News on Nursing in the Media
April 2, 2011 -- Today the News-Press of Fort Myers ran a short item about a march and rally of nurses at the Florida Capitol two days earlier that was led by a St. Bernard. Actually, the Tallahassee march was organized by nurses affiliated with the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), a national nurses' union. The dog, Paxton, came with NNOC member Gail Ghigna Hallas, RN, PhD, who explains in the piece that the nurses were there to seek legislation requiring minimum nurse staffing ratios. The nurses and other hospital workers at the rally reportedly met with Governor Rick Scott and legislators inside the Capitol while Paxton "waited calmly outside." It's not clear if the rally would have earned the media attention without the novelty of Paxton's involvement, but in any case, the piece includes a surprisingly detailed discussion of the research showing that better nurse staffing saves lives and money. We thank the News-Press for this helpful article, Dr. Hallas for her quotes, and Paxton for leading the march. more...
December 12, 2010 -- Today the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC) ran a short but good article by Renee Dudley about a new mental health nursing curriculum designed by Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) nursing dean Gail Stuart for use in war-torn Liberia. Developed with the support of the Atlanta-based Carter Center, the curriculum will be used to train practicing nurses and nursing students to diagnose and treat conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder and depression in a population struggling to recover from widespread atrocities. The piece gives readers a fairly good sense of Stuart's expertise and autonomy, noting that she "literally wrote the textbook on psychiatric nursing." However, the first online reader comment about the piece is telling. After a harsh critique of MUSC psychiatric physicians as dangerous "charlatans," the commenter actually says that it is "odd that a nurse and not a doctor developed this program" and wonders if Stuart "could or should . . . be cited for practicing medicine without a license." The commenter seems unaware that it is nurses who lead the nursing profession, so they are the ones who develop nursing curricula. More broadly, nurses are fully qualified to "diagnose and treat" serious health problems, and as the second commenter explains in response, "preventing nurses from practicing [in accord with the] full scope of [their] training by insisting that physicians are the only ones capable of providing that care is wrong, and the data proves it." We thank Renee Dudley and the Post and Courier for this helpful report on a nursing scholar's contributions to global health. more...
September 2010 -- This month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing included a lengthy review of the book Saving Lives by Truth executive director Sandy Summers and senior advisor Harry Jacobs Summers. The reviewer is Jacinta Kelly, RN, MSc, College Lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. After an apt discussion of the idea of stereotypes, Kelly starts with a good discussion of the nature of nursing stereotypes, then explains the main points of Saving Lives, noting that the authors
contend vehemently, in this telling book, that the portrayal of nurses by the media is exceedingly harmful; not alone to the nursing profession -- but more crucially to patient care. In the first two parts of this eye-opening media watch book . . . the authors argue articulately that media images of nursing undermine the profession by portraying nurses as background fillers as opposed to university-educated, highly skilled and autonomous health care workers with life and death responsibilities. . . . Most laudable in this book is that the authors do not merely criticise the media’s poor portrayal of nurses but in the concluding part they offer a blueprint on how to improve nurses’ image. . . . If this book has any weaknesses, it would be that it did not carry a caveat indicating it is difficult for any intending or registered nurse to put down. see the review...
April 8, 2011 -- Register now for The Truth About Nursing's conference in New Orleans, April 15-17, 2011, "Empowering Nurses and Improving Care Through Better Understanding of Nursing," at the beautiful Marriott Renaissance Arts Hotel, located in the heart of this fabulous city! Speakers will include Kathleen Bartholomew, Donna Cardillo, Sandy Summers, journalist Hope Keller, Penny Kaye Jensen, President of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and a representative of Rutgers University's 2012 Project, who will tell us how to get more nurses into politics! Other topics include enhancing public understanding of nursing through the media, educating decision-makers and physician colleagues about nursing, effective strategies to improve working relationships, and practical steps toward achieving nursing empowerment. This work is critical in helping the nursing profession get the respect and resources that it deserves and that patients need. Twelve continuing education hours are anticipated. Exciting events include a welcome cocktail reception and a Riverboat Jazz Dinner Cruise on the Mississippi. Come enjoy the food and culture of the Crescent City as you explore how to move nursing forward! Register Now!
Truth About Nursing media appearances
April 5, 2011 -- Today editor Jenni Middleton of the UK nursing journal The Nursing Times wrote a piece about the importance of public understanding of nursing as part of the journal's "seat on the board' campaign to ensure that nurses play a role in the new "commissioning consortia" for the National Health Service. The editorial cited a recent piece in the journal on the image of nursing written by Truth executive director Sandy Summers and senior advisor Harry Jacobs Summers. see the article...
April 8, 2011 -- The 2010 edition of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk now sells for $10 as a paperback from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Plus, the Apple iBook and B&N Nook editions are priced at less than $5! The 2010 edition of Saving Lives has a new foreword by bestselling nurse author Echo Heron. And it is revised and expanded, discussing Nurse Jackie and other new shows, and featuring updated information throughout. You can also get an author-signed paperback copy when you become a member of the Truth or renew your membership for $30 (click here!). Please help support the Truth's effort to change how the world thinks about nursing today. These affordably-priced editions make great gifts for colleagues, students, or even to help family and friends understand the value of what nurses do. All royalties for the multiple award-winning book go directly to support non-profit nursing advocacy work. Thank you!
Media 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
Founder and Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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