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News on Nursing in the Media


Expert and novice

March 10, 2008 -- One cover story in this week's issue of TIME was John Cloud's "The Science of Experience." Its basic idea is that we should not conclude John McCain or Hillary Clinton would be better presidents than Barack Obama simply on the basis of their longer experience, because research indicates that even far greater experience does not necessarily lead to better results. The piece uses examples from different fields, but by far the most prominent is its account of simulations in which both a new nurse and a veteran nurse failed to save a crashing "patient." Some have faulted the piece for this seemingly negative view of nurses. And it might have been helpful for the report to note whether any nurses would be capable of saving the patient. But the piece's physician example is also impliedly negative, suggesting experienced attendings are "no more accurate" than interns at predicting end-of-life preferences, even when they've known the elderly patients in question far longer. The piece seems to confuse true novices with less experienced experts, and it arguably suggests that experts are no better than novices in such fields generally, which is plainly wrong. However, the piece clearly conveys that experienced nurses are experts, that nursing is a field in which humans can reach high levels of skill. It places nursing alongside medicine, chess, and Nobel-worthy endeavors. Even the description of the simulation the two nurses failed shows how complex, exciting, and consequential nursing is--lives are at stake. more...


Let's "celebrate the ladies who give lollipops and band aids" with a Nurse Nancy bracelet!

March 18, 2008 -- Earlier this month, New York State Nurses Association CEO Tina Gerardi alerted us to an Angela Moore jewelry catalog she received in the mail that featured "Nurse Nancy" bracelets and necklaces. The jewelry is composed of four different types of balls. One ball features a smiling rosy-cheeked nurse in white uniform and cap giving a balloon to a girl (right). A second ball has a ladybug next to a stethoscope. The third ball features a nurse's cap with a thermometer and the fourth ball has a stuffed bear holding flowers next to a lollipop. The text in the catalog asked readers to buy the "Nurse Nancy" jewelry to "celebrate the ladies who give lollipops and band aids a whole new meaning." Ms. Gerardi, an Angela Moore customer, asked the jewelry maker to modify the name, design, and catalog description of the jewelry. The company agreed only to change the description--but they did so right away. more...


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.

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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