The Image of Nursing as Perceived by Nurses: A Phenomenological Study

Background: Image remains crucial for nursing profession. How nurses view professional self‐image has an impact on their professional self‐esteem. Objectives: This study explored the image of nursing as perceived by Indonesian nurses. Methods: This was a phenomenological study with a purposeful sample of 19 clinical nurses participated in in‐depth interviews. The interviews were audio‐recorded, transcribed verbatim, and validated by relistening to the recording by researchers. The analysis was thematic. Results: Five themes emerged (a) Islamic culture, (b) job definition, (c) role of nurses, (d) self‐confidence, and (e) relationship between multigenerations of nurses. Conclusion: This study addressed positive and negative images of nursing in Belitung, Indonesia. The findings may be used for nurse managers to improve nursing image through the improvement of nurse competence and continuing professional development.


Nursing image is very important for nursing profession. It is the way the profession appears to others including to general public. Image of the nursing profession impacts to the recruitment of students, the view of the public, funding for nursing education and research, relationships with health‐care administrators and other health‐care professionals, government agencies, and legislators at all levels of government, and ultimately, the profession’s self‐identity.[1] The most important is that image can influence nurses themselves, just like nurses may feel depressed or less effective if others view them negatively. Professionals can experience similar reactions if their image is not positive, which impacts everything the profession does or wishes to do.[2]

Image is defined as a mental picture representing a real object or a more or less accurate likeness of a thing or person.[3] How nurses view their professional self‐image has an impact on professional self‐esteem.[3] How one is viewed has an impact on whether others seek that person out and how they view the effectiveness of what that person might do.[4]

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Suggested citation: Gunawan, J., Aungsuroch, Y., Sukarna, A., & Efendi, F. (2018). The image of nursing as perceived by nurses: A phenomenological study. Nursing and Midwifery Studies7(4), 180-185. [Free Download]

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