The image of the nurse on the internet

Nurs Outlook. 2007 Jul-Aug;55(4):182-8. doi: 10.1016/j.outlook.2006.09.002.


The media image of the nurse is a source of concern because of its impact on: recruitment into the profession; the decisions of policy makers who enact legislation that defines the scope and financing of nursing services; the use of nursing services by consumers; and the self-image of the nurse. This article reports on the results of a study of the image of nursing on the Internet utilizing content analysis methodology. A total of 144 Websites were content-analyzed in 2001 and 152 in 2004. Approximately 70% of the Internet sites showed nurses as intelligent and educated and 60% as respected, accountable, committed, competent, and trustworthy. Nurses were also shown as having specialized knowledge and skills in 70% (2001) and 62% (2004) of the Websites. Scientific/research-oriented, competent, sexually promiscuous, powerful, and creative/innovative increased from 2001-2004 while committed, attractive/well groomed, and authoritative images decreased. Doctoral-prepared nurses were evident in 19% of the Websites in 2001 and doubled in 2004. The results of this study suggest that there are important opportunities to use the Internet to improve the image of the nurse.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Authoritarianism
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Educational Status
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Internet / trends*
  • Male
  • Mass Media
  • Negativism
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurses / organization & administration*
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Politics
  • Power, Psychological
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Professional Competence
  • Public Opinion
  • Self Concept
  • Social Perception*
  • Trust