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J Nurs Scholarsh. 2003;35(3):211-6.

Media portrayal of nurses' perspectives and concerns in the SARS crisis in Toronto.

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Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H4, Canada.



To describe nursing work life issues as portrayed in the media during the SARS crisis in Toronto.


Content analysis of local and national news media documents in Canada. Media articles were sorted and classified by topic, and themes were identified.


Themes were: (a) changing schemas of nursing practice: the new normal; (b) barriers to relational nursing work; (c) work life concerns: retention and recruitment; (d) nursing virtue: nurses as heroes and professionals; (e) paradoxical responses to nurses from the community; and (f) leadership in nursing during the SARS crisis.


This analysis enhanced understanding of how nurses are portrayed in the media, but it indicated the significance of quality of work life and issues about work-home life. Some descriptions of the care and caring of nurses have made nursing seem like an important and influential profession to potential applicants who might previously have dismissed nursing as a career.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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