Nurse Practitioners urge drug companies to end media bias
April 9, 2008 -- Today the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners launched a campaign to convince pharmaceutical and other companies to use "provider-neutral language in all direct-to-consumer ads." Advertisers have long created ads that urge patients to "consult your doctor." There are over a quarter million advanced practice nurses (APRNs) in the US alone, yet advertisers and the media as a whole continue to ignore APRN contributions to health care, including their prescribing authority. And of course, the news media commonly refers solely to "doctors" even in discussing practice areas in which APRNs play a major role. Because of such long-standing media bias, few people are aware that a large body of research shows that care provided by advanced practice nurses is equal to or better than that provided by physicians. When the media continues to ignore APRN contributions and act as if only physicians and their care matters, patients may resist care from APRNs and fail to respond to APRN health teaching. It also makes it more difficult for APRNs to gain a fair scope of practice and equal reimbursement for their work. We must break this cycle of ignorance.
We applaud the AANP and all nurses who take up this important fight to encourage fair and accurate media treatment of the nursing profession.