The Royal College of Nursing has launched an advertisement campaign to highlight how demanding the nursing profession is, and that it requires staff to have a mixture of clinical skills and compassion.
The adverts, part of an RCN initiative called This is nursing, will appear on buses in the UK's major towns and cities, and underground stations in London. They show the skills in nursing and highlight the balance health care strikes between expertise and compassion.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said it was time to celebrate the work nursing staff do on a daily basis.
What we are doing today is showing the reality of nursing and how it takes both professionalism and compassion.
We have all read the critical coverage of the nursing profession and we would never shy away from the cases of poor care when they exist. However, when poor care does exist, there are often systematic reasons behind it.
This is nursing will also explore what these factors are and how they can be tackled.
The Patients Association said its helpline gets more complaints about nursing standards than ever. Vice chairman Dr Mike Smith, said that poor nursing care makes up the bulk of the concern to the helpline.
Dr Smith said he accepted hospitals were under increasing strain, particularly in treating elderly patients with complex and multiple illnesses and that higher levels of support staff, or healthcare assistants, are needed.
A new website has also been created with dedicated sections for nursing staff and for the public. Visitors can follow nurses and health care support workers in different settings throughout a typical day.
It will also feature a wide range of nursing care, from caring for premature babies to nursing people at the end of their lives.
RCN Scotland director Theresa Fyffe said the campaign is designed to inform and educate the public.
It's time to celebrate the outstanding work nurses do daily, often in extremely difficult situations.
We know there are instances of poor nursing care, however, and one of the reasons we are launching This Is Nursing is to explore factors that contribute to these situations and find ways to tackle them.