1. Fitzpatrick, Melissa A. RN, MSN, FAAN, Editor-in-Chief

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What's the latest phase of the Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow coalition's ad campaign? A message from actual nurses on 436 theater screens in 13 cities featuring the tag line: "Nursing. It's Real. It's Life." The effort directs an estimated 2.5 million viewers to the organization's Web site ( and conveys that a career in nursing involves professionalism, teamwork, and leadership.


Our crown jewels

If even a small percent of those who see the coalition's campaign explore the possibilities of a nursing career, it could yield thousands of new nurses. In addition, nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow has launched a series of print ads and a television public service announcement to improve the image of nursing and to encourage young people to enter the profession.


Miss America, Katie Harman of Gresham, Ore., has also taken up the cause, touting access to quality health care as her primary platform. In each of her visits to health care providers, legislators, and consumers, she emphasizes nurses' vital roles. She calls attention to nurses who advocate and care for the indigent and uninsured and who lead the way in coordinating care for patients and families.


When she holds up her own crown, Harman refers to us as "the jewels in the health care crown."


Scouts' honor

There's also hope in youth: Members of the Boy and Girl Scouts can earn a Nursing Exploration patch. Developed by the North Carolina Association of Nursing Students, the N.C. Center for Nursing, and the N.C. Nurses Association, the initiative helps increase awareness of nursing and its career opportunities. To earn this patch, scouts must complete activities in five areas.


1. Career exploration allows scouts to shadow a nurse, explore nursing roles, do research on a famous nurse, visit a nursing school, or investigate nursing scholarships.


2. Education lessons call for creating an information guide on a particular illness, making an education tool to promote health and safety, learning and teaching proper hand-washing technique, investigating teen drug abuse, or visiting a health club or recreation center to document exercise's importance.


3. Skill builders enable scouts to earn CPR or first aid certification, or attend babysitting workshops.


4. Service projects require scouts to participate in a community health or a health care facility project, or volunteer for 4 hours in a health care facility.


5. Technology sessions let scouts learn about the equipment and supplies nurses use in patient care.



We're making great strides in our image campaign, and we need to keep at it. From the big screen to the local level, we're seeing positive portrayals of the nursing profession. Be creative, and do your part.



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