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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

January 31, 2020


  1. Ontario nurses urge resistant city leaders to equip police with naloxone 
  2. Pennsylvania nurses publish powerful opinion pieces to protect public 
  3. NPR on nursing as low-skilled tending 
  4. U.K. picture book gives kids a strong introduction to nursing 
  5. UMass nursing professor promotes health innovation—and nursing 
  6. Sign all our petitions: Grey's AnatomyGoogle/Ascension/Project Nightingale, NIH/NINRCardi B, The Good Doctor, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud

News Summaries


Ontario nurses urge resistant city leaders to equip police with naloxone 

In November 2019 the Windsor Star ran a good report about the persistent advocacy of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and its CEO to persuade the city of Windsor to have officers carry the opioid antidote, and to set up a safe consumption site for users, in order to reduce overdose deaths.

Recipient of a Best Public Health Advocacy by Nurses 2010-2019 Award

Doris Grinspun

Doris Grinspun

“Wait, wait, wait, did she just say that a registered nurse could provide better care than a physician?”

Pennsylvania nurses publish powerful opinion pieces to protect public 

A February 2019 op-ed in The Philadelphia Inquirer opposed the criminalization of health care errors, using the case of a Tennessee nurse to illustrate how system failures are often the main cause. And an April 2019 piece in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star urged reform to enable those who experience sexual assault to get care and forensic exams from the nurses who are the true experts.

Recipients of Best Public Health Advocacy by Nurses 2010-2019 Awards

Jason Jaewan Lee

Jason Jaewan Lee

Jocelyn Anderson

Jocelyn Anderson

A beautiful sentiment

On NPR’s “The Call-In,” nursing is just as hard as low-skilled tending can be! 

On Weekend Edition Sunday, several direct care nurses addressed the state of nursing. Unfortunately, what came across in the January 2018 piece was mostly the suffering angel stereotype, with no real sign that nurses are educated professionals who save lives. And professor Peter Buerhaus’s comments about understaffing and nurse practitioner care were damaging distortions.

Recipient of a Worst Reporting on Nursing 2010-2019 Award

Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Lulu Garcia-Navarro

Peter Buerhaus

Peter Buerhaus

Just as important as physicians

A 2017 U.K. picture book gives kids a strong introduction to nursing 

You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Nurses features lots of useful, substantive information about the history, diversity, and modern practice of nursing, without much stereotyping. The book doesn’t fully convey nursing autonomy or the value of nurse practitioners, and kids may find it more informative than compelling. But it’s probably the best children’s book about nursing that we’ve seen so far.

Recipient of the Best Kids' Book for Nursing 2010-2019 Award

You Wouldn't Want To Live Without Nurses cover

Inventing justice

UMass nursing professor promotes health innovation—and nursing

An August 2018 Forbes piece by Stephen Key spotlights three award-winning female inventors, including University of Massachusetts nursing professor Rachel Walker. Walker has created impressive inventions for cancer patients. But in this August 2018 piece, she also addresses the barriers nurses and patients face—and how to overcome them.

Recipient of a Best Coverage of Nurse Innovators 2010-2019 Award

Rachel Walker

Rachel Walker

Speaking engagements

See Sandy Summers in the UK in May 2020!

On May 12, 2020, Truth About Nursing founder and director Sandy Summers will appear at the University of Sheffield to address the question, "What are the best ways of informing and engaging the public about nursing"? This is part of a consensus development project of the Strategic Research Alliance, a joint effort of the University of Sheffield and The Royal College of Nursing, which aims to address the five most important questions facing nursing in the UK. Nurses will present their findings to a lay panel to initiate public policy changes, with the ultimate goal of strengthening UK nursing care. Please join Sandy there!

Univ of Sheffield and RCN

Planning a nurses week 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

Sign all of our petitions. Demand respect for nursing!

After 348 tries, Grey's Anatomy portrayed a nurse doing the nursing work of educating a patient. Encourage Grey's to continue and bring on more nurse characters to do the nursing instead of the surgeons who almost always do it.

Send a letter to NIH

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

Amy Schumer

Inside Amy Schumer used vicious anti-nurse stereotypes

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

Steve Harvey

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

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.

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.

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


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


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


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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