The image of nursing has changed profoundly throughout the course of history. Nurses have been portrayed countless different ways—from angelic, altruistic figures who volunteer their time to help people in need, to hypersexualized, uneducated people who focus solely on serving doctors. The media has had a huge influence on society's view of the nursing profession, and because of this skewed portrayal those who work in the nursing field have been negatively impacted. In a 2005 article published by the Journal of Advanced Nursing, researchers found that job performance and turnover rates are directly linked to the public image of nurses (Takase, 2006). Although a lot of work has been put into improving the way that Americans view nurses, there is still a long way to go.
As nursing students we are obligated to educate the public about the role of the nurse and promote a professional environment for all healthcare professionals. The MANS Board of Directors is curious about how far society has come with their perception of the nursing profession. In an effort to involve nursing students across the state of Maryland, we created a project that we hope will provide a snapshot of nursing in 2014!