Nurses and nursing students
help us increase public understanding of nursing!
Speak To the Media
- Create a "Be a Nurse for a Day" program--ask your local media to shadow you at work so they can learn what you do and create media about it.
- Invite your local media to lunch to educate them about the work of nurses and to encourage them to cover the full range of nursing going on in your community. Feel free to contact the Truth to discuss further.
- Contact the US media by zip code.
Join the Coalition for Better Understanding of Nursing!
Speak To the World
- Order our "SAVE LIVES. BE A NURSE." bumper stickers and car magnets and educate the world about the value of nursing.
- Hang our disruptive innovation posters and create some provocative street art to educate the wider public about the value of nursing.
- Hang our poster on nursing autonomy and responsibility and distribute it widely.
- Start a health radio show, like HealthCetera with
Diana Mason & Barbara Glickstein. Do health minutes and work to become a local health correspondent for television and radio news programs, like television commentator and author Pat Carroll.
- Who's a patient advocate anymore? All nurses should all be. Post our patient advocacy flyer on patients' walls and breakrooms. Download and distribute freely.
- Fight for a seat at the decision-making table
- Teach people that the power structure in hospitals is a tribe, not a food chain.
- Write an op-ed for publication in a major newspaper or magazine. Get quick tips on how to write an effective op-ed and a list of op-ed placement opportunities,
requirements and contact info.
- When you do speak publicly, make sure that readers, listeners or viewers know that you are a nurse so that nursing gets credit for your work, instead of credit going to some undefined expert. See Elizabeth Winslow's ViewPoint "We
Silence Our Profession When We Fail to Identify Ourselves as Nurses" in the August 2012 AJN.
- Blog about your experiences practicing nursing.
- Wear the RN patch on your uniform. Wear uniforms that make nurses look like professionals.
- Create patient education materials--videos, articles, books, guides and web sites. The public needs to know that nurses are health education experts.
- Use nurse-friendly language. Do not allow physicians to give you "orders." Instead, use "prescriptions" or "care plans" so that they do not wrongly think that they are someone they can order around. Chuck Reuter and
Virginia Fitzsimons wrote a great op-ed in the American Journal of Nursing (August 2013) about this called "Physician Orders."
- Transform your innovative ideas for new health care practices and products into reality. Consider this article by inventor Steve Schmutzer about how to bring product ideas to market.
- Promote nursing innovations in the clinical settings such as did the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses.
video news web programs, to help you summarize your work and make it accessible to the media. For example, consider this clip by former US AIDS Czar Kristine Gebbie,
RN, DrPH, Associate Professor, Columbia School of Nursing.
- Create, read or support nurse-friendly media and art.
- Order merchandise, including RN patches, and send gifts through the Truth to support our work.
Strengthen the nursing profession through:
Present a Positive Personal Image
When nurses live healthy lifestyles and look like healthy people, they have more credibility as health experts. We encourage nurses to:
Join Our Member Action
Engage Friends and Colleagues
- Distribute our news alerts by email (sign up, or see news alert archives).
- Create bulletin boards of our news alerts at your work place or school.
- Distribute our brochures to your colleagues, friends and students--just let us know how many you need at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Giving a presentation? Get a draft powerpoint presentation and some film clips here.
- Start a Nurse Shadowing Program for medical students and interns at your hospital or school. We must educate physicians as to the nature of nursing work so they can play a more positive role in creating nursing-related media, and so we can develop more collaborative relationships, which lead to better patient outcomes. See a sketch of a nurse shadowing program at Dartmouth.
Learn How To Affect and Create Media
Contact US elected officials and government agency representatives on current
nursing legislation from the National League of Nursing.
Teach the public how to get well