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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

October 20, 2019


  1. Castle Rock resurrects legendary battle-axe Annie Wilkes from Misery
  2. On The Good Doctor, physicians do everything and nurses rarely appear
  3. The New Yorker on why we’re “perpetually short” of nurses
  4. Sign all our petitions:
    The Good Doctor, NIH, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud

Castle Rock
The Good Doctor

News Summaries

Heaven knows we're Miseryable now

Castle Rock resurrects legendary battle-axe Annie Wilkes 

For its second season starting in October 2019, Hulu’s Stephen King series is adding Annie Wilkes, the murderous nurse who imprisoned and tortured her favorite novelist to make him keep her favorite character alive. In Misery, the Wilkes character linked female nursing authority with malevolence and otherness. She has a new plotline here, so we’re sure it will be fine. 

Castle Rock

My beautiful dark twisted fantasy

On ABC’s The Good Doctor, physicians do everything and nurses rarely appear 

The first season of the hit hospital drama from David Shore (House), which aired in 2017-2018, features a surgical resident with autism and savant syndrome. The show challenges some social stereotypes, but at the same time, it strongly reinforces the stereotype that nurses are low-skilled physician lackeys who are barely involved in hospital care. 

Take Action!
The Good Doctor

The currency of care

The New Yorker on why we’re “perpetually short” of nurses 

James Ledbetter’s “Currency” feature from November 2015 examined the causes of chronic U.S. nursing shortages, rightly focusing on insufficient resources for education and the demands of nursing practice. But it did not place enough emphasis on other key factors, such as nurse understaffing and the undervaluation that drives it.

The New Yorker--Currency of Care

Sign all of our petitions. Demand respect for nursing!

Send a letter to The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor strongly reinforces the stereotype that nurses are low-skilled physician lackeys who are barely involved in hospital care.

Send a letter to NIH

Why is a dentist directing nursing research funded by the US government?

Ratched petition

Netflix and Ryan Murphy plan two-season TV origin story for Nurse Ratched, one of the most damaging anti-nurse stereotypes in history, releasing this fall.

Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer used vicious anti-nurse stereotypes

Steve Harvey

Family Feud uses naughty nurses and battleaxes as a mainstay of its "jokes"

We can turn $5/month into a more empowered nursing profession. Join us?

Press coverage

Business Insider gives worldwide coverage to Truth's campaign for nurse to lead NINR

September 13, 2019 – Today Business Insider posted a piece by Allana Akhtar about nurses’ objections to the recent appointment of non-nurses as interim leaders of NINR. The article was “The US government just appointed a dentist and a biologist to head the National Institute of Nursing research – a nurses are furious.” The US story soon appeared in the NetherlandsIndiaAustralia, Germany and China. Truth director Sandy Summers was quoted as saying that the appointment wrongly suggests non-nurses can lead nurses and “damages public understanding of the nursing profession [by sending] a message nurses are not college-educated science professionals.” The piece also included quotes from Doris Carroll, the Illinois nursing union leader who founded Nurses Take DC. And the article included a response from NIH, with a helpful link to the application page for the NINR permanent director position. We thank Allan Akhtar and everyone responsible.

Business insider


Planning your curriculum?

We have ideas

Many nursing professors rely on the extensive and varied materials on the Truth's website to help their students engage with critical issues nurses will face in the future, from their public image to key aspects of nursing education, practice, and advocacy. Since 2001, we have explored and analyzed how the global media and society in general has seen the nursing profession. Join your colleagues and use this material to help plan your curriculum! Please consider some of these ideas... 

Curriculum planning

Speaking Engagements

Having an event? Book the Truth About Nursing's founder and executive director today!

Let Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, empower your nurses and help them fully embrace their autonomy!

Patients deserve better protection. Let Sandy help your nurses and students fully embrace their autonomy to strengthen nursing care, reduce errors and improve care! Sandy speaks widely to a variety of international nursing groups. Click here to see details and book her today!

Sandy Summers


How can nurses become fierce advocates?

Sandy Summers delivered an empowering message to new graduates at graduation speech at Widener University's Nightingale ceremony last week

In a short, compelling address, Sandy Summers welcomes new graduates to the field of nursing and inspires them to become fierce patient advocates--to put patients' interests first. Sandy explains her holistic vision of nursing advocacy and shares strategies to help nurses find their voices. She highlights areas in need of our advocacy and offers perspectives on how to overcome the resistance we meet when we challenge the world to do better. Nursing advocacy saves lives, and our patients need us to do it. So please join Sandy and let’s get started!

Widener University


Imagine a world where nurses were fully empowered to protect patients

Get an author-signed copy of Saving Lives for you or a friend

Saving Lives is the transformative book acclaimed by nurses, nursing leaders, scholars, and the media. It can help your friends, colleagues, and students be the strong nurses our profession needs to protect patients from errors, injuries, and disease. See praise for Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk by leaders in nursing and the media as well as the awards it has earned, including three Book of the Year awards from the American Journal of Nursing and an award from Sigma Theta Tau, the International Honor Society of Nursing. The updated second edition from Oxford University Press is now available! All donations and royalties go directly to support The Truth About Nursing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Thank you for your support!

Saving Lives book cover

Think about the future

New international text Nurses and Nursing leads off with chapter by Truth leaders

The exciting new textbook Nurses and Nursing: The Person and the Profession includes a chapter on nursing's image by Truth leaders Sandy Summers and Harry Jacobs Summers. Edited by Padraig O Luanaigh, RN, EdD, the thought-provoking new textbook from Routledge "draws on international contributors with a range of backgrounds to explore, engage with and challenge readers in understanding the many aspects and elements that inform and influence contemporary nursing practice." Our chapter is "Nursing's public image: Toward a professional future." We thank Dr. Luanaigh for the opportunity to be a part of this important new project. Please consider this book for your classes in professionalism, nursing and society, and nursing leadership. Click here to request a free copy for review now! See more about the book here...

Nurses and Nursing book cover

Change the world with us!

Your support is what makes it possible for us to improve public understanding of nursing -- one media image at a time. Please make a generous donation today. Thank you!

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