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The Center ranks best and worst media portrayals of nursing for 2003

December 31, 2003 -- The Center for Nursing Advocacy has issued its list of the best and worst media portrayals of nursing during 2003. The list highlights a variety of depictions of nursing--from television to the print media, from fiction to news, and from Milwaukee to Malaysia--that the Center believes deserve recognition, for better or worse.

We offer congratulations to those responsible for items on the "best of" list and we encourage continued strong efforts from them. We are also reaching out to those responsible for items on the "worst of" list, in the hope that we can help them improve their treatment of nursing issues in 2004.

Golden Lamp Awards

The Ten Best Portrayals of Nursing in the Media 2003
Summary version

Click here for the full version of the awards

1. Angels in America, Directed by Mike Nichols, Screenplay by Tony Kushner, HBO, Dec. 2003-to date.

2. Newspaper columns, Ronnie Polaneczky, Philadelphia Daily News, Nov.-Dec. 2003.

3. "America's Biggest Health Care Crisis," John Pekkanen, and "One Day in Critical Care: A Nurse's Story," Anonymous, Reader's Digest, Sept. and Oct. 2003.

4. "A critical shortage: With nurses' ranks thin, scramble to fill shifts intensifies," and "Looking for a shot in the arm: Programs aim to make nursing more fulfilling, efficient," Joel Dresang, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Feb. 22 and 23, 2003.

5. RN: The Past, Present and Future of the Nurses' Uniform, Mark Dion and J. Morgan Puett, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, The Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, School of Nursing of the University of Pennsylvania, at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, October 2003-February 2004.

6. "At Hong Kong Hospitals, SARS Takes a Heavy Toll on Nurses," Keith Bradsher, The New York Times, May 8, 2003.

7. "Drawn to nursing care," Catherine Siow, The Star (Malaysia), Dec. 1, 2003.

8. Doctors Without Borders: Life in the Field: Cool Hand Luc, Producers Diane Best and David Wald, National Geographic Channel, July 2, 2003.

9. Television health expert appearances, Pat Carroll, CNN Headline News, May 2003, and Donna Cardillo, Weekend Today, NBC, October 4, 2003.

10. "Nurses brace for SARS," Kirsten Downey, The Washington Post, June 10, 2003.

Honorable Mention

"Whistleblower nurses stood bravely for cause," The Australian, December 19, 2003.

Overall coverage of nursing issues, National Public Radio, 2003.

"Nurse's gadget saves NHS millions," BBC News, U.K. Edition, October 24, 2003.

"Flexible hours ward off sickness," Raekha Prasad, The Guardian (UK), May 21, 2003.

Paul Flowers episodes, Scrubs, Executive Producer Bill Lawrence, NBC, January and February 2003.

Ten Worst Portrayals of Nursing in the Media 2003

1. "My Fifteen Seconds," episode of Scrubs, written by Mark Stegemann, Executive Producer Bill Lawrence, NBC, November 20, 2003.

2. "Dear Abby" and "Freefall," episodes of ER, written by R. Scott Gemmill and Joe Sachs, respectively, Executive Producers John Wells, Michael Crichton and Christopher Chulack, NBC, October 9 and November 20, 2003.

3. Passions, Executive Producer Lisa de Cazotte, NBC, March 2003-to date.

4. "Militant angels of mercy," Christie Blatchford, National Post (Canada), June 7, 2003.

5. "His and Her Body Test," The View, Executive Producer Barbara Walters, ABC, June 16, 2003.

6. Comments, Sara Edwards, entertainment reporter at WHDH (Boston NBC affiliate), as reported in "Smock-clad Sara Edwards nurses her role on 'ER,'" Boston Herald, February 12, 2003.

7. "The Long Goodbye," episode of Judging Amy, written by Barry O'Brien, Executive Producers Joseph Stern, Amy Brenneman, Connie Tavel, Alex Taub and Karen Hall, CBS, November 11, 2003.

8. "Secrets to a Happy (and Healthy!) Pregnancy," Leah Hennen; "Should I Call the Doctor?" Jessica Snyder Sachs; "Simple Truths All Moms Can Use," Barbara Rowley; Parenting, October 2003.

9. "How medical errors took a little girl's life," "From tragedy, a quest for safer care," Erica Niedowski, The Baltimore Sun, Dec. 14-15, 2003.

10. The Nurse, Bangkok, Thailand retail outlet of the Pacific Cigar Company, as described in various press pieces, July 2003.

Best Attempts to Remedy Negative Media Portrayals of Nursing 2003

Clairol Herbal Essences television commercial, Procter & Gamble, early 2003.

Lion Red advertising campaign, Lion Brewery (New Zealand), February 2003.

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