Recent media show nurses fighting to protect public health. As one Covid item put it, nurses are trying to save us from ourselves! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
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News on nursing in the media

Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

June 21, 2020


  1. Save Us!Washington Post report on nursing in Covid era offers unusually deep look at profession

  2. Press items show nurses pushing for safety in Covid settings and beyond

  3. More strong nursing in season 6 of the BBC’s Call the Midwife

  4. New York City settles benefits case about whether nursing is “physically taxing”

  5. Sign our petition for more PPE! 

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

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

Help us bring nursing respect

News Summaries

Saving us from ourselves

Washington Post report on nursing in Covid era offers unusually deep look at profession

A long April 2020 piece in the Post had information from a diverse group of nurses. Of course, they were able to explain how it feels to be a nurse in the Covid-19 era—a common press theme now. But they also described what nurses actually do for patients, notably in an excellent summary by school nursing leader Laurie Combe. And the piece highlighted nurses’ protests about inadequate PPE.

Laurie Combe

Laurie Combe

Making the hospital look bad

Press items show nurses speaking out for clinical safety

April 2020 pieces highlight nurses advocating for safer practices, despite efforts to silence them. Buzzfeed reported that a California hospital had suspended 10 nurses for refusing to care for Covid-19 patients without N95 masks, which the physicians had. The nurses later got the masks. And the New York Times ran Theresa Brown's op-ed about how she was forced to quit a clinical position because she kept advocating for safer practices. That dynamic seems widespread in the Covid era.

Ten nurses suspended

Ten nurses suspended


Nevertheless, they persisted

More strong nursing in season 6 of the BBC’s Call the Midwife

The sixth season of the BBC’s Call the Midwife, from 2017, featured more portrayals of expert nurse midwives saving lives and improving outcomes in an underserved London community in the 1960s. The nuns and lay midwives of Nonnatus House confronted a wide range of health issues, managing the effects of various social problems, especially those reflecting the experiences of women. 

Physical taxation without representation

New York City settles benefits case about whether nursing is “physically taxing”

In July 2018 the New York Daily News reported that the City had agreed to pay almost $21 million to settle claims that it discriminated against the predominantly female nursing profession by refusing to consider it one of the physically taxing ones for which earlier retirement was offered. The piece also let nurses tell why that refusal was wrong, countering the angel stereotype that it is their role to suffer nobly in silence.


Speaking engagements

See Sandy Summers help facilitate Nigeria-based online media training on July 4, 2020

On July 4, 2020, Truth About Nursing director Sandy Summers will serve as a facilitator for the online program “Image of Nursing and the Media: Strategic Leadership Training for Nurse Leaders.” This training is sponsored by Nurses On Air, a leading nurse-run digital media hub based in Lagos, Nigeria. Nurses on Air is led by Josiah Jackson-Okesola, who is a member of The Truth About Nursing's advisory panel. Information will be forthcoming to enable you to join Sandy and Josiah online!

Nurses On Air

See Sandy Summers in Nebraska in November 2020

On November 6, 2020, Truth About Nursing director Sandy Summers will give the keynote address at the Nebraska Action Coalition-Future of Nursing's Fall Leadership / Culture of Health Conference. Sandy will also give a speech at the 40 Under 40 Emerging Nurse Leaders’ Award Ceremony. The conference will be held at the Holthus Convention Center in York, Nebraska. Please come see Sandy if you can!


See Sandy Summers in Florida in August 2021

In August 2021, 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 "2021: 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.

Orlando Marriott
FNPN Network

Nursing events now up in 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!

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