Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

The Power of Perception: How Society Shapes The Future Of Nursing

by | Feb 27, 2023 | Blog, Industry News

Societal perceptions of nursing can negatively impact patients and healthcare organizations across the United States. The current nursing shortage is comparable to previous shortages throughout history. However, many more factors are now involved than in the past.

Recruiters and hospitals have difficulty finding qualified candidates because they do not fit the “nurse stereotype” of what a nurse should look like. This is more than just a problem with recruiting. It’s also a problem with retaining top talent. If we want to keep our healthcare system strong for the future, we must change how society views nursing professionals.

As we examine these variables, we will see how they interact and affect one another over time. This article covers how negative societal perceptions of nursing contribute to this shortage. 


What’s In The Article?

  • The Role Of Nurses In The Society
  • An Overview Of The Nursing Shortage
  • Factors That Influence Societal Attitudes Towards Nurses
  • Negative Societal Perceptions Of Nursing
  • Barriers To Becoming A Nurse
  • Final Thoughts


The Role Of Nurses In The Society

Nurses are the healthcare system’s backbone. They are, however, undervalued, underpaid, and overworked. Every day, nurses care for patients in need and save lives. They work tirelessly in hospitals across the country to provide high-quality care that improves patient outcomes while lowering costs.

Nursing is important to society because it provides vital services to people needing medical care by administering medications or treatments. Nurses also teach patients how to maintain their health by making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating well-balanced meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.


An Overview Of The Nursing Shortage

The nursing shortage is a national issue with many contributing factors. This problem is not just an American phenomenon: it affects countries worldwide.

When considering why this shortage happens in the United States, we must think about how cultural perceptions of nursing influence people’s decisions about whether or not to pursue this career. This current nursing shortage is similar to previous nursing shortages. The same issues that caused the shortage in the past are still driving it today, and they are not improving. In fact, as technology and medicine have advanced as societal attitudes toward certain types of people, such as nurses, things have worsened.


Factors That Influence Societal Attitudes Towards Nurses

Many factors influence societal perceptions of nurses and the nursing profession. These are some examples:

  • Nurses’ perceptions of healthcare. This includes how healthcare workers perceive their role and what they expect from other team members, such as doctors and patients.
  • General societal attitudes toward healthcare workers. People may hold differing views on which type of medical professional is more important or valuable to a society based on their personal experiences with each group or simply because someone told them so.


Nursing Shortage


Negative Societal Perceptions Of Nursing

Negative societal perceptions of nursing have an impact on patient outcomes. When nurses are perceived to be less competent than physicians, it can lead to poor communication between nurses and physicians. It may also result in patients’ refusal to follow treatment recommendations from nurses which can have serious health consequences.

The negative societal perceptions of nursing are creating a shortage of healthcare workers. Nurses are sometimes held responsible for everything from patient deaths to poor hospital care, even though they have little control over these issues. Most nurses work tirelessly daily to provide excellent patient care despite lacking staff and resources.

The media frequently portrays nurses as uncaring and lazy people who do not deserve their high salaries, although most nurses work 12-hour shifts without breaks. These negative portrayals can be harmful since they discourage people from entering this noble profession, which is desperately needed in our society.


Barriers To Becoming A Nurse

The high cost of nursing education and a lack of respect for nursing as a profession are significant barriers to becoming a nurse. Nurses are undervalued as well, which contributes to the problem. The current healthcare environment has significantly impacted how we perceive nursing and its role in our lives. It can be seen in the disrespect shown to nurses by the schools that train them or even the profession as a whole.


Nurses are underappreciated.

Nurses are undervalued and underpaid. They face disrespect from society and some of the people they care for. Nurses also experience discrimination and other workforce issues that contribute to the nursing shortage. Despite this, nurses go above and beyond daily, often with little or no recognition from their patients or families.


Nurses have low salaries.

Nurses are underpaid and undervalued in comparison to their worth. When statistics on the nursing field are examined, it becomes clear that nurses are paid less than other professionals in comparable fields of work. According to a BLS report on nurses, the average median salary for registered nurses in 2021 was $77,600, or around $37 per hour. 


Nursing is hard to get into.

The nursing profession is a difficult degree to obtain. Nursing programs are highly competitive, and acceptance requires you to be at the top of your game. Once accepted, nursing school will push you to your limits and teach you how to be a strong person in the face of adversity.

Getting into nursing school is difficult enough for some people, and completing the program is an additional challenge. So many factors are working against nurses today, including low wages, increased workloads due to an aging population, and fewer nurses entering the workforce each year, not to mention all of the negative stereotypes about being a nurse.


Final Thoughts

Nurses are important in keeping people healthy and are also on the front lines when illness strikes. While nurses have worked hard to address these issues, it is time for society to recognize the importance of their work and support them by removing barriers to becoming an RN.

Nursing is one of the most stressful professions, and the stress accumulates over time. Negative societal perceptions of nursing have resulted in a nursing shortage. This has resulted in poor outcomes for patients and higher costs for healthcare organizations across the country.

Societal perceptions of nursing significantly impact its future. The more we can change these perceptions, the more nurses will enter the workforce, and the healthcare system will improve.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments