A Convenient Untruth
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News on Nursing in the Media


A Convenient Untruth

June 2007 -- In the earnest sports movie Gracie, a New Jersey high school student (Carly Schroeder) is devastated when her brother is killed in a car accident. Gracie shares her brother's mad soccer skills, and she is determined to honor his memory by taking his place on their high school team. But this is the late 1970's. Gracie's chauvinist father (Dermot Mulroney) refuses to share his soccer expertise with her as he has with her brothers. She faces a parade of mocking peers and a resistant school. The story of Gracie's fight is conventional, and at times almost comically manipulative, forcing well-worn dramatic scenarios in whether they really fit or not. Still, the girl power theme would be all right if it did not use the character of Gracie's mother (Elisabeth Shue), a nurse, to show that past generations of ambitious women were stuck in dead-end loser jobs. But today, we learn, girls can actually achieve something worthwhile in work and in life. Yay. more...


You are responsible for the difference

June 29, 2007 -- Michael Moore's "Sicko" opened today in theaters across the United States. The movie examines the ground-level effects of the private health insurance system in the U.S., using a relatively restrained version of Moore's usual approach (i.e., it's not exactly balanced or nuanced). "Sicko" is physician-centric: It features extended interviews with physicians but none with nurses, it does not explain nurses' role in the system, and it fails to mention nurse practitioners. Yet it has been embraced and actively promoted by many nursing groups. Why? Because it is a powerful, sad, and funny indictment of a dysfunctional health care financing system that imperils the patients nurses try to protect and that undermines nursing practice and education. We urge everyone to see Moore's movie and consider what can be done. see the film's website...


Cookies for dinner

April 2, 2007 - Today The New York Times published a story by Reed Abelson about whether small, physician-owned specialty hospitals are able to handle health emergencies. "Some Hospitals Call 911 to Save Their Patients" raises some important questions. It discusses specific cases in which post-surgical patients have died after specialty hospital staff called emergency services to have the patients taken to full-service community hospitals. And it presents the arguments of critics that the specialty hospitals represent efforts to cherry-pick the most lucrative procedures without taking responsibility for possible complications--in effect, skipping right to the dessert of health care profits. But the piece ignores nursing almost completely, and repeatedly suggests that the main if not the only issue is whether the specialty hospitals have physicians on the premises. This suggests that nurses play no critical role in handling such emergencies--unless you count calling the physicians. In fact, skilled nurses are at least as important as physicians in emergency care, and pieces like this should focus as much attention on the quality of nursing care available at specialty hospitals. more...


New Center FAQ:

Q: You want a career in science? Then why are you applying to nursing school?

A:  Nursing is a science.

It's understandable that many would not include nursing in the category of "scientific" fields. Too few people outside of nursing know that the profession requires years of intense college-level science education. Few know that nursing awards degrees including the Bachelor of Nursing Science, the Master of Science in Nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Science. And too few know that, like physicians, nurses use the scientific method to resolve complex health problems, and that their work draws on disciplines including biology, chemistry, and psychology. Nurses engage in evidence-based scientific practice to advance the health of individual patients and entire communities. And nursing journals publish ground-breaking scientific research on topics ranging from forensics to the prevention of neonatal infections. more...


Poetry magazine RATTLE plans a special issue on nursing -- submit your entry!

The California-based poetry magazine RATTLE plans to include a tribute to nursing in its Winter 2007 issue. RATTLE seeks poetry and essays by its August 1 submission deadline. Poetry: The tribute section will feature poetry written by nurses. Poems need not necessarily be written about nurses, but they must be written by nurses. Essays: RATTLE wants to publish a series of short essays on the relationship between poetry and healthcare. How does practicing nursing affect your writing? Does writing affect the way you practice nursing? Does there seem to be a relationship between healing and writing? RATTLE is also interested in essays that might profile a specific historical nurse-poet. more... and submit your entry!


Are you a man in pediatric nursing, or do you know someone who is?

June 25, 2007 -- A psychology professor seeks to interview a man who is a pediatric nurse for a profile in a lifespan development textbook. The professor would prefer a nurse who works with adolescents. The textbook is read by undergraduate students, often nursing majors or those who are undecided, who would like to know more about nursing. If you are or know of such a nurse, please email Kristine Anthis, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Southern Connecticut State University, at anthisk1@southernct.edu. Thank you.

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The Center promotes better understanding of nursing, so nurses can do their work. But just like nurses, we need financial support to do our work. The long-term sustainability of the Center depends on it. If you appreciate our work, would you be able to chip in to help us continue? Our current situation requires that key staff donate many hundreds of hours to the Center every year, at great cost to themselves and their families. Please do your part to help us out. Thank you!

The Center's global media monitoring, analysis and advocacy is a huge challenge. It takes extensive research, writing, communication, and Internet efforts. We must pay for office equipment, supplies, transportation, Internet products, insurance, postage and telephone costs. Our office is donated by our staff. And our staff can undertake only a small part of the work that needs to be done to improve nursing's image.

So we urge you to make a donation to help us continue and expand our work. Just click here to learn about the great gifts you can receive for joining or renewing your Center membership, including our cool t-shirts and the Archie McPhee nurse action figure! It's quick and easy! And because the Center is a 501(c)(3) charity, your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Thank you for all of your support over the past year. You are the reason we've had a real impact on public understanding of nursing worldwide. Together, we can strengthen nursing, and give patients the kind of health care they deserve in 2007 and beyond!

Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
Executive Director
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
office 1-410-323-1100
fax 1-410-510-1790


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