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Our success stories


Our most important successes are found on our press coverage page. There we have an opportunity to reach a wide audience about our concerns that nurses are largely portrayed in terms of stereotypes. Our book, Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk, is another important success. Educating the public about nursing and nurses about the media is difficult to measure or see. But some of the more visible instances of our work are posted below.

 

Lab Rats experiment a success!

Lab Rats castFebruary 11, 2014 -- After many Truth supporters signed our campaign about the attack on nurse practitioners (NPs) on Disney XD's Lab Rats, and our good friends at the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) added their voices, Disney has apologized and edited the episode to remove the attack on NPs. In a 2013 episode of the tween series about a trio of bionic teens who live with their inventor father, the father mocked his brother by noting that he had turned into "Dr. Evil...or should I say Nurse Practitioner Evil, since you flunked out of med school!" Of course that’s absurd. But the underlying assumption that NPs are wannabe physicians is not uncommon, despite all the research showing that NPs provide care that is at least as good as physician care. In any case, in recent letters to AANP and the Truth, Disney apologized and stated that it had removed the NP reference for all future airings of the episode. The company also said that it had shared our concerns with its programming team "in order to raise awareness about portrayals of the nursing profession." We thank Disney for taking these positive steps, and we have closed our Change.org petition. But we have responded to Disney and renewed our request that the company make amends, perhaps by having an expert NP character appear as an expert clinician on a future episode of Lab Rats. And we thank AANP and the more than 1,500 Truth supporters who signed our petition! see the letter from Disney...

  

Scrubbing Less                                                                                    See our press release

Cast Scrubbing InNovember 17, 2013 -- Since MTV's 10-episode reality show Scrubbing In premiered last month, tens of thousands of nurses, as well as the Truth and other nursing groups, have worked to persuade MTV to cancel the show or at least reduce the damage it is causing. See our original analysis. After these collective efforts, MTV reached out to The Truth About Nursing to engage in extensive discussions about how to ameliorate the situation. MTV has agreed to take several helpful steps, including airing the show at a less prominent time, some re-editing of episodes, and other efforts to convey accurate information about nursing, although the last six episodes will air. Thank you to those who protested the show's focus on very personal details of the lives of the nurses with little suggestion of nursing skill or knowledge, all of which tends to reinforce nursing stereotypes. Below we explain the five main steps MTV has agreed to take, including a "Day in the Life of a Nurse" MTV website feature. We also ask that you join us in urging Johnson & Johnson and others to stop sponsoring Scrubbing In; despite promises to stop, J&J has continued to place ads for its products on the show up through at least the fourth episode. Please click here to sign the petition to ask J&J to cease its advertising on Scrubbing In and other shows that degrade nursing. Thanks again! more...

 

American Family Care clinics--You get to see a physician, not a nurse!

American Family CareMay 31, 2013 -- Truth About Nursing supporters recently told us about a television commercial being aired in the southern United States by American Family Care, an aggressively expanding chain of urgent care clinics that plans to have more than 140 locations in 26 states by the end of this year. The ad featured two people texting back and forth about where to seek health care. At the end, one texter recommended that the other go to American Family Care because there you get to see "a doctor, not a nurse." We could not locate the commercial (we created the image above based on what people told us the ad was like), but American Family Care itself was not hard to find. We placed about 7 calls, 1 per day, to Felicia Fortune, the corporation's director of marketing. She never returned any calls. Then we placed a call to company CEO Bruce Irwin and left a detailed message. American Family Care's chief medical officer Glenn Harnett returned our call and had a long discussion with Truth executive director Sandy Summers--you can listen to a recap of that phone call here in an mp3 (9 min). Harnett insisted that the care provided by physicians was better than that provided by APRNs based on the length of physicians' formal education. However, APRNS typically get as much formal health science education--4 years--as physicians do, and in any case a mountain of research in recent decades has shown that if either of the two professions has better patient outcomes, it's nurses. Harnett was not interested in the research, despite the strong and increasing emphasis on evidence-based practice in modern health care. He did, however, tell Sandy that American Family Care would pull the ad. We thanked him. Harnett said the company would replace it with an ad that went something like this: "At American Family Care, we care about you. That's why when you come to our clinics, you get to see a physician." We told him that isn't much better, since it implies that the people you're not seeing--which in the quick clinic context would only be APRNs--are inferior to the ones you are seeing. Sadly, Harnett did not see our point. And he refused to let us help the company create an ad that was not offensive or to send us a link to the new ad once it was done. By the way, we see that the company's "staff openings" section currently lists four (4) Family Nurse Practitioner positions in Alabama--we certainly hope the company "cares about" its Alabama customers as much as the others! Anyway, if you see a new version of the company's ad or related marketing efforts, please send us a copy or write to us at info@truthaboutnursing.org. Thanks very much!!

 

Truth's hoop dreams come true!
 

Dallas Mavericks Dancers nursesDallas Mavericks Dancers get over their bad case of loving nurses

March 2013 -- This month the Truth learned that the Dancers for the former NBA champion Dallas Mavericks had decided to stop entertaining fans by dressing in naughty nurse outfits and doing a sexually-oriented dance to the tune of Robert Palmer's "Bad Case of Loving You." The Dancers were doing that in early 2012, and the Truth launched a letter-writing campaign that led to over 200 letters. We explained that the naughty nurse stereotype impedes recruitment of the best and the brightest into the profession (particularly men) and undermines nurses' claims to adequate resourses for clinical practice, education, research and residencies. After some time, the manager of the Dancers called us to report that they have ceased using naughty nurse imagery due to our campaign! We thank the Dancers for heeding our request, and we thank our supporters for educating those who degrade nursing. Thank you!

 Nurse Ashleigh Hooters Ad

Hooters's naughty nurse fever now in remission

March 2013 -- Two years ago, the popular restaurant chain Hooters declared March 17 "National Hooky Day," in honor of the start of the U.S. men's college basketball tournament. The company's website and TV ads featured naughty nurse "Ashleigh," who wanted to send you a "Doctor's Note" so you could take the day off work to recover from "Basketball Fever" and enjoy a free appetizer. The Truth launched a campaign that resulted in several hundred letters of protest to Hooters, but the company continue airing the commercials in 2011 and 2012. We continued lobbying by phone and this year, the company did not use "Nurse Ashleigh" to promote basketball coupons for Hooters. Instead, Hooters went back to its standard ads, featuring scantily attired women who were not dressed in nurse outfits. We thank all who helped teach Hooters that selling its products by embracing the naughty nurse stereotype undermines nursing. Thank you!

 

Global news coverage of Truth campaign results in Oz response that sort of resembles an apology!

Dr. Oz's "nurse"December 6, 2010 -- Today reporter Lynn Elber of the Associated Press covered our campaign to ask Mehmet Oz, host of The Dr. Oz Show, to apologize and make amends for a November 4 weight loss segment in which "nurses" "got sexy" and danced with Oz. The AP story quoted Truth director Sandy Summers and American Nurses Association spokeswoman Joan Hurwitz, who called the segment a "sexist caricature of nursing." The story was picked up by 2,200 news organs across the world, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Online Nigeria, the Times of India, New Zealand Yahoo  and the Arabic language Wael El-Ebrashy. Some publications wrote their own pieces; these included The Hartford Courant ("Does your nurse dance/dress provocatively?"), the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Mail, and TV Guide. In a statement released to the AP in response to the story, the show said that Oz "has worked alongside extraordinary nursing professionals throughout his medical career and holds nurses in the highest regard as they save lives and heal patients. Any attempt at humor should never call into question Dr. Oz's utmost respect for the nurses with whom he works and has lauded in other shows." The statement said that the segment "included a costume that was considered offensive to some and we apologize if there were any hurt feelings," and the show promised to "do better in the future." This is progress, though the hedging phrases "considered offensive to some" and "hurt feelings" clearly suggest that the show thinks the nurses who objected are just being too sensitive and that no serious issues are involved here. To our knowledge the show has done nothing to show that it really understands what it did wrong or that Oz intends to address the issue personally or to make amends. For instance, Oz might do something on air to address the poor public understanding of nursing to which his show contributed; he might show specifically how nurses "save lives and heal patients." Apart from the "saving lives" bit, the vague "lauding" on display in Oz's statement means little. But we believe that Oz and his producers do at least understand now that there is some problem with naughty nurse imagery, and that they will hesitate before using it again. We thank those who wrote the hundreds of powerful letters to Dr. Oz in support of the campaign. You made this possible! more...

 

Update on Cali Nurse campaign!

Cali Nurse logoJuly 9, 2010 -- We have just had a productive conversation with Eli Holzman, the Executive Vice President of Studio Lambert, the production company that is planning to produce Cali Nurse. Mr. Holzman and his show colleagues received 78 emails (33 original--thank you!) from nurses and others concerned about the show in the two days since we launched our letter-writing campaign. He expressed concern about the stereotypes that plague nurses and vowed to try to avoid them in the show. He said that Cali Nurse is at least a year away from production, but that as work on it proceeds in the coming months, he will keep in mind all of the input he has received from us. He is also interested in reading our book Saving Lives, which explains these stereotypes, and we will send copies to his production team. (Thanks to those who have donated copies of the book so that we can send them to the media!) We also offered to provide advice to the show as it goes forward. Of course it is too soon to say what the ultimate result of all this will be, but we thank you so much for taking the time and effort to speak out about the potential pitfalls of the show. Your voices made the difference!

 

Open Up and Say...Naah!

Bret Michaels--PeopleMarch 7, 2010 -- The issue of People magazine dated December 27, 2010 includes Poison singer and reality TV star Bret Michaels as one of its "most intriguing" people of 2010, in a two-page layout dominated by a photo of Michaels surrounded by four naughty nurse models, a reference to his well-publicized recovery from a brain hemorrhage and other health problems. In Justin Stephens' photo, the models' outfits are not extreme by naughty nurse standards--very short white "nurse dresses" and high heels, caps 'n' cleavage. But their poses and facial expressions, along with the ways they are touching Michaels and brandishing basic health equipment, clearly present an image of generic seduction. This is not the first time the enterprising Mr. Michaels has used naughty nurse imagery in connection with publicity of his health problems. In a blog post following his emergency appendectomy in April 2010, he said that he had "hot nurses" taking care of him, referring to the "nurse fantasy" that "every man has." Maybe naughty nurse imagery helps Mr. Michaels meet some hair metal cliché quota and reduce the sense of illness-related vulnerability that might be bad for a celebrity whose image is built on strength and sexual attractiveness. But whatever it's fair to expect of Mr. Michaels, we can certainly expect People magazine--which "reaches more adult readers (more than 45 million as of fall 2009) with each issue than any consumer magazine ever"--to resist such an obvious reinforcement of the brainless naughty nurse image that has long undermined real nurses' claims to respect and resources. We contacted the CEO of Time Inc., and later, People editor Larry Hackett called us in response. He apologized and promised that People will use no other degrading images of nurses while he is there. People also published Truth director Sandy Summers's letter explaining why such images are harmful in the Mailbag section of today's issue. We commend the magazine for being responsive to our concerns about the image of nurses. We have given People some ideas about real nurses whose life-saving work it may wish to highlight. If you have any suggestions about such nurses, please send them to us, and we will collect them and present them to People. Thank you! more...

 

Lung Cancer Alliance quietly removes Dr. Lung Love video after Truth's campaign covered in Modern Healthcare

Dr. Lung Love, Lori FentonAmbroseNovember 30, 2009 -- Today the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) removed its Dr. Lung Love rap music video--which promotes lung cancer awareness with naughty, subservient "nurses"--from the group's lunglove.com website. LCA has also removed any significant reference to the video on the main LCA web site. LCA's actions came in the wake of a substantial article on the Truth's campaign about the video in the November 23 issue of Modern Healthcare, the influential magazine for health care executives ("Outliers: Sure, we've heard of bad raps...but this is ridiculous"). We thank Modern Healthcare and you for your 111 letters (42 of them original!), which were indispensable in getting this result. While LCA has failed to remove the video from YouTube and or seek its removal from websites that have cross-posted it, the group has at least made a step in the right direction. Thanks again! See the Truth's original campaign and the second wave of our campaign.

 

Whoopi listens

Whoopi GoldbergNovember 2009 -- In May, Whoopi Goldberg made a few comments in an Apple store interview that suggested nurses were just "helpers" and that medicine was the health profession today's girls should aspire to join, as the main character in Goldberg's own children's book series does. Goldberg was also the co-creator of the Lifetime series Strong Medicine (2000-2006), which portrayed nurses as handmaidens to heroic female physicians (with the partial exception of the nurse-midwife character Peter Riggs). So we launched a letter-writing campaign to let Whoopi know that nurses are skilled, autonomous professionals who save lives and improve patient outcomes. Over 100 of you sent email letters, and many of those were original. We printed them all out and sent hard copies to Whoopi to make sure they got her attention. Soon after she called us, concerned that all these nurses were upset with her. And unlike many media figures, Whoopi not only responded but took the time to listen to our thoughts about the undervaluation of nursing. We talked for about 15 minutes about how we might work together to convey the truth about nursing to a wider audience, and we understand she has discussed it further with a close business associate. We will soon follow up with some specific ideas. We believe Whoopi has considered our issues seriously and that she will, at a minimum, try not to create damaging media about nursing in the future. So thank you for helping to change the mind of this very influential person. Your letters made the difference. Please click here to change more of the 6.8 billion minds out there with our other campaigns. And thanks again.

 

Cashmere Mafia Nurses in Bondage

BloomingdalesNovember 16, 2007 -- Department store chain Bloomingdale's recently began running a radio commercial that reportedly featured a sultry nurse seducing a physician with a cashmere sweater. The Center's Long Island chapter president alerted us to the ad. We contacted Bloomingdale's and explained how ads like this, no matter how luxuriously soft and enticing, reinforce the stereotype of nurses as brainless workplace sluts. The company decided to pull the ad just hours later. more...

 

Nurse, fetch me the ball.

dentyneNovember 15, 2007 -- Today, nurses persuaded Seattle's Group Health to withdraw ads for its "Ask the Doc" service that included the tag line: "Nurse, hand me my laptop." The ads, posted on websites such as MSN.com, promoted Group Health's program of having patients communicate with advanced practitioners by e-mail, instead of having to come in to the office for simple follow-ups or questions. We commend Group Health for using such a cost-effective care delivery system, and we get the "joke"--laptops are the new stethoscopes. But the ads' regressive text and imagery suggest that: (1) nurses are nameless handmaidens who fetch and carry items for physicians, rather than autonomous professionals who follow an independent practice model; (2) nurses' role in advanced care technology consists mainly of handing it to physicians, though in reality nurses are on the cutting edge of such technology; and (3) nurses lack substantive health information, and their role is to help patients reach the physicians who do have the expertise. In fact, nurses are the main patient educators, and nurses at Group Health itself regularly communicate with patients by email. We applaud Carolyn Elliott, Stephanie Hitzroth, Shari Hirshberg and their nursing colleagues for persuading Group Health to do the right thing. more...

 

The most interesting nurse ad in the world

October 25, 2007 -- Viewers of tonight's season premiere of NBC's "Scrubs" did not just miss the nurses that the show mostly ignores. Viewers also missed two "nurses" who no longer appear in an amusing new set of ads for Dos Equis beer, one of which ran during the sitcom. The ads, made by ad agency Euro RSCG, are mock-serious tributes to a character presented as "the most interesting man in the world." This man's "blood smells like cologne," his "beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man's entire body," and he bench-presses two chairs in which sit attractive, giggly women in short dresses--women who are no longer dressed as nurses. That's because the Truth appealed to an independent board that handles such protests for Dos Equis maker Heineken. We argued that the ads were inconsistent with specific marketing standards of the company and the Beer Institute. The panel, which included former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, agreed that the ads should be changed. So Heineken digitally altered the women's clothing to remove the nursing identifiers, frame by frame. We thank the Heineken for doing so, especially since we understand it hopes to use variations of the ads for years to come. The appearance of the ad on the physician-centric "Scrubs" shows how far we still have to go in persuading the media to present a fair portrait of nursing. But it also shows that persistent advocacy can influence how the media treats the profession. more...

 

Getting fresher

October 6, 2007 -- Nursing supporters have persuaded Cadbury Schweppes to withdraw a "naughty nurse" television ad its Canadian division had been running for Dentyne Ice gum. The ad showed female nurses being lured into bed with male patients, with the tag line: "Get Fresh." The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) and the Truth About Nursing started campaigns to persuade the company to change course. We understand that over 1,000 nurses sent letters from RNAO's web site. Over 500 nursing supporters sent letters from the Truth's site, and the Truth placed many calls to top Cadbury Schweppes executives, leaving long messages explaining that such imagery reinforces a stereotype of workplace sexual availability that contributes to the global nursing crisis. Initially, on October 3, the company sent letters arguing that its ads were causing no harm. But yesterday, the company told the Truth and RNAO that it would pull the ads, and consult nurses in creating its future U.S. and Canadian ads involving nurses. Cadbury Schweppes chief executive officer Todd Stitzer also took time out from managing the company's 67,000 employees and $14 billion in annual sales to call the Truth from London to explain that he understood our concerns. We thank the company for this unusual level of responsiveness, and hope to work with it to promote a more accurate image of nursing. We believe the results here also show what nurses can do when they advocate collectively, persistently, and passionately. more...

 

The Nobel Prize in Nursing

December 8, 2006 -- Today The Baltimore Sun published "Nurses' achievements merit international recognition," an op-ed by Columbia University nursing professor Kristine Gebbie and Center for Nursing Advocacy executive director Sandy Summers. The op-ed argues that nurses deserve a Nobel Prize or comparable annual award because their leaders have long been at the forefront of health research and clinical practice. They have changed the world by reinventing health systems, pioneering new therapies, and improving community health, from AIDS treatment to neonatal care to pain management. Establishing such a prize would shine a light on the profession's life-saving achievements. It would also help show how important it is that nursing get the clinical and educational resources it needs to overcome the global nursing shortage. The publication of this piece is the culmination of significant effort by the Truth. We thank The Baltimore Sun for its openness to new ideas on nursing, and its commitment to publishing the op-ed. And we urge you to read it, think about it, and show it to others. Thank you! See the op-ed...

 

Coor Slight

December 2006 -- After five months of effort, we have persuaded Colorado brewer Coors to stop using "naughty nurse" imagery in its "Coors Light Trauma Tour." We thank the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, especially member Laurie Spooner, for important help in this effort. The Trauma Tour has been an ongoing marketing campaign of Coors Canada. It has included television and other advertising, sponsorship of extreme sports events, and events at clubs and bars. The nursing component has featured models dressed in "naughty nurse" outfits, and some publicity has actually used the term "naughty nurse." It seems that the "nurses" would not only help the young male target demographic through risky sports, but also cause some "trauma" of their own by interacting closely with the guys. Because the "naughty nurse" stereotype reinforces the undervaluation and gender segregation of nursing, which in turn fuels the real "trauma" of the nursing shortage, we urged Coors to rethink the use of such "nurses" in its marketing. The company's U.S. headquarters was very responsive to our concerns, stressing that Coors had vowed to stop using such imagery after our successful campaign about its naughty nurse Zima commercial that aired in 2002. Ultimately, the company's Canadian division was persuaded to stop using naughty nurse imagery in the Trauma Tour. more...

 

X Games

October 15, 2006 - A recent print ad campaign for Schick's Quattro Titanium razor featured an injured male skateboarder in a research facility bed. He was surrounded by white-coated researchers--and three naughty "nurses" giving him what the ad accurately calls "more intensive care." Schick, which sponsors the X Games, placed the ad in recent issues of Sports Illustrated. The company also distributed the ad at college bookstores, perhaps as an inspiration to nursing students. John Wergeles, Schick's Group Business Director for Men's Systems, assured us that Schick did not mean to insult nurses. He said the campaign was ending, but promised that Schick would not revive it in the future, which might otherwise occur. Mr. Wergeles also said he would consult us about any future ads that involved "nurses." We thank Schick for its responsiveness to nurses' concerns. read the full review...

 

Water made less naughty

September 2006 -- Recently, Constellation Brands, Inc. employed naughty nurse images to help sell its Hydra Vodka Water beverage, which is marketed to young adults. One print ad in the "Water made naughty" campaign featured a "naughty nurse" underwater, wearing a very short dress and putting on a surgical glove, while glancing seductively at the camera. Models dressed as naughty nurses also seem to have been a feature at events promoting the drink. The Truth called Constellation Brands to discuss our concern that such imagery discourages practicing and potential nurses, while undermining nursing's claims to adequate resources in the midst of a global shortage. Michael Martin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, immediately agreed to work to discontinue use of the imagery. It has been pulled from the Hydra website and will no longer be placed in print ads. more...

 

Debugging the "Electronic Nurse"

September 20, 2006 -- Today we convinced ALR Technologies, Inc. to change the informal name of its new ALRT500 (right) from "Electronic Nurse" to a name that does not suggest that the machine can replace a human nurse. The ALRT500 is a home health management device that aids in treatment compliance and monitoring of those with chronic disease. However, it does not make professional judgments and take skilled clinical actions based on years of college-level science education, as nurses do. After the Truth sent an email outlining our concerns, we got a call from Wendy Prabhu, President of Mercom Capital Group, ALR's investment relations firm. Ms. Prabhu said that ALR had no intention of offending nurses, and she promised that ALR would change the "Electronic Nurse" name out of respect for them. She noted that the company works with nurses every day and values their work tremendously. She assured us that ALR President Stan Cruitt feels the same way. We commend ALR Technologies and Mercom Capital Group for being remarkably responsive to nurses' concerns about their product, and for taking steps to address the situation. more...

 

CVS pharmacist returns from Matrix; can now download entire nursing curriculum into your brain in four hours!

January 24, 2006 -- The CVS drug store company has recently run a 30-second television ad in which a pharmacist explains how he spent several hours of his own time helping a patient's husband figure out how to administer her 20 different medications. That's great, except that the pharmacist twice stated that the husband was now "a nurse." Of course, we know what he probably meant--modern drug regimens are very complex, and (we might add) the current health financing system has left many patients and their families with the impossible task of trying to nurse themselves. But it's possible that some viewers, lacking knowledge of the nursing crisis, would simply see the ad as a criticism of nurses for failing to do the teaching the pharmacist had to step in to provide. And given the poor public understanding of nursing, we fear that people might think nurses really can be trained by pharmacists in a matter of hours. Last week, the Truth persuaded CVS to pull the ad. Today, CVS told the Truth that it will edit out the "nurse" comments and run the ad without them. We commend CVS, especially the helpful VP of customer service Mark Kolligian, for listening to nurses' concerns and responding to them in a timely and constructive way. more...

 

TAGGED: Gillette pulls lusty-nurse fever ad

October 3, 2005 -- Today, in response to a Center campaign, the Gillette Company said that it will pull a "naughty nurse" television ad for TAG Body Spray, though it may take a week for the ad to leave the air. More than 600 Center supporters wrote to Gillette executives to protest the ad (at right), which featured a provocatively dressed "nurse" who developed "highly contagious lusty-nurse fever" and climbed into bed with a male patient wearing the product. We are pleased that the ad will be removed, and we thank Gillette for responding to nurses' concerns. However, we understand that the company has made no plans to repair the damage done by the ad perpetuating this damaging stereotype. So we ask supporters to thank Gillette, but also to urge the Fortune 500 company to take concrete steps to make amends to the nursing profession. more...

 

Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day

July 25, 2005 -- In response to a Center for Nursing Advocacy campaign begun in late 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has changed the name of its annual "Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day" campaign to "Take a Loved One for a Checkup Day." Nurses had argued that, since over 100,000 Advanced Practice Registered Nurses provide high quality primary care to the very minority populations the campaign targets, a name change to reflect that would enhance the campaign's effect on those populations, and at the same time address the image problem that is a key factor in the nursing shortage. The Truth salutes HHS--especially Assistant Secretary for Minority Health Garth Graham, MD, MPH, and the Office of Minority Health--for its responsiveness, flexibility, and concern for public health. Take a Loved One for a Check Up Day is September 20, 2005. more...

 

Center persuades Wal-Mart to change "brain surgeon" ad

April 2, 2005 -- Wal-Mart recently agreed to change a print advertisement for its scrubs, placed in some March 2005 nursing journals, that suggested that nurses are intellectually inferior to surgeons. The ad featured a nurse dressed in scrubs standing behind a patient's leg cast. Writing on the cast read: "It doesn't take a brain surgeon to recognize a good deal on scrubs." Even if you aren't a brain surgeon, we're sure you can see that this ad implies that nurses, despite their limits, can at least recognize a bargain when they see one. more...

 

Are you man enough to talk about your erectile dysfunction with a bunch of nurses?

March 2005 -- Boston Medical Group (BMG), a company that runs clinics in several nations specializing in the treatment of erectile dysfunction (ED), has recently been running radio ads in the US that assure potential patients that they will not need to discuss their ED with nurses. Specifically, the ads feature an ED "patient" who states that he does not want to talk with a "bunch of nurses," and an announcer then assures listeners that at BMG, he will not. This ad may well reflect the company's overall marketing strategy (which is clear from its web site) to reassure men who do not wish to discuss their ED with women, rather than any intentional disrespect for nurses. But the ad may still encourage many listeners to regard nurses as a gaggle of incompetent or insensitive females. After letters from three people, Boston Medical has vowed to pull the ad. more...

 

Tickle: Is the best thing about nursing "meeting hot doctors?" Ha ha! Just joking!

February 8, 2005 -- Tickle, the "leading interpersonal media company" now owned by Monster, is offering a 15-question online test called "Who's Your Inner Nurse?" The test, a sly vehicle to direct nurses and others into the site's employment services, invites us to choose from a series of stereotypes that, despite being lighthearted, reflect ignorance of the real nature and value of nursing. Some of the potential answers are presumably "jokes," like "meeting hot doctors" as an option for "the best thing about nursing." Others reinforce stereotypes through positive choices, such as the one inviting respondents to report that patients find them gentle, cheerful, dependable, or selfless (as opposed to skilled, innovative, or hard-working). And some questions simply invite people to think of nursing as trivial, such as the one that gives test takers the chance to specify that they wouldn't "make [their] rounds without" their "[s]tickers and lollipops." None of the questions reflects awareness that nurses are highly skilled professionals with years of college-level training who save and materially improve lives daily. After discussions with the Truth, Tickle grudgingly agreed to remove the "Inner Nurse" test, but declined to substitute the revised test the Truth helpfully provided. On the upside, the company did not issue a statement assuring us that it never meant to offend nurses, because they're so cute, kind and selfless. more...

 

Dr. Phil expresses appreciation for nurses and their image problems on the air, still struggles with apology and stereotypes

Dr. Phil photoDecember 20, 2004 -- Today Dr. Phil made an on-air statement about his Nov. 18 comment that he has seen many "cute little nurses" who are out to "seduce and marry" physicians "because that's their ticket out of having to work as a nurse." We salute Dr. Phil for expressing appreciation for nurses, including praise for their training, hard work, and judgment, and especially for his recognition of the importance of the nursing image problem. We note that he did not acknowledge the full import of his earlier comments or the reaction from thousands of nurses, nor make the apology those nurses had requested. We are also concerned that a few of his comments today--notably his remark that monitoring machines can't replace the "loving, nurturing care" of nurses--could reinforce maternal and angel stereotypes. Even so, we are encouraged by his effort, which is unusual for a popular Hollywood figure, and we look forward to the show he has promised to devote to an examination of the nursing media image problem in the near future. more...

 

The aesthetic and the anaesthetic

November 2004 -- This month's issue of Vogue includes an excerpt from the Truth's letter in response to the inaccurate assertion, attributed to a Hollywood plastic surgeon in the June issue, that the use of nurse anesthetists is "unsafe." While Vogue could go farther to make amends for publishing this comment without any support or balancing quote, the Truth commends the magazine for publishing part of our description of the vital contributions of nurse anesthetists. more...

 

Shock jocks, billboards, porn stars, and nurses

October 26, 2004 -- Popular syndicated radio shock jock Mancow Muller is currently appearing on Chicago area billboards in satirical photos mimicking rock album covers, including that of blink-182's "Enema of the State," in which porn star Janine appears as a somewhat threatening "naughty nurse." Following multiple discussions with the Truth, the Chicago radio station at which Mancow is based, Q101, agreed to phase out the Mancow/Janine billboards over the next two-three weeks and run others from the existing series for the remaining six months of its ad campaign. more...

 

Massage Parlor Pulls Down Naughty Nurse Billboards

October 10, 2004 -- In response to a single phone call from the Truth, a Dallas massage parlor that had displayed two seductive nurse billboards on a popular freeway agreed to remove them. We applaud the Swedish Institute for Physical Health for its rapid response in removing the damaging nursing images (too fast for us to even snap a photo!) and for working with us to help improve nursing's image. more...

 

Jeopardy update--Senior Producer responds

September 29, 2004 -- In response to the Truth's campaign asking Jeopardy! to apologize to the nursing profession for implying that Nurse Practitioners do nothing more than tend to minor ailments, the show's Senior Producer/Head Writer responded promptly in a constructive letter to Truth executive director Sandy Summers. Jeopardy! is an unusually influential show which has been syndicated for 20 years and is seen by an estimated 12 million viewers daily. We applaud the show for acknowledging our concerns and initiating a plan to remedy the damage done. more...

 

Skechers pulls Christina Aguilera "nurse" ad after receiving more than 3,000 letters from nursing supporters

August 17, 2004 -- In response to widespread protests sparked by the Truth's campaign over the last two weeks, Skechers will discontinue the Christina Aguilera "naughty nurse" ad that had begun to run in markets worldwide, according to a statement released by Jennifer Clay, a public relations official at Skechers' Los Angeles headquarters. In a letter sent to the Truth, Skechers stated that it has "discontinued [its] international media buys." more...

 

Pennzoil pulls its nurse ad in response to outpouring of letters from nurses

Pennzoil nurse adJuly 15, 2004 -- In response to many nurses seeking an end to Pennzoil's ads featuring a nurse, Pennzoil has announced that it will pull all remaining advertisements possible that were slated to appear in a number of US magazines over the coming months. The ad, featured at right, feeds into regressive angelic and arguably "naughty nurse" stereotypes that are harmful to the profession. more...

 

Jessica Rabbit letters rain down on Disney--pin sale ends--ask them to make amends

May 27, 2004 -- At least 300 nurses wrote to protest Disney's sultry Jessica Rabbit nurse pins, which were created to honor nurses during nurses' week 2004 and 2003. Within 48 hours of starting our campaign, Disney agreed to "remove the pin from sale." The 2004 pin had been available for purchase in Disney World shops and beyond since nurses' week in early May 2004. The Truth applauds this prompt action, and thanks all of the campaign participants whose letters made it happen. We are also urging Disney to make amends, and we need your help. more...

 

Nurses flood Physicians Formula with letters protesting "nurse" ad; company immediately agrees to stop running it

April 26, 2004 -- At least 50 nurses wrote to protest Physicians Formula's cosmetics ad featuring a "naughty nurse" image within the first 24 hours of the Truth's campaign against the ad (and more have written since). In response, the company promised to stop running the ad, which had appeared in recent issues of major magazines including the May issue of "Shape." The Truth applauds this prompt action, and thanks all the campaign participants whose letters made it happen. We are also urging the company to make amends, and we need your help. more...

 

Procter & Gamble pulls Clairol shampoo commercial and apologizes to nurses

June 11, 2003 -- As a result of protests from nurses, Procter & Gamble promised on June 9 to stop running a Clairol Herbal Essences television commercial that showed a female nurse leave her patient unmonitored to wash her hair in his bathroom, then dance around his room, waving her hair in ecstasy. P&G marketing director Andrew Shepard sent a letter to American Nurses Association President Barbara Blakeney, with copies to American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations Phyllis Zimmer, ARNP, MN, FNP, FAAN and Truth About Nursing director Sandy Summers, promising that the ad would be discontinued "on the fastest possible timing," stating that P&G "holds the nursing profession in the highest esteem," and offering "sincere apologies" to Ms. Blakeney and the nurses she represents. more...

 

The Truth helps persuade American Nurses Association to provide Internet access to the Code of Ethics for Nurses

June 10, 2002 -- Four months after receiving a letter from us and professors from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, the American Nurses Association placed the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements on the Internet. This Code explains what nurses do, and it is useful to nurses and laypersons alike. Our contact at the ANA acknowledged that the Truth's letter had helped persuade the ANA to make the critical document accessible to all.

 

The Truth and the ENA discuss portrayal of nursing with makers of "ER"

November 21, 2001 -- Members of the Truth, three presidents from the Emergency Nurses Association and professors from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing have a one-hour conference call with an "ER" producer and the show's medical advisor. The discussion centered on how "ER" could improve its portrayal of nursing, especially in view of the extent to which negative media portrayals of nurses affect the nursing shortage. The call was arranged in response to a letter the Truth sent on October 10, 2001 (Emergency Nurses Day) to Executive Producer John Wells.

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