A survey marking 100 years since the death of Florence Nightingale has revealed a lack of awareness about the responsibilities of nurses among young people.
One thousand students from all academic backgrounds were surveyed for the Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery at King's College London.
Only 6% of those questioned were aware that nurses could earn £100,000 a year, with 92% believing that only doctors could reach that amount.
Once told about the range of skills a nurse develops and the senior position he or she can hold, a fifth of students said they would be more inclined to consider a nursing career.
Of those who had already thought about nursing, 63% were more likely to opt for the profession.
Professor Anne Marie Rafferty, Head of the School, said: "It is a worry that many students do not fully understand what a career as a nurse involves.
"We need to challenge and update the image of nursing to tell it as it is - one of the greatest and most rewarding professions providing one of the most precious services to society - compassionate, high-calibre care delivered by outstanding people."