Educating Decision-Makers about the Value of Nursing
We propose to make direct efforts to educate influential decision-makers about the nature and value of nursing. If we increase the value these decision-makers place on nursing, they will likely increase funding for the profession. And funding for nursing needs to rise dramatically so nurses can better protect patients.
We can educate decision-makers, career-seekers, and the public about nursing; persuade groups with authority over health care to incorporate more nursing perspectives and include nurses in decision-making roles; and persuade those who create media relevant to nursing to improve the accuracy and fairness of their work. Consider these influential groups:
Guidance Counselors: Create a video to show guidance counselors that nursing is a career for the best and brightest. Our other efforts aimed at guidance counselors include the Street Art Posters project and our Be a Nurse online booklet.
Physicians: Create a video, posters and other outreach explaining the nature and value of nursing to build a better understanding of nursing by physicians. The goal is to improve inter-professional collaboration so patients can receive better care and suffer fewer health care errors — the third leading cause of death in the US.
Hospital Executives: Create a video on the centrality of the nursing role in hospital care. The video would explain how nurses can prevent health care errors, a leading cause of death, when hospitals invest in the profession. This includes our
Seats at the Table Project, working to incorporate more nursing perspectives and include nurses in visible decision-making roles so as to strengthen nursing and protect patients.
Legislators: Create a video explaining that nursing is a distinct scientific field worthy of full funding for research and other efforts to improve care, as well as a legal framework allowing nurses to practice to the full scope of their education.
Insurers: Use media to educate insurers about nursing autonomy and skill. The goal would be to improve reimbursement for nursing, which would improve preventive care, keep patients out of hospitals, and promote effective care models, including health homes for follow-up and nurse-family partnerships.
The Media and the Public: Educate the public and decision-makers about the knowledge, skills, and abilities of nurses through outreach and the creation of sharable media, including:
Innovations to showcase the talent, leadership and autonomy of nurses;
Media Improvement Project — our comprehensive plan to improve public understanding of nursing. The Truth About Nursing's leaders have been working to improve nursing's media image since 2001. Please see the Truth About Nursing's extensive efforts to improve how nurses are portrayed.
Health Education for the Public — We propose having nurse experts build a series of online health education pages (on the Coalition's website or elsewhere), so patients and the public can learn from a pragmatic, holistic nursing perspective. That will present nurses to the world as health experts.
To learn more about the efforts to improve public understanding of nursing, please read Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nurses Puts Us All at Risk. The final two chapters contain an extensive tool-kit to improve public understanding of nursing.