Battling Associative Stigma in Psychiatric Nursing [2020]

Psychiatric nurses often experience associative stigma. Associative stigma may impact psychiatric nurses’ views of their professional identity which ultimately impacts the health care of individuals experiencing mental health concerns. Very little research has been conducted on associative stigma in the western Prairie Provinces, including Manitoba. The authors conducted a secondary analysis on the results of an explanatory sequential mixed methods research study to determine if psychiatric nurses in Manitoba are influenced by associative stigma. Three themes were identified through this analysis, specifically: (1) the perception that RPNs are not “Real” Nurses; (2) lack of recognition of specialized training; and (3) working with a stigmatized population. Associative stigma was intertwined in all of the participants’ narratives indicating a need to dismantle associative stigma. Strategies to enhance the public perception of psychiatric nursing and decrease associative stigma within the profession are described.

Candice Waddell, MPN, PhD candidate, Jan Marie Graham, MN, Katherine Pachkowski, MSc & Heather Friesen, PhD
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, Volume 41, 2020 – Issue 8