4 Nurse Stereotypes That Are In Fact True (And 4 That Aren’t)


Which Nursing Stereotypes are BS?

We’ve covered some stereotypes about nurses that have a grain of truth to them, but what about the ones that don’t? There are probably more false stereotypes about nurses than true ones. Here are a few of the most common.

Only Second-Rate Nurses Work in Long-Term Care

There’s a definitely a problem with understaffing, poor qualifications, and even abuse in many nursing homes and assisted living facilities. However, it’s not fair to generalize all long-term care nurses. Many of them are incredibly passionate, dedicated, and skilled.

Night Shift Nurses are Lazy

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because the civilized world is sleeping, it doesn’t mean that illness and injury also take a break. Working the night shift takes a serious toll on your own sleep-wake cycle, and it can be much more draining than working during the day.

Male Nurses are Effiminate

Again, this isn’t true at all. It is true that for a very long time, before there was really true gender equality and equal opportunities for women, nursing was one of the few white-collar occupations available for women. For this reason, it’s often thought of as a “feminine” occupation. In reality, nursing is pretty gender neutral, and male nurses aren’t any different from men in other professions.

Nurses eat their young.

When nurses are gossipy or unfriendly to new hires, or there’s too much office politics going on, it’s a sign of a dysfunctional workplace culture. It’s not a uniform characteristic of nursing in general. As nursing is still widely conceptualized as a “feminine” occupation, it could be surmised that these stereotypes of vicious, gossipy nurses engaging in relational aggression ultimately stem from stereotypes of women being hostile toward other women.

Nursing Stereotypes Can Be Positive or Negative
There are both positive and negative stereotypes surrounding the nursing profession. The problem with stereotypes of both varieties is that they encourage people to make broad generalizations about all nurses. There are all kinds of people in our profession — young and old, male and female. It’s simply not correct to make broad assumptions about such a diverse group of professionals.

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