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Preliminary communication

Differences in the perception of the nursing profession between nursing students and employed nurses

Snježana Čukljek orcid id ; University of Applied Health Sciences
Martina Smrekar orcid id ; University of Applied Health Sciences
Sanja Ledinski Fičko orcid id ; University of Applied Health Sciences
Vesna Konjevoda orcid id ; University Hospital Sveti Duh

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In recent years, due to job security, nursing has been among the desirable professions in Croatia. While choosing their profession, prospective students enter higher education with formed attitudes towards nursing and the esteem of the profession, which can change during the course of their studies.

The aim of this qualitative study was to identify the opinions of nursing students and employed nurses about the tasks and roles of nurses, nursing values, recognizability of nurses, and what patients, doctors and society think about nurses.

Employed nurses and nursing students state that the tasks and roles of nurses are caring for the patients and satisfying basic human needs. both groups of respondents point out that nurses are recognizable by their uniform, and among nursing values they most often emphasize caring and humaneness. Working conditions are the most important for employed nurses, while nursing students first mention caring for the patient and the importance of knowledge and skills. both the employed nurses and nursing students agree that patients mainly have either positive or divided opinions about nurses. There was a difference in the answers between employed nurses and nursing students related to their opinion on what the society and doctors think about nurses. Students state, contrary to employed nurses, that the society and doctors have a more positive opinion about nurses. A certain number of students state that the society has stereotyped opinions about nurses.

Research results indicate that the media, society and education have a significant impact on the development of professional identity and perception of nursing. Students’ opinions substantially match the opinions of employed nurses which may indicate their easier integration in the workplace after graduation.


nursing, perception, professional identity

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