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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

November 22, 2019


  1. Now it's a biologist
  2. Don't let this be the top search result for "Nightingale"
  3. Association for Leadership Science in Nursing hosts panel with Truth director Sandy Summers at November UCLA conference
  4. Please list the Truth About Nursing as a charity to receive your donations on Giving Tuesday in two weeks. We need your support to advocate for the nursing profession. Thank you!
  5. Please let us know if you can join the planning committee for the Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing for our first meeting next summer!
  6. Sign all our petitions: Google/Ascension/Project Nightingale, NIH/NINRCardi B, The Good Doctor, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud

News Summaries

Don't let this be the top search result for "Nightingale"

New Google / Ascension project has already breached nursing’s data security 

According to news sources, Google has gotten access to the identified health data of some 50 million patients, without their knowledge, as part of an A.I. / machine learning project with Ascension. But as the whistleblower explained in a November 2019 op-ed, this presents real risks. One is to the nursing image, since the effort is known as “Project Nightingale”—a reference to the nursing pioneer known for using data to advance public health, not to amass wealth and power. 

Take Action!
Google and Ascension

Now it's a biologist

First a dentist was running the National Institute of Nursing Research. A biologist has now been appointed 

On November 14, 2019, the acting director of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), dentist Lawrence Tabak, announced that he was moving on to become acting director of the NIH's dental institute. But NIH director Francis Collins did not appoint a nurse to lead NINR. Instead, he chose the previous deputy acting director, biologist Tara Schwetz. At least NINR science director Jessica Gill, RN, PhD, will be the new acting deputy director of NINR! But a nurse like Dr. Gill should be heading NINR.

Tara Schwetz

Tara Schwetz, PhD

Francis Collins, MD
NIH Director

Speaking engagements

Association for Leadership Science in Nursing hosts panel with Truth director Sandy Summers at UCLA conference

November 22, 2019 - Truth About Nursing executive director Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH, appeared at the annual conference of the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing (ALSN) on a panel about improving public understanding of nursing. The three-day conference, held from November 7-9, 2019 at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), was aimed at clinical and academic nursing leaders. The three-person panel was moderated by David Bailey, RN, MSN, MBA, Chief Nursing Officer, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica. Also on the panel was nurse Johnese Spisso, President of UCLA Health, CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, and Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences. Ms. Spisso discussed nursing innovation at UCLA and why it is worthy of public attention. The third panel member was UCLA nursing professor MarySue Heilemann, an authority on the public image of nursing and a member of the Truth's advisory panel, who spoke on nursing in the public's imagination of nursing. Dr. Heilemann discussed her theories regarding gendered stereotypes of nurses and explained how rarely nursing depictions fall on the spectrum in between stereotypes, where real nurses reside. And Sandy Summers spoke on why the media matters to nursing, featuring some of the Truth's successes in changing the media over the years. She also gave the hospital and nursing school leaders advice on some concrete steps they might take to improve public understanding of nursing. We thank Joyce Batcheller, RN, DNP, FAAN for inviting Sandy Summers to the panel, as well as UCLA and the Association for Leadership Science in Nursing.

David Bailey

David Bailey, RN, MSN, MBA

Johnese Spisso

Nurse Johnese Spisso, CEO of UCLA Health Services

MarySue Heilemann

MarySue Heilemann, RN, PhD, FAAN

Sandy Summers

Sandy Summers, RN, MSN, MPH

Sign all of our petitions. Demand respect for nursing!

Send a letter to NIH

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

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.

Don't let this be a search result for "Nightingale. "New Google / Ascension project has already breached nursing’s data security.

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

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?


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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