News on Nursing in the Media
August 2011 -- In recent weeks various film media have reported that the actress Paz De La Huerta will star in Nurse 3D, a new horror film about a sexy but vengeful nurse who targets "dishonest" men for "severe" punishment. Despite suggestions by executives at the production company Lionsgate that this theme is novel and original, it is really just a variation on the classic naughty nurse stereotype that has become well-established in products including prior horror films and ads, such as the posters used to promote the 2006 release of Lionsgate's own Saw III--posters on which Nurse 3D seems to be based. Such imagery, which we call the "naughty-axe," unites the profession's naughty and battle-axe images into one unsavory package of sex and violence, and so it suggests that nursing is all about mindless feminine extremes, rather than life-saving work for skilled professionals of both genders. We hesitate to criticize media products that we have not seen, but it's hard to see how a film with this basic outline--and a promotional photo of a naked, blood-covered nurse De La Huerta--could avoid harming nursing. The film does not start production until next month, but the creators are clearly aiming to exploit the 3D format to bring viewers violence and sexuality, so it's difficult to see how the film could become less harmful to nursing unless the main character had a different job. Please join us in urging those responsible for Nurse 3D to minimize the nursing element, to show that the main character at least has some health skills, and to make amends for the damage their film will likely cause. more...and please join our letter-writing campaign!
March 25, 2011 -- Recent press reports have highlighted the continuing debate over adequate nurse staffing in U.S. hospitals. A fairly good March 16 piece in the St. Paul Pioneer Press was among those reporting that a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine had found that nurse understaffing at the Mayo Clinic significantly increased the risk of patient mortality, and that high patient turnover had an even greater effect. Christopher Snowbeck's report also provided helpful context, noting that nurse staffing levels have been critical factors in recent labor disputes between hospitals and nursing unions. And today, the Boston Globe ran business columnist Steven Syre's piece about the "conundrum" hospitals face in trying to balance costs with the growing awareness that having fewer nurses threatens patients. It seems that nursing payrolls are the biggest single "expense" hospitals have. This piece also provides a pretty balanced look at recent labor disputes in which nurse staffing has been a key issue. But the writer seems puzzled about why nursing salaries are such a part of hospital budgets. No one says: "Yes, nursing salaries are a big factor because hospitals exist to provide professional nursing care, not to house physicians or machines. And nurses are not just 'expenses'; they create most of the value that hospitals provide." That basic reality might have been helpful for readers to know. In any case, we thank those responsible for these two pieces. more...
August 2011 -- Many professors use our recent book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk to help students to examine nurses' public image and what we can do about it. We will send professors who assign reading from Saving Lives one free, author-signed copy for every 10 copies their bookstore orders. Just send us proof of ordering and we'll send you a copy right away. Thank you!
August 2011 -- Many nursing professors rely on the extensive and varied materials on the Truth's website to help their students engage with critical issues nurses will face in the future, from their public image to key aspects of nursing education, practice, and advocacy. For 10 years, we have explored and analyzed how the global media and society in general has seen the nursing profession. Join your colleagues and use this material to help plan your curriculum! Many professors find our FAQ page a great place to start, but consider all of these ideas:
You don't need our permission to link to our pages, but we'd still love to know how you use our material to teach your students. Please let us know at letters@truthaboutnursing. Thank you!
August 31, 2011 -- The Truth About Nursing is looking for students who are assigned to write grant proposals for class. If you write one to help the Truth get funding, you will earn 10% of the total grant amount awarded to the Truth. If you're interested, please contact us for details at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
XV International Research Nursing Conference
Encuentro Internacional de Investigación en Enfermería
November 16, 2011
August 31, 2011 -- The paperback edition of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk now sells for $10 from Barnes & Noble! Plus, the Apple iBook and Kindle editions are priced at less than $7! The B&N Nook is also available. The paperback 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.
We need your help so we can pursue this mission together. We would be very grateful if you could make a donation--even if it is $5, $10 or $25. Any amount would be so helpful. Please click here to donate. Thank you!
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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