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Awards, Grants, Honors
1/31/2014

Tackling Poor Perception of UK Nursing

Why is there such a negative perception of the nursing profession in the UK when compared to other countries, such as the US? The Lancet has appointed Linda Aiken as a member of a new commission charged with figuring out why.

​Why is there such a negative perception of the nursing profession in the United Kingdom, when compared to other countries, such as the United States? In the US, nurses have been at the top of the Gallup annual poll of most trustworthy professions for 12 years, while UK nurses are frequent targets of negative media stories. The Lancet has formed a commission charged with figuring out why nursing in the UK has a poor public image and what to do about it. Penn Nursing’s Linda H. Aiken, PhD, the Claire M. Fagin Leadership Professor of Nursing and Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (CHOPR), is a member of the new commission led by Roger Watson, professor of nursing at the University of Hull. Made up of fourteen international nurse leaders and executives, members will examine the factors of nursing education, organization, practice, image, and workforce. The commission's final report, with recommendations, will be delivered in 2016.

“The United Kingdom conducted a commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery at the same time as the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM's) commission on the Future of Nursing, but the impact of each was entirely different. In the UK report, the press blamed nurses and nursing education for poor patient care, while the IOM report recommended expanded roles for nurses in health care delivery and a transition to BSN education for all nurses. As a member of The Lancet commission,  I’m hoping to incorporate CHOPR’s research showing the impact of better nurse staffing and bachelor’s education on lower hospital mortality,” explains Dr. Aiken.

Dr. Aiken is an authority on causes, consequences, and solutions for nurse shortages in the US and around the world. She leads the International Hospital Outcomes Consortium studying the impact of nursing on patient outcomes in 13 countries and is a member of the Expert Advisory Panel guiding the World Alliance for Patient Safety.

The Lancet publishes a weekly peer-reviewed journal and six monthly specialty journals in the fields of global health, diabetes and endocrinology, oncology, neurology, respiratory medicine, and infectious diseases. It is one of the world's oldest and best known general medical journals and frequently holds commissions on health issues.

Learn more - The Nursing Standard, volume 28, issue 21 »