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Nurse Educ Pract. 2014 Mar;14(2):148-53. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2013.07.011. Epub 2013 Aug 12.

Transformers: changing the face of nursing and midwifery in the media.

Author information

  • 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, CQUniversity, 90 Goodchap Street, Noosaville, QLD 4566, Australia. Electronic address: m.mcallister@cqu.edu.au.
  • 2Faculty of Health, Science, Engineering and Education, University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.



This paper reports an educational strategy designed to sensitise and empower students about the impact of media representations of nursing and midwifery on their public image.


Numerous studies continue to reveal that stories about nursing and midwifery presented in the mainstream media are often superficial, stereotypical and demeaning. Inaccurate portrayals of nursing damage our professional reputation with the public and potential consumers. It also sends the wrong message to future nursing students. Images are a powerful conductor of misinformation, suggesting to others that nurses are not important agents for social change.


In 2012, a small team of academics designed a photography competition and judging process for undergraduate and postgraduate students of nursing and midwifery enrolled at a regional Australian university.


The winning entries were photographs of high quality and conveyed rich meaning. They provide an interesting and positive counterpoint to derogatory images often propagated by mainstream media. Conclusion: There is benefit in extending this project so that it: appeals to more students, builds leadership skills, leads to wider social change and benefits society. The intention is to develop the process of student engagement as an educational intervention, and explore experiences and outcomes with stakeholders.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Education; Identity; Image; Media; Nursing; Photography

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