Report: Nurses Say They Don’t Feel Seen As ‘Human’

National Nurses Week (May 6-12) celebrates and acknowledges nurses and the hard work they put into making their patients feel comfortable, healthy, and whole while in their care. 

We all know the difference between a good and bad hospital visit is contingent on the first point of contact: nurses. Unfortunately, for years, and particularly since the onset of the pandemic, nurses report they’ve felt incredibly undervalued, and even misunderstood. 

Nearly nine in 10 American nurses believe that nobody understands the work they do, according to new research.  The recent survey results released by Talker asked 1,000 nurses about how they’re perceived in their profession and by the public, finding that 85% feel misunderstood by the general public.

Nearly half of the respondents said people perceive their job as easy compared to doctors. But, they do acknowledge that media portrayals of them are accurate in the way they show the difficulties nurses face daily. 

Despite this, 63% said they aren’t seen as “human” by patients and doctors.

“The future of healthcare will be built shoulder to shoulder with the nurses and aides who have supported us all,” said connectRN CEO Ted Jeanloz. “It’s critical that we, as an industry, listen to what nurses need and take measures to improve their working conditions to empower this community and inspire those who are just starting their careers.”

The nurses pointed out that working long hours (30%), providing emotional support for multiple patients in one shift (20%), and dealing with disproportionate nurse-to-patient ratios are daily obstacles they have to face. 

Those who are parents say the balance is even worse, often being forced to choose their job over time with their children. 

“To hear how nurses and aides have been ‘recognized’ in the past for their contributions is both sad and infuriating. We have to do better,” added Jen Reddy, connectRN’s chief marketing officer. “Our goal this year is to change the experience for this community and demonstrate we are listening — and valuing their impact — not just for one week, but every day.”

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