Current Stereotypes Associated with Nursing and Nursing Professionals: An Integrative Review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jun 22;19(13):7640. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19137640.


Nursing and nursing professionals are associated with social stereotypes, which may hinder the profession's development and future prospects as a scientific discipline. The aim of this study was to identify and describe the stereotypes associated with the nursing profession-students and professionals. Therefore, we carried out an integrative review. The search was conducted using PubMed, WOS, and CINAHL databases, and its search strategy was based on a combination of standardised keywords and natural vocabulary, with a temporal limit between 2016 and 2021. The data extraction and analysis was based on the conceptual framework developed by Whittemore and Knafl. Twenty-seven studies were included in the review, and their results were classified and coded. Two categories emerged, namely, stereotypes relating to the professionals' gender and stereotypes relating to the profession itself. We concluded that the nursing profession is viewed as female with low skills, social status, salary, academic level and entry requirements, and with little autonomy. Male nurses' professional competencies and masculinity are questioned, while the work carried out by female nurses is viewed as unprofessional. To reduce these stereotypes and bias we must present the nursing profession as a scientific discipline, developed by both men and women. Specific channels for this awareness-raising work include interventions from universities and the media, and participation in health policies.

Keywords: literature review; male nurses; nurses; nursing; stereotyping.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Students, Nursing*

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.