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Are nurses getting the respect they need to save lives?

September 19, 2019

NIH Director responds about NINR Director position

In response to the 3,700+ supporters who have urged NIH to appoint only nurses to lead the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), NIH Director Francis Collins has sent a substantial letter to Truth About Nursing director Sandy Summers.

In his letter, Dr. Collins expresses support for nursing and vows to search for a highly qualified nursing leader to fill the permanent NINR director position. But he does not appear ready to reconsider the decision to have dentist Lawrence Tabak and biologist Tara Schwetz remain as interim leaders of the NINR.

The Truth About Nursing has responded to the Director, providing further background on how these interim appointments affect public understanding of nursing, which in turn affects the nursing profession. As we note, the appointments are sadly consistent with the message of nursing subordination that still prevails in too much of society, and this undermines nurses' claims to adequate resources.

Truth's letter to NIH Director

We hope to discuss this further with Dr. Collins soon. We will keep you updated when we have more. In the meantime, please continue to urge colleagues, friends and students to join the letter writing campaign and keep the pressure on to encourage the NIH Director to appoint nurses to lead NINR. Thank you!

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Click here to sign the letter--or write one of your own!

Francis Collins

Francis Collins, MD, NIH Director, needs further encouragement to appoint nurses to lead NINR

Dentist Lawrence Tabak, NINR's new Interim Director

Dentist Lawrence Tabak, NINR's new interim Director

Tara Schwetz

Biologist Tara Schwetz, NINR's new interim deputy director

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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

Speaking Engagements

Having an 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


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


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

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