News on Nursing in the Media
November 2007 -- Johnson & Johnson has begun running a new set of television ads as part of its massive Campaign for Nursing's Future, whose stated goal is to address the nursing shortage. The two new 30-second spots do not abandon the emotional, soft-focus helping imagery that marred the Campaign's previous ads, particularly in the use of more gooey lite music with lyrics about being "born to care." But both ads also do important things the Center urged the company to do in its analysis of the previous ads. They make clear that nurses save lives and improve outcomes, even offering some specific examples, like defibrillation. One ad pays tribute to nurse educators. And both continue the Campaign's admirable focus on promoting workforce diversity. We thank J&J for ads that do a better job of showing the public that nurses are not just angelic hand-holders. more...
October 25, 2007 -- Viewers of tonight's season premiere of NBC's "Scrubs" did not just miss the nurses that the show mostly ignores. Viewers also missed two "nurses" who no longer appear in an amusing new set of ads for Dos Equis beer, one of which ran during the sitcom. The ads, made by ad agency Euro RSCG, are mock-serious tributes to a character presented as "the most interesting man in the world." This man's "blood smells like cologne," his "beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man's entire body," and he bench-presses two chairs in which sit attractive, giggly women in short dresses--women who are no longer dressed as nurses. That's because the Center appealed to an independent board that handles such protests for Dos Equis maker Heineken. We argued that the ads were inconsistent with specific marketing standards of the company and the Beer Institute. The panel, which included former Vice Presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, agreed that the ads should be changed. So Heineken digitally altered the women's clothing to remove the nursing identifiers, frame by frame. We thank the Heineken for doing so, especially since we understand it hopes to use variations of the ads for years to come. The appearance of the ad on the physician-centric "Scrubs" shows how far we still have to go in persuading the media to present a fair portrait of nursing. But it also shows that persistent advocacy can influence how the media treats the profession. more...
Please consider the wide variety of things we can do to help resolve the nursing shortage, and meet the challenges of 21st Century health care, by increasing public understanding of nursing. Here are just a few:
Encourage others to get involved by:
Read From Silence to Voice, which is nursing's manual on how to speak out about the life-saving work that nurses do. It is important for the health of our profession that you tell everyone you know about the value of your work.
Doing a presentation on nursing's image? Get some film clips here.
Monitor the media and alert us to noteworthy portrayals of nursing. Set your DVR, TiVo or DVD recorder to record every time you watch television. If you see a nursing portrayal you'd like us to consider covering, let us know.
Start a health radio show, like HealthStyles with Diana Mason & Barbara Glickstein. Do health minutes and work to become a local health correspondent for television and radio news programs, like television commentator and author Pat Carroll.
Start a Nurse Shadowing Program for medical students and interns at your hospital or school. We must educate physicians as to the nature of nursing work so they can play a more positive role in creating nursing-related media, and so we can develop more collaborative relationships, which lead to better patient outcomes. See a sketch of a nurse shadowing program at Dartmouth.
Letter-writing campaigns--please write a letter for each of our campaigns.
Last but not least, please become a member of the Center. We need your financial support to make our work happen. Thank you!
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
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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