NEW YORK NURSE: January 2008
by Joely Johnson
Naughty nurses selling hamburgers, beer, or men’s cologne. Silent, angelic nurses waiting on boss-like physicians.
Do stereotypes like these make you wish the image of nursing had its very own watchdog? It does: The Center for Nursing Advocacy is a grassroots organization that works to promote more accurate and balanced media portrayals of nurses. The center also urges an increase in the media’s use of nurses as expert sources.
The center was founded by a group of seven graduate students at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in April 2001. NYSNA is a sponsoring member, and you are encouraged to lend your support as well. The center is currently funded only by individual and organizational donors, but members do more than just supply financial support. The center regularly provides members with opportunities to get personally involved in nursing’s “image revolution” by writing an e-mail to a company CEO or making a quick phone call to a local radio station.
“We have so much work to do reshaping nursing’s image,” said Sandy Summers, executive director of the center. “Having NYSNA’s support on this is not only financially helpful, it’s also morally supportive.”
The center has chapters in various places around the world. The Long Island group recently alerted the center to a sexually charged Bloomingdale’s ad featuring a nurse character. According to Summers, the company was unusually receptive to the center’s calls and took only a couple of hours to pull the radio commercial.
The center would like to start a few more chapters in other areas of New York State. To learn more about how you can help promote an accurate and positive image of nursing, visit the Center for Nursing Advocacy at www.nursingadvocacy.org.