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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

March 18, 2020


  1.  L.A. Times on covid-19’s terrible toll on Wuhan health workers

  2.  Hawaii Five-0 episode features strong, skilled nurse character

  3.  Special new coronavirus media awards!

  4.  New York Times ably describes PTSD in nursing but fails to identify expert as nurse

  5.  FAQ: “Does it really matter if nurse experts are identified as nurses? 

  6.  Speaking engagement in Britain postponed, but we're still on for Florida and Nebraska--maybe, depending on the coronavirus! Book an online engagement now--or in-person one for the future!
  7.  Sign all our petitions: Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtGrey's AnatomyGoogle/Ascension/Project Nightingale, NIH/NINRCardi B, The Good Doctor, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud

News Summaries

No time to choose between life and death

L.A. Times on covid-19’s terrible toll on Wuhan health workers

A February 2020 report focuses on the desperate efforts to contain the coronavirus, which has killed many Chinese health workers; some have actually died of overwork. The piece also highlights the state media’s apparent use of a narrative of heroic sacrifice to mask failures to protect health workers. In a familiar image, one nurse was termed “an angel in a white gown.” But another front-line nurse published a poem bitterly rejecting the “praises” and the “so-called truth.” She wanted only to rest.

Praised for devotion


Hawaii Five-0 episode features strong, skilled nurse character 

A 2017 episode of the CBS show's reboot series is about Five-0's efforts to protect a comatose witness from heavily armed killers. The witness's nurse insists on joining the elite unit on a wild ride toward safety, showing health skills, resourcefulness, and courage under fire--actual fire.

Hawaii Five-0
Coronavirus media awards

New covid-19 awards

In response to the coronavirus, we will be issuing awards on a rolling basis for the best media aimed at promoting public health. Check out our first honoree to the right, from the health department in Round Rock, Texas. We need more witty media like that to spread effective health messages. Send us submissions for consideration for our next award.

Texas coronavirus PSA

Stress position

New York Times ably describes PTSD in nursing but fails to identify expert as nurse

A May 2019 Times article did a fine job of explaining that nurses have high rates of PTSD and burnout because their jobs are so stressful, given the frequent life-and-death events and the high incidence of abuse. But the piece was marred by its failure to say that the main scholar on which it relied is a nurse! Instead, it referred to her four times as “Dr.” and noted that she was a professor at a university’s “medical campus.”

Meredith Mealer


Does it really matter if nurse experts are explicitly identifed as nurses? Let's face it: those nurses are going to get more respect if we leave the nursing part out. Especially if we also refer to them as “Dr. ____”!


Does it really matter?

Speaking engagements

See Sandy Summers in Florida in August 2020

On August 21, 2020, Truth About Nursing founder and director Sandy Summers will be the keynote speaker at the Florida Nurse Practitioner Network (FNPN) conference in Orlando. The FNPN's theme for this, its 17th conference, will be "2020: The Year NP's Inspire, Innovate & Motivate." If you can, please come see Sandy and be inspired! The conference will be held at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Florida NP Network logo

Nurses week events thrown into the air? The Truth About Nursing's founder and executive director can give an online presentation!

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!

Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "Thank God for stupid nurses"

Send a letter to NIH
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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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?


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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