Nursing Outlook Journal Celebrates 60th Anniversary, Partners with UCLA to Publish Ground-Breaking Research on Portrayal of Nurses in the Media

St Louis, MO, October 1, 2012 — Historical impact and modern media stereotypes of nurses offer a fascinating contrast in the September/October issue of Nursing Outlook, published by Elsevier, the leading publisher of medical, scientific and technical information products and services.  Nursing Outlook celebrates 60 years of leading the nursing field in 2012 with two special issues.

The Portrayal of Nurses in the Media, from Journalism to Hollywood  Millions of viewers watch nurses being portrayed on TV shows, news and movies. Yet, many of these portrayals display an outdated and incorrect image of nurses. Nursing Outlook, in cooperation with the UCLA School of Nursing, is releasing groundbreaking research on how the nation's most ethical and honest profession is depicted in the media.

At a time when America's nurses are assuming greater responsibilities in health care, it's crucial that the public understand the vital professional role of nurses.  Nurses, which have topped Gallup's annual Ethnics and Honesty Survey for more than a decade, are often absent in medical dramas, with physicians depicted on screen doing the work that a nurse would do in reality.

The Nursing Outlook supplement examines the financial, social, cultural and gender forces that impact the way screenwriters, producers and directors portray screen representations of nurses in TV and film. 

Topics include:  

  • Media images and screen representations of nurses
  • Nurses and doctors in prime time series: The dynamics of depicting professional power
  • Nurse Jackie and the politics of care
  • A film producer focuses on issues of social justice and nurses: An interview with Richard Harding
  • Empowering expatriate nurses: Challenges and opportunities-a commentary
  • The representation of nurses in 1950s melodrama: A cross-cultural approach
  • A review of images of nurses and smoking on the World Wide Web
  • Making a difference from the inside out: advocacy with media creators

The guest editor is MarySue V. Heilemann,  PhD RN, UCLA School of Nursing; authors include award winning academic Joseph Turow, PhD, considered the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation and Theresa Brown, New York Times Opinion Columnist.

 "Today's nurses possess in-depth clinical knowledge.  They have effective tools and technologies at their fingertips, play key roles in the patient care process, help drive national health policy, and are leading the way in many dimensions of critically important clinical research. In short, they are transforming healthcare in ways that will have a tremendous impact on the nation's health.  We want the public to understand our vital work, so accurate portrayals of nurses are crucial," said Heilemann.  

The Nurses and the Media supplement was launched by a UCLA symposium that brought together nursing professionals and media representatives from film and TV to deepen the dialog on media images and screen representations of nurses. Publication of the supplement is made possible through the support of Barco's Nightingales Foundation. 


Video: Theresa Brown on How Nurses Can Change the Image of Nursing

Video: Joseph Turow on How Media Informs the Public on Nursing

Dr. Linda Sarna talks about the image of nurses and smoking:
Kathleen McHugh interviews Richard Harding:


Special Anniversary Issue: 60 Years of Leading the Field
In the special anniversary issue, nursing thought leaders examined six decades of the profession's development, beginning with Nursing Outlook's inaugural issue in 1953.

The result is a collection of nine historically significant articles that reflect emerging themes, discovery and progression in nursing practice, education, research and policy. Insightful commentary connects past and present thought in nursing, highlighting critical changes in the profession.

Topics include: Molding the future of advanced practice nursing, nursing research, interdisciplinary education, public policy, and the public's stake in health insurance. The guest editor is Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean and Mary O'Neil Mundinger Professor at Columbia University School of Nursing.

"The review was inspiring to remind us of what we, as a profession, have contributed to creating a more progressive, productive, prosperous, just, and healthful society," said Joanne Disch, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Minnesota, School of Nursing and American Academy of Nursing President. "Nursing Outlook's history brings a wealth and richness of thought; looking back and connecting our history with our present is a powerful way of learning, reconnecting with our values and recommitting to our future work in nursing."

As the official journal of the American Academy of Nursing and the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science, Nursing Outlook provides critical and timely analyses of emerging professional and healthcare issues of importance to all nurses.