Experiencing stigma as a nurse with mental illness

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What is known on the subject?

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What this paper adds to existing knowledge?

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What are the implications for practice?

Limited research has been done on the stigma faced by nurses with mental illness from their nursing peers. Mental illness is not generally considered acceptable within the context of nursing culture, so when nurses do experience mental illness, their experiences in a professional context may be influenced by stereotypes, particularly those relating to dangerousness. Using autoethnography as a research method, the author examines her own subjective experiences of stigma as a nurse with a mental illness, and draws upon existing literature on stigma, deviance and the phenomenon of mental illness in nurses to analyse broader cultural implications for nursing. Assessment of suitability to return to work arises throughout the narratives, and consideration is given to the way that risk assessment by nursing leaders is impacted by negative stereotypes that surround mental illness.

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