Since 2001, the leaders of the Truth About Nursing have studied how the media stereotypes nursing, including the root causes and damaging effects.

Based on our experience, we have developed an extensive plan to address this critical issue, which drives so many other problems, including understaffing and resulting health care errors. We know media advocacy works, because we have had many successes.

But we need to make an even bigger impact. To that end, we invite you to take a seat at the table with us. Nursing schools, organizations, journals and hospitals must come together to fully implement this media action plan. That way, the next time researchers measure key indicators of public understanding, we can see real progress, rather than 20 years of stagnation, as the Woodhull Revisited Study just did in evaluating news coverage of the profession. 

We can do better. And we will, when you join us at the inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing!

We have identified three specific areas where your involvement in the Coalition would be so much appreciated:

  • Please join us on the planning committee for our inaugural meeting.
  • Please consider whether your school, hospital or group has a space where we could hold the inaugural meeting.
  • Please speak with the nursing leader of your school, hospital or group about becoming a part of this bold effort to transform nursing's image.

You are the most important part of the solution to nursing's media image problem. We can't make real progress without you. Please email us your suggestions for involvement. Thank you!

We Can End Nursing's Invisibility. Let's Join Together to Educate Hollywood and the News Media about the Value of Nursing

The Truth About Nursing, a leader in improving the image of nursing, invites you to join us for the launch of The Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing.

The Coalition seeks to unite hospitals, nursing schools, journals and nursing organizations in a robust effort to strengthen nursing and improve health care by educating decision-makers about the value of the profession.

Have you heard about Woodhull Revisited?
The new study shows that nurses remain invisible in the news media.

As you may know, the just-released Woodhull Revisited Study showed essentially no improvement in news media coverage of nursing over the two decades since the original 1997 Woodhull Study.

The Woodhull Revisited Study found that most journalists still don't know what nurses do, how nurses differ from each other, or how to find nurses to interview. At the same time, most nurses themselves don't reach out to journalists to try to get their research covered, to offer commentary, or to develop relationships as expert sources. Sadly, health care employers often demand that nurses withhold public comment, while their public relations officials put forward physicians to the media! It's no wonder nurses are used as expert sources in only 2% of health articles

The Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing will present nurses as expert sources for the media. But the Coalition will also highlight nursing achievements and innovations for key segments of the population, from career seekers to guidance counselors, from hospital colleagues to government officials, and from the media to the public at large.

Sandy Summers, founder and executive director of the Truth About Nursing, said:

"For the public and decision-makers to value nursing, they must first understand it. And that begins with better media. Let's harness the power of our collective vision and energy to build a better health care system. Nurses don't have to accept inadequate respect and resources that undermine our work and endanger our patients. Now is the time to show our value. We have seen that even those who have not been well-served by existing power structures can make positive changes if they stand together. That is as true for nurses as anyone else. Join us!"

Who we are

The Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing is a working group of nursing organizations, schools, journals, hospitals and individuals working to educate society about the value of nursing. The Coalition is hosted by the Truth About Nursing, whose leaders have been at the forefront of the effort to improve public understanding of nursing since 2001. The Truth About Nursing is a 501(c)(3) organization. Member contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Coalition's website is at

Still need convincing? Consider this!

Forty-Two Years Ago, Nursing Scholar Jo Ann Ashley, RN, EdD, Issued a Strong Call to Educate the Public About Nursing

In 1976 Ashley gave an interview on WNED's Woman program, during a segment called "New Image for Nurses." Ashley stressed that given nursing's status at that time, nothing was more important than educating the broader public about the profession's value. The challenges nursing faces today show that despite real progress, this remains true. Let us heed Ashley's call now!

See that clip here:

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The Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing
c/o The Truth About Nursing
203 Churchwardens Rd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21212 USA
(410) 323-1100

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