Truth logo

News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

March 26, 2020


  1.  Media alarmed at lack of Covid-19 equipment, but not the nurses needed to run it 

  2.  Nurse’s CNN op-ed highlights urgent need for protective gear in Covid-19 response

  3.  Huffington Post and Hill items portray the ANA as a policy force

  4.  Dr. Ken refills prescription for nursing stereotypes

  5.  Strategies for overcoming obstacles with Covid-19 care

    • Ventilating more patients with less equipment

    • Guide to find the right words to say to patients suffering from Covid-19 

    • Great public health plan to address Covid-19

    • Best way to identify severity of Covid-19?

    • How to make more space in hospitals

    • Masks: How official masks are made; problems with homemade masks

    • Sign our petition for more PPE!

    • A couple leads on finding PPE

  6. In-person speaking engagements on hold for a while, but you can still book an online engagement for nurses week or graduation now!

  7.  Sign all our petitions: Get nurses PPE!Unbreakable Kimmy SchmidtGrey's AnatomyGoogle/Ascension/Project Nightingale, NIH/NINRCardi B, The Good Doctor, Ratched, Amy Schumer, Family Feud

News Summaries

It's all about the beds-and-vents

Media alarmed at lack of Covid-19 equipment, but not the nurses needed to run it

Physician Aaron Carroll’s March 2020 New York Times piece about what we need to help coronavirus patients has helpful elements. But it is also a striking example of what has become a mini-stereotype of nursing: the misconception that such mass casualty events require surge capacity in I.C.U. beds and ventilators, but that those items just manage themselves, or perhaps are managed by physicians. In fact, skilled nurses play the leading role in providing care for such critical patients.

Beds 'n' vents
Coronavirus media award

The frontline soldiers

Nurse’s CNN op-ed highlights urgent need for protective gear in covid-19 response

Theresa Brown’s March 2020 piece explains that U.S. health workers like nurses must have personal protective equipment (PPE) to care effectively for patients during the covid-19 pandemic. But the U.S. seems to be unprepared, and the federal response so far inspires little confidence. The op-ed shows nurses to be strong advocates for public health as well as critical to the care such patients need.

Theresa Brown

Evolving standards of decency

Huffington Post and Hill items portray the ANA as a policy force 

In early 2017, the Huffington Post reported that the American Nurses Association had decided to oppose not just nurse participation in capital punishment but the death penalty itself. And a shorter piece in The Hill said that the ANA strongly opposed an effort to “repeal and replace” Obamacare. Both articles presented nurses as serious health policy advocates.

Liz Stokes, RN, MA, JD

Liz Stokes

The work wife

Dr. Ken refills prescription for nursing stereotypes

The final season of the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken, which ended in 2017, presented the nurse character Clark as the admiring “work wife” and clinical lapdog of the physician lead character. That portrayal reinforced damaging stereotypes about nursing. Clark did have one fairly good, if anomalous, scene in which he advocated against nurse understaffing.

Clarke from Dr. Ken

Adapting to a new world:

Strategies for Covid-19 care

Ventilating more patients with less equipment

Coronavirus media award

The second coronavirus media award this week goes Charlene Irvin Babcock for her video showing how to connect four patients to one ventilator.

4 patients, 1 vent

Click above to watch the video, but before using this technique, please read the first 30 or so comments for ideas on how to fine-tune this last ditch application. Also, consider having family members just bag the patient.

Read the research paper on connecting 4 patients to one ventilator

Article on 3D printing ventilator parts

Finding the way forward

Here is a helpful guide for finding the right words to say to patients and family members suffering from Covid-19 and who are experiencing rationed care.

Great public health plan to address Covid-19

Read this great plan as to how we can get through the Covid-19 crisis by Ezekiel Emanuel. Please ask your elected officials to read and embrace it.

Best way to identify severity of Covid-19?

Ultrasounds are being used in Italy as a reliable measure to decide whether a patient should be hospitalized or sent home.

How to make more space in hospitals

Thoughtful article on adapting hospitals to become more efficient by Susan Dentzer, Peter Viccellio and Eugene Litvak.

Masks: How official masks are made; safety of homemade masks

Research: Cloth masks poorly filter organisms and harbor infection.

One idea for adaptation: the diaper mask.

Diaper mask

It has many layers of non-woven fabric...something to be said for this innovation

Description of how surgical masks are made.

Non-woven fabrics are the standard.

N95 manufacturers use 4 layers of non-woven fabric. If family members and neighbors offer to sew masks, consider urging them to use non-woven fabrics. We haven't yet found official guidelines on how to make N95 masks. Please send them to us if you see them. Thank you.

Watch N95 masks get made:

Video 1

Video 2

How melt-blown fabric (non-woven fabric) is made

A couple of leads on finding PPE

Click here to order surgical masks

Click here to order face shields

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!

Get nurses PPE

Ask U.S. federal officials to get nurses more PPE and Covid-19 tests instead of leaving nurses without proper protection.

Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: "Thank God for stupid nurses"

Send a letter to NIH

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

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.

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!

Share This

Follow Us

If someone forwarded this email to you, please click here sign up for free news alerts here to stay current on news of nursing in the media!

Thank you for supporting the Truth About Nursing's work!

Copyright © 2008-2019 · All Rights Reserved · The Truth About Nursing, Inc. | 
Legal Statement | Privacy Notice | Help | Contact us |

Join our action teams for:

Contact Us

The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21212
(410) 323-1100

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser

This email was sent to