These common images of nursing contribute to the willingness of students to enter nursing programs. Some consider that the nursing shortage that has existed from 1998 (Seago, 2004) has been caused by the negative image the public sometimes has of nurses. Therefore, public images of nursing have consequences in many areas of society.
As the public has its images of nursing and what it means to be a nurse, youth are influenced by those ideas. What students believe of nurses will alter their desires to enter the nursing field. This, in turn, contributes to the shortage of nurses in the United States. Of students who choose to enter the nursing field, often their images of nursing change as they enter clinicals (Sand-Jecklin). Nursing students hold images of nursing that evolve, while students who leave nursing programs maintain the stereotype that they’d had previously. This seen, it is obvious that in order to break stereotypes of nursing, one must actually be a nurse and encounter a nurses’ experiences. It is difficult to change society’s perception of nursing.
In terms of nursing students, it has been shown that their ideals, stereotypes, and impressions of nursing alter with their experience. Sand-Jecklin studied demographic data of 150 nursing students. Their motivations for entering the nursing field were reported. Twelve percent chose nursing for the variety of positions the profession entails; other reasons were job security, salary, and challenging career. Across the literature, findings show that among the positive perceptions of nursing, mainly found from studies on nursing students, are job opportunity and salary.
An aspect of Dr. Sand-Jecklin’s study that gauged the public perception of nursing was the report the perceptions students have of nursing prior to entering nursing programs. Most often, students entered nursing programs with altruistic reasons. This phenomenon is often