News on Nursing in the Media
October 10, 2011 -- Recent news items have highlighted some aggressive policy advocacy by major nursing groups on health issues related to current U.S. economic problems. Since June, long before the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, the National Nurses Union (NNU) has been protesting the financial industry's role in the nation's economic woes and calling for a one-percent tax on Wall Street transactions in order to fund improved health care and other vital needs that are under threat. Over time, NNU's efforts have generated increasing and often helpful press coverage. For example, on September 1, the Orlando Sentinel ran a good piece by Marni Jameson about the 61 protest rallies NNU had coordinated the day before at the district offices of Members of Congress nationwide. The rallies urged legislators to impose the one-percent tax. The article quotes one local nurse as saying that she is seeing sicker patients because people can't afford their medications and those without health insurance wait too long to seek care. We commend the Sentinel for this significant coverage of nursing advocacy. And we salute NNU for advocacy that reflects a holistic focus on some roots of the nation's health problems and shows that nurses can be courageous public health leaders. more...
September 18, 2011 -- A short but helpful August 25 item by Marianna Klebenov on the Examiner.com website reported that the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) had recently issued an official position statement opposing corporal punishment in homes and schools--another news item highlighting aggressive policy advocacy by a major nursing group on health issues related to current U.S. economic problems. NAPNAP noted that such punishment can lead to escalating levels of violence not only against the punished child, but also by the punished child later in life, as research shows. And sadly, today an Associated Press item reported that a new study published in Pediatrics links higher levels of child abuse, particularly of infants, to the recent recession in the U.S. The AP report, though physician-centric, underlines the importance of NAPNAP's policy position. We commend Ms. Klebenov and the Examiner.com site. And we salute NAPNAP for holistic patient advocacy that shows again that nurses can be strong public health leaders. more...
May 2011 -- For this year's Nurses Week celebration, the major U.S. managed health care group Kaiser Permanente put together a 60-second radio ad. The ad certainly offers a glowing portrait of nurses, but it's also one of the most extreme and relentless presentations of angel imagery that we have ever seen. The ad doesn't just extol nurses as "noble" and "selfless." It goes on and on about their "colossal" "capacity to care," their "superhuman" "sympathy," their "heart" of "compassion," their "love," and how the self-effacing caregivers endure their exhausting, disgusting jobs (with frequent exposure to various "bodily fluids") without complaint. There is a passing reference to being "tough," but the ad also embraces the use of "nurse" to mean "breastfeeding." The angel imagery here is so strong, and so undiluted by any hint that nurses are educated professionals who save lives, that the ad might even work to undermine the claims of Kaiser's 45,000 nurses to adequate resources, persuading them that their highest aspiration is to endure the unendurable. In any case, the ad seems likely to reinforce the damaging female angel image of nursing in the minds of nurses and lay people alike. Some nurses love the ad; we guess it's hard to see what's wrong with a series of gushing compliments, especially when they play into what society has long told nurses sets them apart. But as long as nurses are defined solely by their "gargantuan heart all squishy with compassion thumping away"--yes, the ad script really says that--nurses will not get the respect or resources they need to save lives. We urge Kaiser to aim higher. more...
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. Since 2001, 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! See the full list...
XV International Research Nursing Conference
Encuentro Internacional de Investigación en Enfermería
November 16, 2011
October 10, 2011 -- The paperback edition of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk now sells for $11 from Barnes & Noble! Plus, the Kindle edition is priced at less than $7! The B&N Nook and Apple iBook are also available for $10. 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 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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