admirability of nursing: Your opinion please

  1. Since 1999 the "Gallup Poll for Honesty and Ethics" has included nursing [it previously did not] in the list of professions ranked for perception of those qualities. In 1999 , the first year for nursing's inclusion, nurses ranked top of the list. In 1999 and each year since, [minus 2001, when firefighters ranked first and nurses second -a reflection of the events of 911] , nurses have ranked first among respondents as holding High or Very High standards of honesty and ethics.
    While this poll reveals a high esteem for our profession and its members among the respondents to the poll, many nurses feel that they are not esteemed.
    What, in your opinion, causes the fracture between the perception of nursing as a highly regarded profession held in high esteem evidenced by the poll, and the work experience of the nurse contributing to the profession's shortage and so, demise?
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   zenman
    Ever hear of the book, "How To Lie With Statistics?" :chuckle
  4. by   Tweety
    We might be esteemed for our honesty and ethics, but the public also treats us like servants and maids. They expect us to be honest and ethical and have faith that we are. But their "esteem" might end there, and it isn't enough for me to feel esteemed by the public.
  5. by   hbscott
    Some in the public may hold nurses in high esteem but society as a whole does not respect or compensate nurses well for the responsibility they own. And I believe the quote goes something like this:

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

    There are many threads on the perceived status of nursing. In spite of that anecdotal commentary what we are often left with is our own personal experience and from that I can tell you nursing is a profession I would encourage my children NOT to pursue.

    -HBS



    *The above chart shows a obituary gender distribution amongst various professional catagories. Don't see any nurses listed. Is the data valid? Considering the souce (NY Times) probably not. The point is that certain professions in our society are more respected, recgognized, compensated and even celebrated than others. Nursing lacks equivalent and commensurate professional status, prestige and power for reasons that go beyond this thread.
    Last edit by hbscott on Mar 15, '04
  6. by   mattsmom81
    I agree with Tweety: we are trusted, esteemed yes...like a trusted maid or butler or servant. NOT what I went to school thinking I would be definitely.

    To have so much responsibility, so little authority, THEN be treated like a servant is demoralizing. Hard to take and a big part of why we burn out, and why there is a bedside shortage.
  7. by   teeituptom
    I am even more happy now in nursing than before
  8. by   hbscott
    Quote from teeituptom
    I am even more happy now in nursing than before

    Happiness (authentic happiness) is important and should be the guiding criteria (I believe) for all of us in our life's choices. I am certainly happier now than I ever was in nursing (the profession) but I do enjoy some of the nursing friendships I formed along the way. That is why I come back to this BB from time to time. But I must confess it is getting harder to relate to a lot of these threads as I have been out of nursing now for several years.

    -HBS

    Last edit by hbscott on Mar 15, '04
  9. by   leslie :-D
    Quote from pieWACKet
    Since 1999 the "Gallup Poll for Honesty and Ethics" has included nursing [it previously did not] in the list of professions ranked for perception of those qualities. In 1999 , the first year for nursing's inclusion, nurses ranked top of the list. In 1999 and each year since, [minus 2001, when firefighters ranked first and nurses second -a reflection of the events of 911] , nurses have ranked first among respondents as holding High or Very High standards of honesty and ethics.
    While this poll reveals a high esteem for our profession and its members among the respondents to the poll, many nurses feel that they are not esteemed.
    What, in your opinion, causes the fracture between the perception of nursing as a highly regarded profession held in high esteem evidenced by the poll, and the work experience of the nurse contributing to the profession's shortage and so, demise?
    i think the key word here is 'perception'....the florence nightengale image of the pure white maiden with angelic qualities...what a utopic image that presents, and that's the publics' perception of what nurses do (we won't address 'naughty nurse nancy'). it's a far cry from the reality of nursing which can be very demoralizing and belittling. it reminds me of another thread about nurses bringing out trash. the bottom line is the public perception is an idealogical image of what nurses personify. we as nurses, know that we SHOULD be held in the highest esteem and that's what we should be fighting for from within the confines of our workplace.

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