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Join our "ER" Sponsors Campaign!

March 3, 2005 -- The Center's "ER" sponsors campaign moves into phase 2 today, as we ask our supporters to start contacting major corporations to ask them to stop advertising on "ER" until the show ends its damaging handmaiden portrayal of nursing. Learn more below, or click
here to take action now.

Why is this campaign important?

It is important to join this campaign because research shows that school kids get their strongest impression of nursing from "ER" and they think nursing is a lowly technical job--just as "ER" portrays nursing to be. People think "ER" is real, but they have physician characters doing the work nurses do in real life (defibrillation, triage, patient education, emotional support, discharge planning, medication administration and supervising nurses). Since "ER" has basically refused to listen to nurses' concerns for the last three years, we need the sponsors to help us send the message that "ER" is spreading damaging misinformation about nursing. When the public thinks nursing has little value, decision-makers are unlikely to fund nursing clinical practice (which is why we have short-staffing), education or research. We need to educate the world about what nurses do to save lives and improve patient outcomes.That begins with "ER," the most influential purveyor of the handmaiden image of nursing. Please join our "ER" sponsors campaign! Thank you. How to proceed:

If you would like to learn more about our long-standing "ER" campaign, please go to our "ER" Action Center. Otherwise, let's go!

Step One:

We have been able to get email addresses for five of the 24 corporations. Please click here to email American Express, H&R Block, McDonald's, Sprint and PepsiCo. You can send them our instant letter or one of your own.

Step Two:

We are starting off with just half of the sponsors this week, so as not to overwhelm you. Next week, we will give you the second half of the sponsor list.

Since most corporations tightly guard the email addresses of their executives, we will need to contact most of them by phone, snail mail or fax. We realize that this takes time but our "ER" campaign is our most important campaign ever.

FAQ: It's too intimidating to call these executives by phone. Where will I get the chutzpah to do that?

A: We do have snail mail and fax options for you below. But reaching decision makers on the telephone is a powerful way to get across your message. Many times, decision makers act based on just 10 phone calls or letters. Be one of those 10. Don't assume others will call or write--we need you. Personal interactions have more power. As nurses, we are first and foremost patient advocates--it drives the rest of our practice. Creating accurate media images of nursing increases public understanding of nursing, which increases funding and staffing for nursing and ultimately improves patient care. We must not let the producers and physicians who write and advise for "ER" continue to paint damaging images of our profession. Our patients are depending on us to build a stronger profession. No one else is going to do it for us--or them. Think of the last patient you had who suffered because nursing was undermined and undervalued, and find the courage we know is in you. We can do it!

What to say when you call or write

How to proceed

Advertiser contact list

What to say when you call (or write):

Give people the basics:

1) You are a nurse, nursing student or nursing supporter;
2) You're upset about "ER"'s portrayal of nursing;
3) Please stop advertising on "ER."

If they seem inclined to listen longer, mention:

Nearly all causes of the nursing shortage can be traced back to public misunderstanding about nursing (driven by "ER"'s believable but inaccurate images). When society doesn't know what nurses do or why it is important, they don't have any reason to fund nursing clinical practice, education or research. Patients die when nurses are understaffed (specifically 31% more when a nurse's workload is doubled) and research also shows that short-staffing drives nurses from the profession. The nursing shortage is already a global health crisis and it's only predicted to worsen over the next two decades. We need "ER" to present accurate images of nursing so the world will begin to understand why nursing needs more public support--real support in terms of actual funding--not lip service.

What does "ER" do that's so inaccurate?

"ER": Physicians hire, fire and manage nurses.
Reality: Nurses hire, fire and manage nurses.

"ER": Physicians defibrillate, triage, give medications, educate patients how to tackle their health problems, provide emotional support and plan patient discharge.
Reality: Nurses defibrillate, triage, give medications, educate patients how to tackle their health problems, provide emotional support and plan patient discharge.

"ER": The show has about 10 major physician characters but only one nurse.
Reality: Level one trauma centers like that on "ER" have as many nurses as physicians.

"ER": Physician training is a huge focus, and nurse training does not exist.
Reality: Highly skilled nursing requires years of training and experience.

"ER": Nurses pursue graduate education only in medicine.
Reality: U.S. nurses are 50 times more likely to pursue graduate education in nursing.

"ER": Physicians provide all significant care and receive all credit for outcomes.
Reality: Nurses save lives and greatly improve patient outcomes.

How to Proceed:

If your last name starts with A-H, please start contacting people at the beginning of the list and work down. If your name starts with J-R, please start with Kellogg's and work down, (then come back and start at the top). If your name starts with S-Z, please start with Merck and work down, (then come back and start at the top). This way, if not everyone is able to do the whole list, we will have spread out our impact. When you have finished, please let us know what you have done. And please don't miss steps 3, 4 and 5 below. Thank you!

Advertiser Contact List--Part I

DaimlerChrysler Corporation (recently had five Jeep and Chrysler advertisements)

Mr. Joe Eberhardt
EVP Global Sales, Marketing and Service, Chrysler Group
DaimlerChrysler Corporation
1000 Chrysler Dr.
Auburn Hills, MI 48326-2766
Fax: 248-576-4742
Web form

Eli Lilly (recently advertised Cialis)

Mr. Steven R. Plump
VP, Global Marketing and Sales
Eli Lilly and Company
Lilly Corporate Center
Indianapolis, IN 46285
Fax: 317-277-6579

Kellogg's (recently had three advertisements)

Ms. Diane Backus
Chief Marketing & Customer Officer
Kellogg USA Inc.
1 Kellogg Square
Battle Creek, MI 49016-3599
Direct Phone to Diane Backus: 269-961-2382

Honda Motor Co. (recently had three advertisements)

Mr. Tom Peyton
Senior manager Honda national advertising
Honda Motor Co.
1919 Torrance Blvd.
Torrance, CA 90501
Marketing dept. phone 310-783-2000 (PST) Ask for Tom Peyton's office
Fax 310-781-4280

Merck (recently advertised Vytorin (cholesterol lowering agent))

Mr. Christopher Loder
Media Relations
Merck & Co., Inc.
1 Merck Dr.
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100
Christopher Loder's direct Phone: (908) 423-3786

Schering-Plough (recently advertised Nasonex)

Ms. Mary Fran Faraji
Product Global Communications
Schering-Plough Corporation
2000 Galloping Hill Rd.
Kenilworth, NJ 07033-0530
Mary Fran Faraji's direct line 908-298-7109

Victoria's Secret (recently had three advertisements)

Ms. Tracy Appiah
Marketing Manager
Victoria's Secret
3425 Morse Crossing
Columbus, OH 43219
General Phone: 614-337-5000 ask for Tracy Appiah (pronounced "ah-pee-ah")
Fax: 614-337-5075

Step Three:

After you have made your calls and sent your letters, please let us know what you have done so that we can keep track of the impact of your outreach (we will know if you sent the email letter, but nothing else). If no one tells us what she/he did, we will think nothing was done. We need to know how many letters, calls and faxes the campaign generated so we can put that in our next press release. Thank you.

Step Four:

Please ask your colleagues, nursing organizations, listservs, bulletin boards, friends, and family to join our "ER" campaign. We need the widest possible reach on this campaign, so please help us get the word out. Please send your contacts the first two paragraphs of this page and its URL <>, which explains what the campaign is and why they should join it.

Step Five:

If you would like to be notified of any tangible results of our campaign, please sign up for our free news alerts. Given our limited resources and technology, we can only contact letter-writers through the news alerts system. Thank you.

Thank you very much for your work in creating a more positive image for the nursing profession!!

Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21212-2937

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