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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

October 31, 2019


  1. Cardi B does naughty nurse for Halloween 2019
  2. Washington Post obit for nurse Anna Mae Hays, the first female U.S. Army General 
  3. Business Insider piece on naughty nurse Halloween costumes relies on Truth director
  4. Sign all our petitions: Cardi B, The Good Doctor, NIH, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud
Cardi B

News Summaries

She bad

Cardi B does naughty nurse for Halloween 2019 

Rap star Cardi B wore a naughty nurse outfit for an October 26 performance, and then posted an image of it on Instagram, leading to massive media and online attention. Unfortunately, the image associates nursing with female sexuality, undermining the profession's claims to the respect and resources it needs to save lives. 

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Cardi B

A new protocol

Washington Post obit for nurse Anna Mae Hays, the first female U.S. Army General  

A 2018 Post obituary reports that Hays, chief of the Army Nurse Corps, became the U.S. military’s first female general in 1970. The piece has some good details about Hays’s advocacy for Army nurses and women in the military.

Anna Mae Hays
Anna Mae Hays

Press coverage

Business Insider piece on naughty nurse Halloween costumes relies on Truth director

October 31, 2019 - Today Business Insider posted a good piece by Allana Akhtar about nurses' objections to the "sexy nurse" costumes that remain popular at Halloween, including with rap star Cardi B. As the report explains, many nurses argue that such costumes suggest nursing is a low-skilled female profession and encourage sexual harassment in the workplace. The piece relies on Truth About Nursing executive director Sandy Summers, who notes that poor depictions of nurses also tell the public that nurses can't conduct valuable health care research; the piece cites the Truth's campaign protesting the recent appointment of a dentist as interim director of the National Institute of Nursing Research. Summers observes that "it doesn't take a college degree to provide somebody with sexual services." The item also relies on UCLA School of Nursing professor who emphasizes that such costumes promote stereotypes that are at odds with the reality that nursing is an advanced health science. We thank Allana Akhtar and Business Insider.

Business insider

Sign all of our petitions. Demand respect for nursing!

Cardi B needs education as to why the naughty nurse damages the nursing profession

Cardi B needs education as to why the naughty nurse damages the nursing profession

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"

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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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