News on Nursing in the Media
December 29, 2009 -- The Truth About Nursing announces its annual list of the best and worst media portrayals of nurses. This year featured the unprecedented appearance of three new nurse-focused shows on U.S. television, after no such show had appeared in more than 15 years. Showtime's Nurse Jackie, NBC's Mercy, and TNT's HawthoRNe each had flaws, but their relatively strong portrayal of skilled professional nurses advocating for patients placed them at the top of our "best" list. The far more popular veteran hospital dramas--ABC's Grey's Anatomy, Fox's House, and ABC's Private Practice--again led the "worst" list because of their continuing misportrayal of nurses as low-skilled physician helpers who are irrelevant to serious health care. The Awards highlight media portrayals from around the world that the Truth believes deserve attention, for better or worse, during the deadly nursing shortage. See the entire press release or go straight to the 2009 Truth About Nursing awards.
Media images of health care--like the ones on ABC's popular "Grey's Anatomy"--have an important effect on the nursing profession. Many nurses and nursing students feel frustrated when influential media products undervalue nurses. But how can we change what the media tells the public about nursing? Sandy Summers has led high-profile efforts to promote more accurate and robust depictions of nursing since 2001. She has shared her insights in dynamic presentations to groups across North America. She empowers nurses and teaches them how to shape their image into one that reflects the profession's true value. When nurses get the respect they deserve, they will attract more resources for nursing practice, education, and research, so we can resolve the nursing shortage. Sign Sandy up for your next conference, nurses' week celebration, or gala event! Click here for more details.
We need your help so we can pursue this mission together. We would be very grateful if you could make a donation--even if it is $5, $10 or $25. Any amount would be so helpful. Please click here to donate. Thank you!
Our new book Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk uses striking examples and an irreverent style to explore nursing stereotypes from TV shows to the news media. We hope every nurse will read it and consider the role the media plays in nursing today--and how we can improve the profession's public image. But the book also explains nursing in compelling terms to the public and decision-makers. We want as many non-nurses as possible to read it. Here are some ideas to spread the word about nursing and the media:
The Truth About Nursing is a Maryland non-profit corporation. We will soon apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) charitable organization status. If we receive 501(c)(3) status, then donations we receive (minus the fair market value of the book or any other member gift) will be tax-deductible as allowed by law.
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Thank you for supporting the Truth About Nursing's work!
Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH
The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA 21212-2937
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