Images of Nursing: "I'm just a nurse"

  1. 9
    Excellent short video on the public image of nurses and nurse stereotypes produced by Digital Education Strategies at The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education, Ryerson University here in Toronto. Best line at 9:35: "I think what doesn't help is nurses who don't take themselves seriously."

    To see video, click here

    So what is the cause of our skewed public image? More importantly, what can, should we do to change that image?
    Pink Magnolia, SharonH, RN, marioSN, and 6 others like this.

  2. Enjoy this?

    Join thousands and get our weekly Nursing Insights newsletter with the hottest, discussions, articles, and toons.

  3. 16 Comments...

  4. 40
    Throughout my beloved nursing career I have heard this statement from several colleagues around the world, since I have practice nursing in several countries, and when a nurse states "I'm just a nurse" my answer is "As opposed to what?". Furthermore, it always hits a nerve within me for the following reasons... as a nurse I make the difference between life & death, I have educated myself to prevent medical errors,and injuries, as a nurse I make the difference between healing,coping, and despair, as a nurse, I educate patients and their families on how to maintain their health, as a nurse, I make a difference to my patients of dying in agony,versus dying in comfort with dignity, because nurses are the heart of the matter. In addition, one may ask what can we as nurses do to change the perception of the public and the media of our profession, it's very clear to me,be proud of you our accomplishment of being a nurse, demand the respect that is owe to us, upheld the profession with dignity, determination, dedication, and perseverance; never underestimating our worth within the medical profession.
    Scarlette Wings, RNJill, Wanna-B-RN, and 37 others like this.
  5. 2
    Standing ovation!!!! I'd contribute if you wanted to put up a billboard with that! Seriously, I may borrow your points, if you don't mind.
    cherryames1949 and lindarn like this.
  6. 2
    Thanks for posting the link.
    cherryames1949 and lindarn like this.
  7. 4
    In my short life so far in nursing I have never used the phrase, "I'm just a nurse". When people say what I do, I say.. "I am a nurse. " Then when they say , "Oh you change people and stuff?" .. They never wish they asked me that question.

    Yes I sometimes have to change people, or take someone to the bathroom. But being a nurse is about caring for the whole body, mind and soul (and administration(which is whinier than the patients) and their paperwork lol).
    Queen Tiye, CNA, lindarn, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  8. 1
    I am proud to be a nurse.
    But I am 100% guilty of stating I'm 'just a LPN'.

    I think we shoud have a card of what EspanaRN has written! What a spirit lifting way of putting what a nurse does/is. Next time we describe ourselves as 'just' we should have to read that. Beautifully said, brightens my day I know that.
    lindarn likes this.
  9. 3
    I'm an RN and I have nothing but respect for LVNs. 99% of the ones I have worked with are totally awesome, smart and talented. Please, never say "just an LPN ever again"
    favthing, lindarn, and INLPN93 like this.
  10. 3
    I don't know if it's just because of my particular field, but I haven't gotten any negative comments about being a nurse...people ask and I say, "I'm a nurse--I take care of sick and premature babies" and then they ask me about the dying ones to which I reply that it's rare but I do take care of the 2-3 pounders and they think it's pretty cool (or scary, depending on the person, lol).

    I did have an aunt who deplored me going to nursing school at first for me supposedly wasting my talent instead of going to medical school, but people don't realize what it's like and the lifestyle. In my unit, the docs generally respect my nursing care and judgment. I usually know the patient better than anyone else (minus the parents) and good nursing care makes a tangible difference in the infant's life, sometimes literally, as my fellow nurses and I catch subtle signs of impending crashing. It feels so good to be such a large advocate for patients. I have no self-confidence issues over being a RN.

    And you know? I adore my job. I don't know if I could ever leave bedside permanently...
    favthing, meggzluv, and lindarn like this.
  11. 4
    I'll hear colleagues make that statement "I'm just a nurse" Just a nurse what? Just a nurse that saved a person's life today? Just a nurse that happened to notice a change in the patient's condition which meant he went to surgery and got his about to rupture appendix removed. Just a nurse who held a patient's hand when she died because no one should die alone.

    When it comes to trust, people consistently rank nurses as the profession that they trust most. Ask any patient whose doctor has a CRNP working with them if they would rather see the doctor or the nurse? They pick the nurse. Nurses are less intimidating and take more time with them. They actually listen to what the patient says, answer questions and dont make the patient feel dumb for asking a not so bright question.

    Nurses ROCK!
  12. 0
    I have NEVER, and I do mean NEVER, heard anyone say , I'm JUST a nurse.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.