News on Nursing in the Media
April 22, 2007 - The April 15 issue of PARADE magazine included a careers feature that listed "registered nurses" as one of "The Hottest Jobs (No College Degree Required)," rather than in the category of hot jobs "For College Grads." PARADE is included in many U.S. Sunday newspapers, and it has a readership of some 80 million people. The magazine's description of nurse training was very misleading. The great majority of nurses have at least an associate's degree from a college (which typically takes three full years to earn). About half of nurses now have at least a bachelor's degree. And the few hospital-based diploma programs that remain require three years of college-level training. The PARADE item brought a swift response from nurses on the magazine's web site, and from nursing leaders including Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, president of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), and Teri Mills, RN, MS, ANP, who seeks to establish an Office of the National Nurse. As a result, by April 19 the PARADE site included an expression of regret that nurses had been included on the list, along with a note that most do have college degrees. Nursing was also removed from the online version of the hot job list. Unfortunately, it appears that there will be no correction in PARADE itself, and we assume relatively few of the people who saw the original item will see the web site clarification. We fear such items will continue to appear and mislead the public as long as there are several paths to nursing entry, and perhaps as long as entry does not require at least a bachelor's degree. But this story does at least show that vigorous advocacy can help nurses address the undervaluation that feeds many of the profession's current problems. more...
April 25, 2007 -- Today's Baltimore Sun featured a column by Laura Vozzella about a poll taken by Baltimore City firefighters on thewatchdesk.com that asked which local hospital had the "hottest" nurses. Vozzella's bemused piece suggests that this is a curious way for at least 146 responding firefighters to be spending their time, given that the department has recently been criticized for a fatal training exercise and that unions are calling for its chief to resign. But she also explains why nurses might have a problem with the poll's implied suggestion that they are all about sexiness, relying heavily on comment from Truth executive director Sandy Summers. We thank Laura Vozzella for the column. more...
April 26, 2007 -- Today Regis Philbin returned to "LIVE with Regis and Kelly" following his bypass surgery. Since Kelly Ripa made her "nursey-poo" / "spongebath" comments in mid-March, we have sent your 700 letters (thank you!) to the show by fax and priority mail. We have also been urging the show to make amends for Ripa's comments by telling viewers that nurses are not brainless sex toys, perhaps by explaining what they did to keep Regis alive during and after his surgery. Today, the show made a vague nod in that direction, but its efforts were so problematic that they arguably leave nurses even worse off. We will post a full analysis soon, but in the meantime we note that the show did bring on four of Regis's nurses. However, they were able to say nothing--not one word--and the show told viewers nothing about what they actually did. Instead, the show spoke extensively with several of Regis's physicians about their work, suggesting that they provided all the significant skilled care, and confirming the idea of nurses as mute servants that so many television shows promote. Ripa noted that "we owe you a great deal of gratitude...and ... that doctors can't do it without all of you," but this does nothing to convey what nurses really do or why her prior comments were a problem. There was no apology. Please increase the pressure on the show by sending more letters, or by calling Barbara Warren, the PR director of the show, at 212-456-0417. Urge the show to let Regis's nurses actually talk about what they did to save his life, and to let nurses explain why Ripa's comments were so damaging. Click here to send a letter!
November 4, 2006 -- Today the Manila Standard ran a short item by Jaime Pilapil reporting that Philippines Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno had issued a directive barring the use of "the nurse's uniform by waitresses, sauna attendants and even entertainers," in an apparent effort to reduce the harm caused by widespread "naughty nurse" imagery. We agree that the constant flow of images associating nursing with sex inhibits nursing practice, and makes it harder for nurses to get the resources they need, as we noted in recent discussions about the Heart Attack Grill in Arizona. But we can't agree that making such conduct unlawful is the answer, except where it poses a more direct threat to public safety, as where the public would be likely to think that a non-nurse really was a nurse (the problem addressed by protected title statutes). We simply ask people like these business owners and their customers to consider the effects of their commercial actions on nursing. In any case, the Manila Standard item shows how influential the naughty nurse stereotype remains across the world. more...
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The Truth About Nursing
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