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Sunday, January 21, 2018
HomeHealthFounder Barbara Glickstein Talks Nurse Media Power as ANA-New York Keynote

Founder Barbara Glickstein Talks Nurse Media Power as ANA-New York Keynote

logo_anany2In Albany last month, to an audience of state nursing leaders and policy-makers attending the American Nurses Association – New York’s (ANA-NY) annual meeting, CHMP founder Barbara Glickstein gave the keynote address. The meeting, open to nurse members and non-members alike, focused on ethical dilemmas in nursing, and challenges to professional change and progress. Opening her talk on social media, Barbara began with a recent media anecdote – the Miss Colorado stethoscope debacle that unearthed itself in mid-September, via the popular talk show, The View.


Her point? Nurses are powerful, and even more powerful when they harness social media. After two hosts of the View made disparaging comments in response to a clip of Miss Colorado’s Miss America Pageant monologue about her work as a nurse, nurses led direct, immediate, social-media-driven change – advertisers pulled their business from the program in response to the profession’s online outcry. Dr. Oz opened a nation-wide search for a nurse expert. A Facebook campaign still drives followers toward offline action, like federal petitions on staffing.


But Barbara didn’t come to congratulate, she came to mobilize. In a rousing speech on claiming our power as nurses, she not only explained how social media amplifies our power, but equipped the audience with tools to use it. She touched on broad themes like the power in storytelling, and on specific tips, like how to blend your social media platforms with personal and professional content. Through Barbara’s charisma and expertise, social media’s power, blended with nurse’s ethical strength, became a reality for change.


Barbara is an internationally-known public health expert, health journalist and consultant. In addition to her advocacy of nurse-media fluency, she works with Carolyn Jones, the creator of the film, The American Nurse. The film was shown for the ANA-NY audience, and Barbara followed with anecdotes on the power that participant-nurse stories had on Carolyn, and creators of the film.


Here are ten quotes – some inspirational, some prescriptive – from Barbara’s address:

Nurses are an obvious and terrific untapped resource for the

media, and as our media landscape shifts, more

opportunities and a more diverse set of outlets need your

expertise and commentary.


To influence policy and become a catalyst in the

conversation about health care, nurses must advance their

digital literacy to advance the health of the public and

healthy public policies.


We will continue to shift the media coverage and public’s

understanding of our work as part of the health care team

by changing the question from, ‘Do you care about nurses?’

to, ‘how can nurses’ expertise and power be utilized to the

top of our education and license to improve the quality,

safety and equity of healthcare in America?’


Your power includes your ability to tell stories.


It’s well-covered territory but it bears repeating that being a

successful professional, student, worker, leader, and citizen

in the 21st century means knowing how to find and

evaluate information online, maintain a compelling and

respectable online reputation, communicate clearly and

efficiently, and protect your own privacy and others.’


If you have a doubt about posting something online, don’t.

That’s my personal rule.


I encourage every nurse to pitch a story to a source outside

the traditional outlets for so-called serious writing. Just

because it has a headline that will attract readers from

outside your traditional readership or because you might be

asked to write it in a more audience-friendly way doesn’t

make the analysis or the information lesser than if it’s

published in some place considered super-serious.


The latest data on nursing and the media is from the 1997

Woodhull Study on Nursing and the Media that was

commissioned by Sigma Theta Tau International, funded by

the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and conducted by

the University Of Rochester School Of Nursing.

This data is old and needs to be repeated.

In 1997, nurses being cited in health-related articles:

–       4% in 7 major newspapers

–       1% in news magazines

–       1% in trade publications



You’re an expert in your field and you

want to share this with the world. Pick a couple of “beats”

and focus your tweeting on those beats. Find other folks

tweeting about these topics and have conversations with them.


Don’t write for the person who sat next to you in your

doctoral program or clinical DNP class; write for the

person who is going to read your piece at the nail salon.

Written by

Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN, CCRN, is an intensive care nurse who currently works in administration for Mount Sinai in Manhattan. She also directs a nurse-specific E-Writing Center at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, and coordinates a column for the American Journal of Nursing. You can find much of her writing here, in AJN, Pulse, Scrubs and many others. Amanda tweets @ajandersonrn.

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