Nursing Image From the Perspective of Healthcare Professionals During the Post-COVID-19 Pandemic Period: A Cross-Sectional Study


Nursing image is the way the profession appears to others or the impression it leaves on others (Gunawan et al., 2018). The importance of having status and power to heal diseases, improve health, and save lives has once again come to light during the COVID-19 pandemic (Bennett et al., 2020). The difficulties experienced by Florence Nightingale in the previous times when modern nursing debuted are due to the inability to understand the importance of nursing as a profession and lack of a strong image (Pfettscher, 2021). The nursing image directly affects professional development opportunities, obtaining public funds, educational opportunities, social opportunities, attitudes of legislators, the salary system, and the relations of professional members with other health professionals (Varaei et al., 2012). A low nursing image may reduce the motivation and self-confidence of the members of the profession. In addition to this, it can negatively affect all the plans and behaviors of the members of the profession (Finkelman, 2017).

The International Council of Nurses (ICN) celebrates International Nurses Day worldwide on May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, and sets a theme every year. The theme of the 2022 Nurses’ Day was based on the necessity of investing in nursing and respecting its rights to secure global health (Catton, 2022). The failure of a healthcare professional to save a patient’s life when faced with a complication or condition that did not exist before during their hospital stay is referred to as a “rescue failure”. The use of rescue failure as a measure of effective nursing care has been mentioned in nursing research for the last 30 years (Silber et al., 1992). In the United States in 2000, preventable medical errors were estimated to contribute to 44,000 to 98,000 deaths per year (Kohn et al., 2000). In 2013, it was reported that the number of preventable deaths increased even more, reaching more than 400,000 per year (James, 2013). There have been no reports of rescue failure and deaths caused by preventable medical errors in Turkey. Nursing Law (6283 numbered law 1954) was amended in 2007 in Turkey (Nursing Law in Turkey, 2007). With this law, nursing has gained the right not to carry out any non-evidence-based initiative. In this way, nurses gained the right to transform into “professional members who can make independent decisions and decide on their “practitioner” duties. This situation has highlighted the rights and responsibilities of nurses in reducing rescue failure. The educational level of the nurse now determines the authority and responsibility of the nurse. This law also acknowledges specialization in nursing.

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Raising the nursing image plays a key role in professional advancement. There is no optimal number of studies in this field. In addition to these, it is necessary to define it in detail to raise the nursing image. Previous studies have investigated the perceived nursing image of nurses (Gunawan et al., 2018), nursing students (Olgun and Kaptan, 2022), and society (Şimşek and Alpar, 2019). In this study, it was aimed to examine the nursing image from the perspective of nurses as well as other healthcare professionals with whom they spend most of their time in the working environment.