News on Nursing in the Media
July 20, 2007 -- On July 17, the High Judicial Council in Libya commuted to life in prison the death sentences of five nurses and one Palestinian physician who were convicted of infecting hundreds of children with HIV. This development came shortly after an agreement under which the families of each of the 438 children will reportedly receive about $1 million in compensation. Talks were set to begin shortly with Libya's foreign ministry regarding the possible transfer of the Benghazi Six to their home nations. Reports also suggest that French President Nicolas Sarkozy will mediate the talks, and that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's son expects the nurses to be back in Bulgaria by July 25. more...
April 24, 2007 -- Today The Wall Street Journal published a mostly excellent piece by editor John Blanton, who resigned from the paper and became a nurse in a post-9/11 search for meaning. The well-written piece focuses on the crushing workload and fear of error Blanton faced as a new burn unit nurse. It has extensive, specific descriptions of the complexity and importance of nursing care. And it ably describes Blanton's transition from novice toward higher competence. Sadly, Blanton quits nursing after a couple years because, as a person in his forties, he feels he cannot afford to work as a junior nurse. The piece arguably gives too much weight to the daunting challenges the new nurse confronts, though this may simply be an honest account of the first two years at the bedside. And there is no discussion of whether the fear or financial pressures Blanton faced call for reform in the way nursing is practiced or financed. The assumption seems to be that what he experienced is his problem, but in the midst of the worst nursing shortage in U.S. history, we're not so sure. Even so, this is one of the best newspaper accounts of what nurses do that we have read, and we commend Blanton and the Journal. more...
July 18, 2007 -- Barbara Ficarra's Internet video program "Nurses in Motion" recently featured an extended interview with Center director Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH. Summers and Ficarra discussed the causes and effects of the poor public understanding of nursing, especially as seen in the mass media. Summers argued that nurses' inaccurate public image is a key factor in the critical nursing shortage, affecting the level of resources directed to nursing practice, education and research. She also addressed barriers nurses face in speaking up about their work and its value. watch the video...
April 11, 2007 -- Today The Gainesville Times (GA) published Debbie Gilbert's "'More of a calling than a job': Church hires 'parish nurse.'" The article is a profile of registered nurse Lori Floyd, who recently joined the staff of the local First United Methodist Church as a "parish nurse." The article does a good job explaining some of the important community health benefits such a nurse can provide to church members. These include health teaching, counseling, and coordinating care initiatives like health screenings and vaccination clinics. The piece explains how the religious setting may aid Floyd's work. It does not directly address conflicts that licensed health professionals may face in religious employment, though it does note in passing that Floyd's work may include discussing "issues that some churches shy away from, such as sexuality." We thank Ms. Gilbert and the Gainesville Times for this generally helpful piece. more...
The California-based poetry magazine RATTLE plans to include a tribute to nursing in its Winter 2007 issue. RATTLE seeks poetry and essays by its August 1 submission deadline. Poetry: The tribute section will feature poetry written by nurses. Poems need not necessarily be written about nurses, but they must be written by nurses. Essays: RATTLE wants to publish a series of short essays on the relationship between poetry and healthcare. How does practicing nursing affect your writing? Does writing affect the way you practice nursing? Does there seem to be a relationship between healing and writing? RATTLE is also interested in essays that might profile a specific historical nurse-poet. more... and submit your entry!
Activity at the Center's chapters is starting to heat up. Please get involved with your local chapter--or if there isn't one in your area, let us know if you would like to start one! Contact us to talk about starting a chapter.
What do Center for Nursing Advocacy chapters do? We encourage meetings every month or two. At the meetings, members brainstorm and work together to improve media coverage of nursing around the world--but most especially within their home media markets. For instance, members work to get coverage for nursing achievements, events, problems, or issues facing patients or the community. And they discuss giving organized feedback to media entities for nurse-related products they have created. See more on our chapter mission and activities page.
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The Center promotes better understanding of nursing, so nurses can do their work. But just like nurses, we need financial support to do our work. The long-term sustainability of the Center depends on it. If you appreciate our work, would you be able to chip in to help us continue? Our current situation requires that key staff donate many hundreds of hours to the Center every year, at great cost to themselves and their families. Please do your part to help us out. Thank you!
The Center's global media monitoring, analysis and advocacy is a huge challenge. It takes extensive research, writing, communication, and Internet efforts. We must pay for office equipment, supplies, transportation, Internet products, insurance, postage and telephone costs. Our office is donated by our staff. And our staff can undertake only a small part of the work that needs to be done to improve nursing's image.
So we urge you to make a donation to help us continue and expand our work. Just click here to learn about the great gifts you can receive for joining or renewing your Center membership, including our cool t-shirts and the Archie McPhee nurse action figure! It's quick and easy! And because the Center is a 501(c)(3) charity, your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Thank you for all of your support over the past year. You are the reason we've had a real impact on public understanding of nursing worldwide. Together, we can strengthen nursing, and give patients the kind of health care they deserve in 2007 and beyond!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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