential students should come from the breath of the nursing world. Media representation should reflect the scope of practice, none of us are 'just' nurses, but it is often how we are portrayed. We need to push back against stereotyping and challenge this perception. 

Tell us your story below ...

Jamie Waterall Jan 3, 2018

This is a great post Joanna and I totally agree with your comments. When I was working as a senior nurse/specialist nurse and Nurse Consultant I was frequently teaching other professional colleagues. We need to demonstrate the breath of what our profession does and be proud of all the important roles we play from being by the bedside to being at the board room or lecture theatre (plus lots more).


Kate Pound Jan 4, 2018

Thanks, have you seen this? #WeGotThis


Zoe Lord Jan 4, 2018

I think this is a great idea, Joanna. Most peoples first image of a nurse would be someone wearing a blue uniform in a hospital - the scope and variety of jobs is much different these days.


Louise Samuel Jan 4, 2018

Great idea and I agree with your comments. The expectation of nurses from an education perspective is generally not understood not only by the general public but also other staff within organisations. Nurses have such a lot to give but this doesn’t seem to be respected.


Richard Cooper Jan 11, 2018

I really agree with you - I think there's work to do to educate the wider public on the scope and expertise of nursing roles - any conversations I have on nursing with family and friends comes back to this point and so many people have a very limited view that does not do nursing (and midwifery) justice. We need better awareness, which could then leverage stronger public engagement and support on issues of nursing pay, bursary, the pros and cons of the nursing associate role, etc.


Wendy Nicholson 11 months ago

Goodness I'd forgotten about this great visual!


Sue Haines 11 months ago

It is vital that the diversity of careers in nursing is clearly articulated and promoted. Research I undertook for doctoral study examined the concept of 'talent management' in nursing and how this compares to other industries approaches this when attracting, recruiting, developing and retaining a range of employees. A key finding identified that nurses did not view what they did as 'talent' , we do not talk about talent in nursing, at national down to regional and local level, and there was a perceived ' invisibility of nursing careers' . Even experienced nurses , were not sure what options and pathways were open to them. In addition the core central and vital role of Registered Nurse 'Staff Nurse' was felt to be undervalued and poorly understood as a career in its own right. There is much do as a priority in this field to improve and transform perceptions of nursing.


Lynnette Leman 8 months ago

Status label added: 10. Investing in innovation