The Image of Nursing

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The Image of Nursing

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The Image of Nursing
Perspectives on Shaping, Empowering, and Elevating the Nursing Profession

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN
Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN

Your hands save lives. The fate of nursing is in them, too.

The groundbreaking book, The Image of Nursing: Perspectives on Shaping, Empowering and Elevating the Nursing Profession written by Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, and Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, with contributions from nursing experts in the field, examines the professional image of nursing today and what you and your staff can do to elevate it.

This unique book brings you a historical assessment of the current image of nursing, as well as practical strategies you and your staff can use to elevate your image—from focusing on the ethics of nursing to professional communication with patients, physicians, and peers.

This book will help you raise your staff’s image, and the image of the entire nursing profession, by demonstrating how nurses can:

  • Strive for increased professionalism
  • Practice responsibility, autonomy, and accountability
  • Focus on excellence in practice
  • Improve communication with patients, peers, physicians, and managers
  • Understand how nursing ethics is vital to professionalism

Find out what your peers really think about the image of nursing

The cornerstone of this book is based on revealing results from a national survey on the image of nursing, conducted to ascertain how nurses across the country feel about their image and what they would like to see change. These results will help you take stock of the profession’s current image and give you ideas for what can be improved.

Take a look at the table of contents:

  • One Profession, Many Images: Where Has Florence Nightingale Gone?
  • Survey Says: Results from National Nursing Image Survey
  • Misperceptions of Image: How the Profession is Perceived
  • Autonomy, Power, and Image: Taking Steps Toward Empowerment
  • Changing Cultures: Cultivate an Environment for a Professional Image
  • Communication: Chiseling a New Image
  • Nursing Image and the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®
  • Finding Our Voice: An Image of Professionalism and Nursing Excellence
  • Code of Ethics for Nurses: An Image of Professional Integrity
  • From Voice to Action: How Nurses are Changing Our Image
  • Shape Up Your Image: It’s Time for an Extreme Makeover
  • Leaders’ and Managers’ Roles in Promoting a Professional Image


To view the complete list of learning objectives, please click here.

A positive image is a requirement for the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program®*

The image of nursing at your organization is an important part of the journey to ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® designation, which sets expectations for nurse involvement in their organization’s strategic direction and initiatives, collaborative and collegial relationships with other disciplines, and respect for nurses’ work.

Meet the authors

Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, is the founder and president of Health Resources Unlimited, a Tennessee-based healthcare education and consulting company. She is also a staff emergency department nurse and develops educational plans for a local emergency department, including strategies for new graduate orientation.

Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN,
a registered nurse and counselor, uses the power of story from her experience as the manager of a large surgical unit to shed light on the challenges and issues facing nurses today.

About the contributing authors

Diana Swihart, PhD, DMin, MSN, CS, RN-BC, is the Magnet Recognition Program® coordinator at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System in Bay Pines, FL.

Barbara J. Hannon, RN, MSN, CPHQ, is the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® coordinator for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic.

Karen L. Tomajan, MS, RN, BC, CNAA, CRRN, is the director, nursing quality/special projects at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma, OK.

Edie Brous, RN, MSN, MPH, JD, is a nurse attorney and a board member of the Center for Nursing Advocacy.

Laura Cook Harrington, RN, MHA, CPHQ, CHCQM,
is the director of live events and continuing education and senior consultant at The Greeley Company, a division of HCPro, Inc.

Faculty Disclosure Statement: HCPro Inc. has confirmed that none of the faculty/presenters or contributors have any relevant financial relationships to disclose related to the content of this educational activity.

Published: September 2008

Companion handbook for staff nurses

You can also purchase the companion handbook for bedside caregivers Shaping Up the Image of Nursing: Your Ethical and Professional Role. Click here to order your package of 25 handbooks.

Continuing Education:

If you would like to find out about the availability of nursing contact hours on this or any other HCPro nursing book, please visit our Continuing Education information page, here.