Nurses' Perceptions of the Image of the Profession of Nursing
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The purpose of this study was to understand the evolution of nurses’ perceived image of nursing from the time nurses begin their career and through various phases of nursing experience. The image of nursing as perceived by nurses and by the public affects recruitment of new nurses and retention of experienced nurses (Buerhaus, 2000, Irvine & Evans, 1995, Nevidjon & Erickson, 2001). There is a projected deficiency of 800,000 nurses by 2020 (National Center for Health Workforce Analysis, 2002) that has been attributed, in part, to low enrollments and graduations from nursing programs, as well as nurses leaving the profession. Furthermore, several studies revealed that nurses are leaving the profession within five years of entry into practice (Aiken, Clarke, Sloane, Sochalski, Busse, et al. 2001; Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, 2001; Sochalski, 2002). A poor professional image as perceived by nurses fails to attract well-qualified students to a career in nursing and also contributes to the high turnover of nurses (Irvine & Evans, 1995).
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