Nurse Watchdog Says Goodbye

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Nurse Watchdog Says Goodbye

The closing of the Center for Nursing Advocacy

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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On a sad note, the Center for Nursing Advocacy is closing. Its website identifies chaotic records, delinquent taxes and lack of accountability as precipitating factors. Efforts are under way to preserve the website and the mission of the Center, but no new plans have emerged. The board of directors is actively seeking other tax-exempt nursing organizations that could assume the work.

The Center has long been a stalwart champion of nurses, and its watchdog efforts have been notable. Currently, the website remains up, but many important functions no longer exist.

It’s not as though there is no longer any work to do. A recent post on the site by Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon, authors of From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know and Must Communicate to the Public, laments the poor coverage of nursing in the science and health sections of The New York Times. The authors cited recent examples that treat medicine, hospitals and community health as though nurses did not exist. The citation of nurses as sources is rare, as is any mention of nurses as part of any patient care team, much less as independent practitioners.

That is not the only section that offends. In recent coverage of the H1N1 virus outbreak in New York City, reports noted the role of school nurses in first alerting authorities. The story quoted every doctor, principal and traveler by name, but the nurses remained anonymous.

The Center will be sorely missed.

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