Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Esme Kershaw

Second Supervisor

Lorraine Burt


Many researchers believe that nurses live in a dual structure, encompassing both the social and nursing worlds. They contend that these two worlds have contrasting views toward nurses. This is, while nurses are guided to establish professional status, society still expects them to remain in a dependent role. This conflict is assumed to have a negative impact on nurses’ psychological and functional states (Kalisch & Kalisch, 1983 & 1987). However, this assumption has not yet been explored sufficiently. The aim of this descriptive correlational study was therefore to investigate the relationships among the public image of nurses, nurses’ self concept, personal and collective self-esteem, job satisfaction, and performance. A total of eighty registered nursing students were invited to participate in this study by completing seven types of questionnaires (see Appendix C). The data were analysed by Pearson correlation and One-Way Analysis of Variance. The results of this study supported contention of the contemporary nursing scholars that the stereotypical public image of nurses could negatively affect nurses’ self-concept, self-esteem, job satisfaction and performance. The results, however, also demonstrated that the professional socialisation and cultivation of nurses’ personal self-esteem would help to buffer the negative effects of the public stereotypes on nursing practice. Based on these findings, this study suggests countermeasures to deal with the negative impacts of the public stereotypes. These strategies include public education, monitoring the media, changing nurses’ attitudes, encouraging professional socialisation, empowering nurses, and boosting nurses’ self-esteem. This study is expected to help nurses overcome the potential effects of the public stereotypes. The results of the study are also dedicated to nurses who have endeavoured to facilitate the process of professionalization in nursing.

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