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News on Nursing in the Media


And the first shall be first

April 26, 2007 -- Today Regis Philbin returned to the "LIVE with Regis and Kelly" TV show following his cardiac bypass surgery at New York's Weill Cornell Medical Center. Just before Regis left in mid-March, co-host Kelly Ripa had repeatedly joked that she would act as his "sponge bath nurse" in a "little nursey costume," presenting an obvious "naughty nurse" image that infuriated nurses in the United States and Canada. The show has still not responded directly to the more than 700 nurses who have written to object, or acknowledged the damage Ripa's remarks did. But today's show did include a small apparent effort to make amends that, at least in its basic form, seemed to follow the advice of the Center and many nurses. The show brought five of Regis's nurses on and offered them generic expressions of gratitude, including Ripa's comment that the "doctors can't do it without" them--actually a damaging suggestion that the nurses' role is merely assistive. The seven-minute segment was utterly dominated by three physicians, particularly the two surgeons. The physicians did all the talking. They were praised as "brilliant" (by Regis) and among the best in the world (by guest David Letterman). Ripa even joked that Regis was scared to stand next to one surgeon because he was "God." The nurses did not have the chance to say even one word. So the segment powerfully reinforced the idea that nurses are noble but low-skilled physician handmaidens, a stereotype that is even more damaging than the naughty nurse, because it is so persuasive and prevalent. Sadly, the segment's effort to thank the nurses was so flawed that we believe nursing would have been better off without it. more...


CareSeek wants assess your colleagues

May 2007 -- Would you like a chance to review the care of your physician and APRN colleagues? CareSeek is creating a new web site to help patients learn how nurses rate the work of providers they know. You can help by completing a short survey--just click here! CareSeek was developed by the CEO and founder of the successful company MedSeek. Truth executive director Sandy Summers serves as an advisor to CareSeek. CareSeek values nursing input, and knows that the public trusts nurses. The company wants one million candid and fair nurse reviews of providers before its launch to the general public. Do you have a great provider colleague? Recommend her or him highly. Have a different view? Review accordingly. This site could give patients and their families vital health information that they are not getting today and enhance public awareness of nursing expertise. One topic in CareSeek's short survey is what incentives would encourage nurses to write reviews, and one option is to generate donations to charities including the Center. Complete the survey here!


"Is 'Quick' Enough?"

January 16, 2007 -- Today The Washington Post published another in a long line of major media pieces about the growth of retail-based clinics (RBCs), which offer a limited range of health services in places like Target and Wal-Mart. Such clinics are commonly staffed by nurse practitioners (NPs). Organized medicine has argued that RBCs do not provide adequate continuity of care, and that the NPs need physician supervision. This article, by physician Ranit Mishori, actually includes quotes from an NP who defends the model of care. However, her role in the piece seems more due to the fact that she is the manager of operations for the Washington, DC area MinuteClinics; her status as an NP is only revealed in a quote from her well into the piece. For its outside "expert" advice on the NP care at the clinics, the piece relies solely on comment from three named physicians, and physician groups. The piece consults no outside NP experts or nursing groups, and apart from a few of the MinuteClinic NP's comments, tends to suggest that the real issue is what the physicians who provide all important primary care make of this apparent threat to their practices. In fact, studies show that NPs themselves provide comprehensive primary care that is at least as good as that provided by physicians--the choice is not solely between RBCs and physicians. Thus, although this piece is clearly more balanced than some, it undervalues NP care. more...


"Rural doctors lament nurse shortage"

December 13, 2006 -- Today the Newcastle (New South Wales) section of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) site reported that a rural physician group says the "lack of new nursing recruits is jeopardising the health of patients at Scone Hospital." The Rural Doctors Association (RDA) notes that new nursing recruits are not going to rural areas, a problem it links to a lack of government resources for rural health. We commend the ABC for the report, and the RDA physicians for advocating for better nurse staffing on their patients' behalf. more...

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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