ERIC Number: ED282050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-May
Reference Count: 0
Research Issues: Nursing & Professionalization.
Nursing has always been viewed as a "women's profession" as evidenced by the fact that 97 percent of the 1.9 million registered nurses in the United States are female. The values of helping others, altruism, compassion, and sacrifice are associated with women and with nursing. However, because many young people today do not view these values as financially rewarding, the number of nurses graduating from nursing programs is declining. Many hospitals cannot fill their vacancies, and the situation is expected to get much worse. Although this decline is occurring partly because of the generally fewer numbers of 18- to 22-year-olds in the population, the even greater decline in nursing students is a result of young women wanting to avoid "women's professions." Instead, they want to compete for the fewer jobs as physicians, dentists, and lawyers. Yet, research shows that nurses are a critical factor in patient recovery. According to one study, in hospitals where nurses had greater autonomy, intensive care patients recovered more often than in hospitals where nurses were closely supervised and denigrated by doctors. Unfortunately, "women's professions" are undervalued by society. In order to recruit more young women into nursing, the profession needs to publicize its professionalization and to have its talented women take over more responsible roles that will change the public's perception of their value. As the demand for nurses increases, so will the respect they are accorded, and more women may be willing to enter a profession that pays more attention to women's worth. (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Keynote address presented at the Annual Nursing Research Day (3rd, Jersey City, NJ, May 1987).