The Devaluation of Nursing: A Position Statement
Nursing Ethics 2008 July; 15(4): 549-556
How nursing as a profession is valued may be changing and needs to be explored and understood in a global context. We draw on data from two empirical studies to illustrate our argument. The first study explored the value of nursing globally, the second investigated the experiences of overseas trained nurses recruited to work in a migrant capacity in the UK health care workforce. The indications are that nurses perceive themselves as devalued socially, and that other health care professionals do not give nursing the same status as other, socially more prestigious professions, such as medicine. Organizational and management structures within the NHS and the independent care home sector devalue overseas nurses and the contribution they make to health care. Our conclusions lead us to question the accepted sociocultural value of the global nursing workforce and its perceived contribution to global health care, and to consider two ethical frameworks from which these issues could be discussed further.