Aim: To explore the way the nursing profession was portrayed in online news coverage before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Background: The power of the media can be used as a tool to introduce nursing services to society, make nursing visible, and influence the public perception of nursing. Introduction: Analyzing the image of nursing as portrayed in the news can be a guide for more effective management of the media as a tool for positioning nursing in the future and presenting the right message. Methods: A qualitative design was applied. Three online newspapers published in the Turkish language—the most widely read newspapers in Turkey—were analyzed. The sample for this research consisted of 505 news articles containing the keywords “nurse” and “nursing” published before and after the COVID-19 outbreak. The MAXQDA2022 software was used for data management. Results: The articles selected were themed as news reflecting the nursing profession negatively, positively, and neutrally. When the negative and positive themes were compared, the two most repeated subthemes included (1) working conditions and being unprofessionalism; (2) impact on health, social recognition, and neutral included only subtheme that happens to you as a citizen/individual. Conclusion: Compared with the pre-COVID-19 period, there was an increase in news coverage reflecting portrayed nursing positively on the nursing profession in the post-COVID-19 period. Mass media, which are indispensable in social communication, can be used as an effective tool to improve the image of nursing in society. Implications for nursing: From nursing students to policymakers, all professionals must act in a planned and purposeful manner to present nursing professionals positively as leaders in public healthcare.