Nursing profession, through education and training, has evolved worldwide. However, nurses still face challenges of better public image, self-concept and professional identity. They are negatively perceived, majorly due to the stereotyping phenomenon in the modern society. The information has been obtained from the NHCL database.
The greatest challenge is the media. Yvonne et. al (2013) asserted that the media often present nurses as doctors’ assistants, normally found as workers on a patient’s bedside performing similar repetitive duties. According to Kalisch & Kalisch (1983), the media portray nurses negatively in the public image. It indicates that nurses’ public image barely matches their professional qualifications. Still, Education also influences nurses’ self-image, self-concept and job satisfaction. Liu (2010) noted that the public perceives nursing as a low level profession, requiring little or no academic qualification and training. This is a false perception (Liu 2010). Liu (2010) argued that not only does it require skills but also a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge.
Finally, culture, traditional values and gender is another challenge. There is increased stereotype image of nurses by the public, which is driven by the traditional perception of nursing as being a feminine profession. A case in point is Brazil where nursing is still being perceived as female role (Yvonne et. al, 2013). This poses a great challenge to male nurses, leading to their struggle in a society that is gender biased, affecting their performance.
In conclusion, it is important for further research in the nursing field and the results be used to develop the professional identity. Public awareness is important to help the public appreciate the role of nurses in healthcare. Nurses can take part in public debates on health issues and being members of unions and societies. It would greatly help improve their image, self-esteem and professional identity (Ben at al., 2010).