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Can Social Media Handle the Truth?

RSS chicletFebruary 24, 2010 -- The Truth is pleased to announce the launch of its Social Media Initiative to encourage more interactive nursing advocacy activities. Now you can make your voice heard on every page of the Truth site through our new Comments function, and pursue Truth-related activities through all major social media options, including Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace. So go ahead and...

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Mariah Carey and Nicki MinajTake Action!

Mariah Carey: "Up Out My Face"

February 2010 -- Mariah Carey's new video, "Up Out My Face," relies heavily on the naughty nurse stereotype. Imagery fusing the profession of nursing with female sexuality has been common worldwide for decades. So even though it's "just a joke!", such imagery undermines nurses' claims to respect and resources, and discourages many promising students from joining the profession, as recent research shows. Carey has always been a musician with an amazing instrument, but she has also been known for a particular way of promoting her work, as described in detail in a 2004 Sonic Youth song about her. That song appeared on the band's Sonic Nurse album, and given Carey's approach to her career, maybe it was inevitable that Carey herself would someday turn to nursing--naughty nursing. "Up Out My Face" is competent but unremarkable hip-hop product from the 2009 album Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. The song itself has no nursing imagery, but in the uninspired video for the song's remix with rapper Nicki Minaj, Carey and her co-director (and husband) Nick Cannon put the naughty nurse right up in our faces. Carey and Minaj appear in skimpy "nurse" outfits, complete with caps, white stockings, and high heels. The song, which will appear on Carey's 2010 remix album Angels Advocate, is actually a kiss-off to a former lover, so it would seem to reverse the standard naughty nurse theme of sexual availability. But the point seems to be to show the ex-lover (and us) just what he will be missing because Mariah and Nicki have moved on. These outfits are an obvious way to do that, but there are countless others. So maybe Mimi could emancipate herself from the naughty nurse stereotype. more...and please join our letter-writing campaign!

 

The Nurse-Crusader

Mary MundingerDecember 8, 2009 -- Today the New York Observer published a generally good profile of "controversial" Columbia nursing dean Mary Mundinger, who is retiring after a quarter century at the forefront of the fight to help advanced practice nurses (APRNs) win the respect and resources they need to provide high-quality, cost-effective care. Dana Rubinstein's piece even cites the research, too often missing from press reports on APRNs, demonstrating that APRN care is at least as effective as physician care. The article also provides a short but relatively insightful look at the lack of respect nurses have historically suffered, and suggests that the nurse-focused television shows that appeared in 2009 represent a step forward for public understanding of the profession. The piece does at times paint a bit too rosy of a picture--some advances for APRNs and the appearance of the new nurse shows do not necessarily mean the public has grasped that nurses generally deserve more authority and respect. And there are a few unfortunate elements, like the reporter's apparent belief that "doctor nurse" is an appropriate term to describe APRNs. But on the whole the article is a helpful look at a nursing leader and the advanced practice nursing she has championed. We thank Ms. Rubinstein and the Observer. more...

 

An R and an N

Veronica Callahan Mercy 
October 21, 2009 -- Two recent episodes of NBC's Mercy illustrate both the show's flawed portrayal of nursing autonomy and its far more helpful vision of nursing skill and advocacy. The Jersey City drama does at least suggest that there is some nursing management structure. And it captures some of the difficulties that flow from the unequal power between nurses and physicians. But at other times the show suggests that nurses report to physicians, even if there is a nominal nurse manager who presumably handles day-to-day administrative issues. At the same time, the episodes aired tonight and a week ago include very helpful portrayals of skill and patient advocacy by all three major nurse characters, most notably Veronica Callahan's relentless efforts to get a homeless man with hepatitis C into a clinical trial. These plotlines are not flawless. Veronica's advocacy for the homeless man includes simulating symptoms to keep him in the hospital, going behind chief ED physician Dan Harris's back to get an "order" from a less senior physician to get the man into the trial, and throwing a cinder block through Harris's car windshield when he continues to insist that she cut the man loose. Another plotline actually has a hint of the naughty nurse, as nurse Chloe Payne uses a kiss (albeit a fairly chaste one) to help persuade a badly burned high schooler that his social life is not over and he should continue pursuing skin grafts. Still, the show offers millions of viewers dramatic examples of how tough, innovative nurses improve patient outcomes. In one plotline, nurse Sonia Jimenez controls a somnambulist's deadly and apparently untreatable problem by persuading Sonia's boyfriend to give the patient his bark-intensive dog as an "alarm clock." No other regular season show does this kind of thing at all. The October 14 episode was Peter Elkoff's "Pulling the Goalie," and tonight's was "You Lost Me with the Cinder Block" by Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie. more...

 

Truth About Nursing press coverage

February 12, 2010 -- Today ADVANCE for Nurses covered Saving Lives in a post on Lynn Jusinski's "Advance Healthcare Haven" blog, "Deal of the Fortnight: Angel Pendant Necklaces." Jusinski focused on the book's discussion of the angel stereotype, as well as comments authors Sandy and Harry Summers made in a recent video interview, as part of the blogger's discussion of whether an angel pendant might reinforce the stereotype.

 

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Planning speakers? Let Sandy Summers empower your nurses!

Sandy SummersMedia images of health care--like the ones on ABC's popular "Grey's Anatomy"--have an important effect on the nursing profession. Many nurses and nursing students feel frustrated when influential media products undervalue nurses. But how can we change what the media tells the public about nursing? Sandy Summers has led high-profile efforts to promote more accurate and robust depictions of nursing since 2001. She has shared her insights in dynamic presentations to groups across North America. She empowers nurses and teaches them how to shape their image into one that reflects the profession's true value. When nurses get the respect they deserve, they will attract more resources for nursing practice, education, and research, so we can resolve the nursing shortage. Sign Sandy up for your next conference, nurses' week celebration, or gala event! Click here for more details.

 

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_____________________________________________________________________________

The Truth About Nursing is an international non-profit organization based in Baltimore that seeks to help the public understand the central role nurses play in health care. The Truth promotes more accurate media portrayals of nurses and greater use of nurses as expert sources. The group is led by Sandy Summers, co-author of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All At Risk.

Thank you for supporting the Truth About Nursing's work!

Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
office 1-410-323-1100
fax 1-410-510-1790
ssummers@truthaboutnursing.org

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