The Nurse Practitioner: Nurses must speak up!
August 2003 -- This month's issue of The Nurse Practitioner features a rousing editorial by Editor-in-Chief Linda J. Pearson, RN, DNSc, decrying physicians' virtual monopoly on positive health care press coverage, and urging advanced practice nurses to take specific steps to ensure the media "honors" nurses. Dr. Pearson notes that most media reporting continues to give physicians the credit for health care successes, citing a recent CNN story on "brave surgeons" saving lives in Iraq with no mention of the nurses who were doubtless doing the same, an example of what Kalisch and Kalisch have termed the "Marcus Welby syndrome." Ms. Pearson argues that nurses have the numbers to counter "the power of money that organized medicine has to make physicians appear more valuable or critical in health care issues." She devotes the remainder of her piece to ways in which nurses can and must promote their critical work to the media: making calls, writing letters and op-ed pieces, and cultivating relationships with journalists. Buresh and Gordon's "From Silence to Voice" discusses these methods in great detail, and they have been important parts of the Center's own efforts as well. Ms. Pearson ends by reminding nurses that "[t]he power of the pen is awesome...Let us be heard!"
See Dr. Pearson's article: Help Honor the Profession.