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News on Nursing in the Media


A Nursing Morality Play in 3 Acts

August 28, 2007 -- Today The New York Times ran "Code Blue: A Medical Morality Play in 3 Acts," by physician Larry Zaroff (right), a regular contributor to the Times who now teaches medical humanities at Stanford. The "Cases" piece includes physician-centric descriptions of a 1961 incident in which Zaroff helped to save the life of a cardiac patient--a man who later showed little appreciation. Center director Sandy Summers sent Dr. Zaroff a detailed analysis of the piece. She explained that it presented nurses as peripheral physician subordinates and suggested that Zaroff alone saved the patient, effectively giving him credit for nursing work. Dr. Zaroff's short but extraordinary response did not hide behind feeble excuses. Instead, Dr. Zaroff acknowledged the error, apologized, and noted that nurses are "the most vital part" of patient care because they "make the first decision," and have often alerted him to key problems of post-surgical ICU patients before residents were aware of them. We thank Dr. Zaroff, and we hope his and other future media accounts of care will reflect the fair-minded approach in his response to us. more...


Law and ethics

April 12, 2007 -- Today The Sun-News (Myrtle Beach, SC) ran a short Associated Press piece reporting that some North Carolina nurses are seeking to bar nurses from participating in executions in the state. Although the state's medical association was reportedly able to bar physicians from such participation simply by issuing an ethics policy--effectively halting the state's capital punishment system and provoking a lawsuit by the state--the state's nursing board says it can't make such a move without a change to the Nursing Practice Act. Although the piece might have pursued these issues further, we thank the Sun-News and the AP for highlighting them. more...


Stormy weather

August 12, 2007 -- Today The Washington Post ran a good story by Matt Zapotosky about efforts by nurses to address climate change as an important public health issue. The piece quotes nurses from the University of Maryland and the American Nurses Association, who argue that global warming can affect nurses' patients in profound ways. These include an increase in heat-related conditions and the aftermath of storms like Hurricane Katrina. We thank Zapotosky and the Post for helping the public see nurses as engaged public health professionals and advocates. more...


Today's Healthstyles at 1 pm EST

September 14, 2007 -- Today's Healthstyles program with hosts Diana Mason and Barbara Glickstein will include an interview with Maryann Napoli, deputy director of the Center for Medical Consumers, discussing topics in the upcoming issue of Healthfacts, the Center for Medical Consumers' acclaimed newsletter. Following will be a discussion of the privitization of hospice care with Catherine Dodd, RN, PhD, former chief of staff of the home office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Sign up for our free weekly alerts, so you can remember to tune in to the show on time. Please email us at with a subject line "subscribe HealthStyles alert."


Today's Health in 30 at 5:30 pm EST

September 14, 2007 -- Today joining Barbara Ficarra to discuss the vital care of school nurses will be Dale Parent, President of the CA School Nurses Association, Donna Mazyck, President of the National Association of School Nurses, Amy Garcia, Executive Director of the National Association of School Nurses, and Nancy Spradling Executive Director California School Nurses Organization. Sign up for our free weekly alerts, so you can remember to tune in to the show on time. Please email us at with a subject line "subscribe Health in 30 alert."


Check out our Action page!

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:

  • Creating bulletin boards at your workplace by posting our analyses or news alerts;
  • Starting a chapter in your hometown.

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.

Blog about your experiences practicing nursing.

Create, read or support nurse-friendly media and art.

Wear the RN patch on your uniform.

Register with our nurse expert database.

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!

See other ways you can get involved on our full action page!


Invest in your future

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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