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Do you have any tips for helping staff display a positive and professional nursing image?

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Nurses build the public image of nursing through day-to-day interactions with patients, families, and colleagues. The following tips discuss ways your staff can display a positive image.

Present a professional image:

  • Make sure your uniform is clean, pressed, and professional. Think about the patterns on your scrub tops-what do they communicate about you?
  • Identify yourself as a professional nurse. Keep your name tag visible. Introduce yourself by your full name, and tell patients you are an RN or an LPN.
  • Speak with confidence and self-assurance.

Communicate about your work and discuss your accomplishments:

  • Prepare and practice a 30-second "elevator" speech about your role as a professional nurse. Communicate how you have made a difference for patients in your care.
  • Describe your independent actions to prevent complications and save lives. Many patients and families believe that all nurses do is follow doctors' orders. When you intervene to address a problem, let them know how your actions made the difference.

—Karen L. Tomajan, MS, RN, BC, CNAA, CRRN