Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

5 words that describe a nurse by Daniel Gooding

Picking just five words to describe a nurse is difficult. The thing about being a nurse is that your a part of an undervalued, underpaid profession. Nobody comes in to nursing for the money, however through the last couple of years of my nursing degree, I have seen a huge increase in nurse activism. I have stood shoulder to shoulder with nurses who have marched through London. I have heard their rally cry’s and joined in their battle call. And in a way, this 30 day challenge is a part of a similar campaign – To transform the way nurses and midwives are perceived by the public, by the healthcare sector and by all. Anyone who works in healthcare knows that nurses are that backbone. I wonder what 5 words they would choose? Whilst working in A&E and had I been asked this 2 years ago, I know what 5 words I would’ve chosen then. “Tired“, “Under-appreciated“, “Burnt-out“, “Stressed” but also “Ready“. Ready for whatever comes through those doors, whatever is in the back of the ambulance. We were ready to help and to deal with many peoples “worst day ever”.

But what about now, as I face the challenges of being a newly qualified. What 5 words would I use to describe nurses now?

“Under-valued/Appreciated/Paid” – I cannot think of a word that puts those three states together, so they now count as one word. The black and white of it is whilst things are slowly changing, nursing isn’t always a great experience. We deal with life and death situations, on less than managers in supermarkets, often without thanks.

“Determined” – Us nurses are a hard bunch. We are determined to do the best for those in our care. We are determined advocate on behalf of our patients whenever they cannot or will not speak for themselves. We will always do our best for you.

“Highly-educated” – Nursing is a degree for a reason. We are a highly skilled profession for a reason. Without our education, our mortality rate would be higher. That is what the evidence states.

“Ever-Changing” – Our healthcare system is changing with more diverse needs, meaning the role of nurses is every changing too. And with the advancement of many areas of nursing such as research, education and policy, the fact of nursing changes too. I think we will see more men come in to nursing. We are seeing nurses who are now performing surgery, other nurses are inserting devices such as pacemakers and even more nurses are going in to policy making roles within the Department of Health. Nursing is progressing as a profession, and I don’t think that is a bad thing.

“Caring” – No matter how nursing changes, grows and develops, one thing that is for sure is that nurses will always care. I don’t believe anyone comes into nursing if they do not care. And I believe it is very difficult and very rare for that caring aspect to be lost. Nurses may be burnt out, but they still care.

Thank you for reading. They are my 5 words that describe a nurse. What do you think? What words would you have? Tweet me and let me know.

Yours in nursing,


What inspired you to write this blog?

The Transforming Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery 30 Day Challenge

What is your role?

Third Year CYP Nursing Student -  Leader - Nursing Activist - RCN SIO of the Year 2018


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?

Third Year CYP Nursing Student


No comments yet, be the first to post one!