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News on Nursing in the Media

April 17, 2017 edition

HEADLINES

Success!

Unskilled. Lowly. Servile.

Paul Krugman says nursing is "menial," not "cognitive," in blog post

Nobel-winning economist apologizes after nurses give cognitive feedback

Take Action!

You gotta keep the devil way down in the hole

London Free Press on firing of Ontario CNO for understaffing report

I want Nurse Kandy

Klondike sells Kandy Bars with clever naughty nurse stereotype

If something seems too good to be true...

Beware of fake conferences!

Publications:

Think about the future

New international text Nurses and Nursing leads off with chapter by Truth leaders

Do tell

American Nurse Today runs Truth leaders' second piece on educating the public about nursing

Speaking Engagements:

See Sandy April 27 in Winnipeg, Canada!

Press Coverage:

Get In

Minority Nurse highlights Truth's work to build understanding of nursing

What if there were a book that could transform and empower your nursing colleagues and friends?

Give a Nurses Week gift to friends, colleagues, or yourself!

Book Sandy Summers today for your event!

Let Sandy help your nurses and students fully embrace their autonomy to better protect patients! Watch a speech of Sandy giving the graduation speech at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She speaks widely to a variety of international nursing groups. Click here to see details and book her today!

We rely on your help to move forward on our mission. Thank you!

NEWS SUMMARIES

Success!

Unskilled. Lowly. Servile.

Paul Krugman says nursing is "menial," not "cognitive," in blog post

Nobel-winning economist apologizes after nurses give cognitive feedback

April 15, 2017 -- On February 24, Paul Krugman posted a short item on his New York Times blog listing "nurses" as one example of those who perform "menial work dealing with the physical world." The prominent Times columnist argued that such jobs will likely prove relatively resistant to technological displacement, contrasting them with work that has traditionally required college and observing that "the point about the relative displacement of cognitive versus manual jobs seems to stand." We're used to this sort of stereotyping from talk show hosts, late-night hostsHollywood producers, and other media figures. But Nobel Prize-winning economists whose work requires an awareness of labor markets? In fact, nursing is a distinct health science, and all nurses need several years of university education. Hundreds of thousands have graduate nursing degrees. Nursing includes complex drug calculations and patient surveillance as well as advocacy, teaching, public health, and other "cognitive" roles. Extensive research shows that better nurse staffing saves lives and improves patient outcomes. Most types of nursing do include physical tasks, and it remains common to assume that the most seemingly "manual" of those--touching a patient or cleaning up--are all the profession is. But even those tasks are linked to nurses' advanced skills, such as psychosocial care or assessing a critical patient's minute-to-minute status. For almost two decades, the world has suffered from a deadly nursing shortage driven in large part by the kind of stereotyping that Krugman's blog post exemplifies. Krugman teaches at the City University of New York's Graduate Center, and our thought was that his colleagues at the Graduate Center's Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing program--scholars with doctorates in nursing--could provide him with information about whether nursing is "menial." In any case, the Truth and a small group of supporters (who we rallied from our Facebook group) urged Krugman to publicly apologize, and yesterday he did so on his blog, explaining that he does in fact understand the level of cognition nursing requires! We thank Professor Krugman and urge him to go on to use his blog or column to explain the place of nursing in the economy, including the stresses that current health care financing systems place on the profession and the key role nurses can play in maintaining and expanding access to high-quality care. Click here to send a letter now to ask him to explain the economic value of nursing to the world, or read more here...

Take Action!

Vanessa BurkoskiYou gotta keep the devil way down in the hole

London Free Press on firing of Ontario CNO for understaffing report

June 17, 2016 -- Today the London Free Press (Ontario) ran a piece by Jonathan Sher reporting that the city's largest hospital had fired its chief nursing officer apparently because of her role as president of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO), which had recently issued a report criticizing denursification at the province's hospitals. The article relied on comments from RNAO chief executive Doris Grinspun, who called the move a "disgraceful" example of a hospital trying to intimidate a chief nursing officer. In addition, the fired CNO Vanessa Burkoski herself related how the London Health Sciences Centre's CEO had repeatedly offered her a cash settlement to resign quietly, which she declined to do. The report gave CEO Murray Glendining a chance to explain; he elected simply to confirm the separation. The piece might have included more about the RNAO report on the trend toward replacing nurses with less qualified staff, which costs lives because it takes skilled nurses to keep patients alive. And the article might also have discussed Burkoski's options in response to the firing as well as measures to protect whistleblowers generally. But on the whole, the report did a good job of highlighting the situation of nurses who protest the denursification of hospitals. We thank those responsible. Please sign our petition below to ask the Minister of Health to open an independent investigation into the termination of Dr. Burkoski! or read more here...

Klondike loversI want Nurse Kandy

Klondike sells Kandy Bars with clever naughty nurse stereotype

September 2014 -- Unilever introduced its new Klondike Kandy Bars with a television ad featuring a sexy candy bar "nurse" whose seduction of a Klondike ice cream bar "patient" ostensibly led to the birth of the new product. Although they seem to have stopped airing this month, the 1970s-themed "Nurse Candy" ads reportedly aired nationally in the U.S. over 5,700 times. In the 30-second spot, the nurse character wears a sexy nurse outfit complete with short white skirt and high heels. She seduces her patient right after spotting him in an examination room, purring, "I know how to make you feel better!" The ad then cuts to a modern live action scene in which a man seems to have proposed the scenario to his wife (it appears) to explain the genesis of the new product. The woman says she is "pretty sure that's not how they're made." But in the end an announcer assures us that the Klondike Kandy Bar is the "best ice cream bar ever conceived." Yes, it's an animated character, and the outfit Candy wears is not the naughtiest we've seen. On the other hand, the ad does not just feature a standard sexy nurse image, it also clearly implies that the "nurse" has actually seduced a patient practically on sight and had a baby with him. Even "jokes" have been shown to affect attitudes, particularly when directed at disempowered groups. This one reinforces the frequent association with female sexuality that has plagued nursing since even before the 1970s, degrading it in the public consciousness and undermining real nurses' claims to adequate resources and respect. Please join us in urging Unilever to avoid the naughty nurse in the future and to make amends to the nursing profession. more...

If something seems to good too be true...

Beware of fake conferences!

April 2017 - We have become aware that some companies have been advertising conferences in nursing and other fields that appear to be less designed to advance scientific understanding than they are to extract funds from unwary conference speakers and participants. In some cases it appears that the names of nursing leaders have been publicly associated with these bogus "conferences" even though the leaders are not even aware of it! This seems to be part of a global industry that also includes dubious "academic" publications. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating at least one company in connection with claims of fraudulent academic publication. Read more about this unfortunate phenomenon in a Science magazine article, in the Huffington Post and here. And be aware of your academic surroundings at all times! Thank you.

Publications:

Think about the future

New international text Nurses and Nursing leads off with chapter by Truth leaders

April 2017 - The exciting new textbook Nurses and Nursing: The Person and the Profession includes a chapter on nursing's image by Truth leaders Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers. Edited by Pádraig Ó Lúanaigh, RN, EdD, the thought-provoking new textbook from Routledge "draws on international contributors with a range of backgrounds to explore, engage with and challenge readers in understanding the many aspects and elements that inform and influence contemporary nursing practice." Our chapter is "Nursing's public image: Toward a professional future." We thank Dr. Lúanaigh for the opportunity to be a part of this important new project. Please consider this book for your classes in professionalism, nursing and society, and nursing leadership. Click here to request a free copy for review now! See more about the book here...

Do tell

American Nurse Today runs Truth leaders' second piece on educating the public about nursing

April 2017 - This month American Nurse Today, the official journal of the American Nurses Association, published a second substantial article by Truth About Nursing executive director Sandy Summers and senior advisor Harry Summers about improving nurses' media image. "Get creative about nursing" (pp. 46, 48-49) discussed a variety of practical ways nurses can strengthen the profession by creating their own media about it. Our first piece, "Let's take the lead in educating the public about nursing," published last year, explored ways to influence media created by others. We thank American Nurse Today!

Speaking engagements:

Winnipeg, Canada

April 27, 2017: Sandy Summers will be a featured speaker at the Manitoba Nurses Union's Annual General Meeting in Winnipeg!

Press Coverage:

Get In

Minority Nurse highlights Truth's work to build understanding of nursing

March 2017 - The cover story of Minority Nurse's Winter / Spring issue was Lynda Lampert's "Media Leads the Way: How the Truth About Nursing Is Changing the Perception of Nursing One Person at a Time." The article was a detailed look at the Truth's activities and views on the need to strengthen nursing and its image, featuring extensive commentary from executive director Sandy Summers. We thank Lampert and Minority Nurse for a such a strong piece!

Saving LivesImagine a world where nurses were fully empowered to protect patients

Get an author-signed copy of Saving Lives for you or a friend

Saving Lives is the transformative book acclaimed by nurses, nursing leaders, scholars, and the media. It can help your friends, colleagues, and students be the strong nurses our profession needs to protect patients from errors, injuries, and disease. See praise for Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk by leaders in nursing and the media as well as the awards it has earned, including three Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing and an award from Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. The updated second edition from Oxford University Press is now available! All donations and royalties go directly to support The Truth About Nursing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Thank you for your support!

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Let Sandy Summers help your nurses fully embrace their autonomy!

Patients deserve better protection. Let Sandy help your nurses and students fully embrace their autonomy to strengthen nursing care, reduce errors and improve care! Sandy just got back from speaking in Washington DC, Houston, New York, Iowa, and Vancouver, and gave the graduation speech at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She speaks widely to a variety of international nursing groups. Click here to see details and book her today!

Please help the Truth help nursing!

It has taken us many months to transition our website to its new mobile format. We hope you enjoy the new look! After this long transition, we will be working hard to catch up on different fronts, and we would really appreciate your help. Here are just a few ways you can help us improve global health through better understanding of nursing:

We rely on your help to move forward on our mission. Thank you!


THE TRUTH ABOUT NURSING challenges stereotypes and educates the world about the value of nursing. Better understanding that nurses are autonomous, college-educated science professionals will strengthen nursing care, education and research, allowing nurses to save more lives.


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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.


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book cover, Saving lives

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Donate $30 to the Truth now, and we will send you a copy of our leaders' newly released book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk. Both editions have won American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards and Saving Lives has also won an award from the international nursing honor society, Sigma Theta Tau. The book was written for nurses, the media, and members of the public around the world. Many nursing professors use it as a text to discuss nursing in society. The authors donate all royalties to the Truth About Nursing. Order today--paperback or digital--and we will send a copy out to you!