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The Center announces Saving Lives:
Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk

Dear Supporters,

The Center for Nursing Advocacy announces the publication of its leaders' new book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk. With striking examples and an irreverent style, the book explores nursing stereotypes from TV shows to the news media, and it explains how these images affect real-life decisions about nursing. The book also offers a comprehensive plan to help everyone improve nurses' image--and public health.

Saving Lives has already won high praise from many leaders in nursing and the media (see below). Written by Center executive director Sandy Summers and senior advisor Harry Summers, the 350-page book will be released by Kaplan Publishing on February 3, 2009. All royalties from the book go to the Center.

Order your copy of Saving Lives from the Center now! For each copy you order from us, your donation will allow us to send an additional copy of the book to an influential member of the media who needs to know what Saving Lives shows: how many media products damage public understanding of nursing. With your help, the media can learn that nurses are science professionals who play a vital role in improving health. That is knowledge that decision makers must have if nurses are to get the resources they need to resolve the global nursing shortage.

For a Center member donation (or renewal) of just $40, we'll send you a free signed hardback copy of Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk--a $25 retail value. And your $40 donation will allow us to send an additional copy of the book to a member of the media and support the Center's other activities. Books will be shipped on the release date, February 3, 2009.

Click here to order Saving Lives!

Advance praise for Saving Lives

     "Saving Lives provides a stunning exposé of the media's inaccurate portrayals of nurses and their work, and documents the impact this has on public health. It should be mandatory reading for journalists, script writers, producers, physicians, policymakers, the public, and anyone who perpetuates nursing invisibility and the often blasphemous representations of nurses' everyday heroism. There's no longer any excuse for media creators to fail to speak truth about the exquisite skill and essential contributions of nurses to safe, humanistic, intelligent health care."

     -- Diana J. Mason, RN, PhD, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Nursing, and co-host, HealthStyles, WBAI Radio

     "This wonderful book hits the reader in the heart and the mind. As a clinician it hit me hard, with a 'yes, I've been there' feeling. It still hurts. As an educator it struck me in a different way. Will my brilliant nursing students have to endure the same stereotypical images over and over again? But the book is not only evocative and educational; with a strong sense of hope, it points the way forward."

      -- Claire M. Fagin, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor Emerita, Dean Emerita, and Interim President Emerita, the University of Pennsylvania

     "Saving Lives is a fascinating in-depth look at how Hollywood and other media undermine nursing by feeding the public damning myths and derogatory views of nurses decade after decade. The book instills an awareness that will forever change the way the reader views nurses in the media. Reader take warning: you may be left with a strong desire to do something to change the system. Luckily, the authors tell you how."

     -- Echo Heron, RN, author of Intensive Care: The Story of a Nurse; Tending Lives: Nurses on the Medical Front; and the Adele Monsarrat medical mystery series

     "Why is watching Grey's Anatomy bad for you? Why is House a public health problem? Read this book and find out. Sandy and Harry Summers provide an insightful and often witty guide to the media's 'nursing problem.' They help us understand the consequences of the media's love affair with physicians and its failure to appreciate the critical work of nurses. This book is an important contribution to the study of nursing and health care."

     -- Suzanne Gordon, author of Nursing Against the Odds: How Health Care Cost Cutting, Media Stereotypes, and Medical Hubris Undermine Nurses and Patient Care, co-author of Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public

     "In this irreverent tour of the popular health media, Sandy and Harry Summers lift the cloak of invisibility from the health care professionals who are the front line of healing."

      -- Andrew Holtz, MPH, former CNN Medical Correspondent and author of The Medical Science of House, M.D.

     "Nurses are health scientists who save our lives every day, in countless ways. But most people, unless they've been hospitalized for an extended period, don't know that fact -- thanks to media portrayals of nurses as nothing more than bedpan jockeys, backrub dispensers, and passive handmaidens of brilliant physicians, in whose shadows nurses wilt. This important, long-overdue book vividly illustrates the dynamism and rigor of the nursing profession -- and explains in sobering detail how flawed media images of nursing affect the health of us all."

     -- Ronnie Polaneczky, Columnist, Philadelphia Daily News

     "I did not just 'read' Saving Lives; I could not put it down. With compelling prose and examples, the book reveals how the media has failed at portraying the profession of nursing. If you are a nurse you should be infuriated. If you are in the media you should be ashamed. Fortunately, the authors have included a 'tool box' that provides many ways to seek change."

     -- Richard Kahn, Independent Filmmaker and Producer, Lifeline: The Nursing Diaries; In Our Midst: The Long-Term Impact of Neonatal Intensive Care; and Frontline: Street Cop.

     "Saving Lives is a powerful indictment of how the media portrays nursing today. With astute yet playful analyses of products ranging from Hollywood sitcoms to elite news pieces, this book shows why the media has contributed to poor understanding, which has in turn fueled the global nursing shortage. But the authors also offer a compelling vision for the future, showing how everyone can help nurses lead the way to a new world of health and well-being. The change starts here."

     -- Nancy King Reame, RN, PhD, FAAN, Professor of Nursing, Columbia University, former contributor, iVillage, and co-author, Our Bodies, Ourselves

Information from the dust jacket of Saving Lives:

Popular TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, ER, and House lead people to think that nurses simply push gurneys, drive romantic plots, and provide a human backdrop for the real action. However, 12 million nurses worldwide know the real work of nursing is far more fascinating and important.

Written by the leaders of the Center for Nursing Advocacy, the organization at the forefront of challenging and changing representations of nurses, Saving Lives is destined to change the way people look at the essential role nurses play within the health care system. It explores the public's perception of nurses and spells out the greatest myths about nursing, drawing on examples from television shows, ads, news, and other media.

Saving Lives exposes the media's role in the nursing shortage and the enduring stereotypes that undermine the profession. But it is also a call to action. Saving Lives offers concrete steps to help nurses, and those who support them, educate the public about nursing.

For millions of people worldwide, nurses are the difference between life and death, self-sufficiency and dependency, and hope and despair. Nonetheless a lack of appreciation for nursing has contributed to a global shortage that is one of our most urgent public health crises. There are not enough nurses available to monitor patients, provide high-tech treatments, advocate for patients, and teach patients how to live with their conditions. Poor understanding of what nurses do undermines claims for adequate staffing, and leads to a lack of resources for nursing practice, education, and research. All of that means worse patient outcomes, including death.

Saving Lives is destined to change public perceptions, thereby empowering nurses and helping them get the resources they need to save lives.

Contact us to set up a book signing or speaking engagement

Donate $40 to the Center now
to get 1 signed hardback copy of Saving Lives for you--and allow us to send a copy to an influential media creator and have funds left over to support other Center activities! You will also get a one-year Center membership (or renewal). With your help, we can send the book to writers and producers of top television shows like Grey's Anatomy, House, Private Practice, ER and Scrubs, and producers of the network television news shows. We can send it to writers and editors at Reader's Digest, CNN, NPR, the New York Times, TIME, The Economist, the Associated Press, the Globe and Mail, the Wall Street Journal and many others. We can send it to local television affiliates, corporate advertisers, ad agencies, and so many others who must better understand how stereotypical images of nurses are undermining our ability to resolve the global nursing shortage. The more who donate to our book program, the more media creators can receive our message.

Feel free to suggest those you'd most like to receive copies of the book.

Thank you for your generosity and help in spreading the message that nurses save and improve lives!

To pre-order Saving Lives online, please click here.

Click here to order by regular mail.

If you order by January 27, 2009, your book will be sent on its release date, February 3, 2009. This member donation / renewal, minus the fair market value of the book, is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

To make a donation of a different amount or order different merchandise, please see our regular member donation page.

Thank you for supporting the Center's work!

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



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book cover, Saving lives

A Few Successes —
We Can Change the Media!

Educate the world that nurses save lives!

Save Lives. Be a Nurse. bumper sticker