Date of Completion

Spring 5-10-2009

Thesis Advisor(s)

Art Engler

Honors Major



Nursing | Other Nursing | Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing


Current perceptions about nurses’ roles and responsibilities are examined in this study, specifically relating to adolescent inpatient MHNs. Psychiatrists and psychiatric advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), who work with MHNs and have also published scholarly psychiatric articles, were contacted to request their participation in an anonymous survey hosted by This research was conducted to examine the stereotypes that exist against nurses within the health care profession itself, as compared to the pre-existing stereotypes displayed by the media’s view of nurses. Due to investigator time constraints, only six subjects participated in the study. Analysis of survey responses revealed four overarching themes. First, MHNs are a critical component of the health care team, emerging as rigorous, independent leaders, although still classified as female and sociable. Second, MHNs complete a wide range of daily activities, many of which go unnoticed by observers, often resulting in mixed feelings regarding whether MHNs are given the respect and recognition deserved. Third, MHNs treat each patient as a person with unique thoughts, feelings, and physical make-up. Fourth, MHNs act as a coordinator of care between various health professionals to provide the patient with a holistic approach to healing.