DiversityNursing Blog

A Nurse Reflects On The Privilege Of Caring For Dying Patients

Posted by Pat Magrath

Fri, Oct 09, 2015 @ 12:33 PM

This story is about a Nurse who worked in oncology and then decided to do palliative care in people’s homes. She finds it an honor to be with the patient and their family during the last few days of the patient’s life. She notes how the patient is much more in control and comfortable at home than they are in the hospital and wonders if there’s a way to do it better in the hospital. She has learned to be honest with the patient’s family if they ask if their loved one is dying. She has found they ask, because they really want to know, to prepare themselves. If you are not a palliative care Nurse, is it something you would consider? This story will give you excellent insight.

Palliative care nurse Theresa Brown is healthy, and so are her loved ones, and yet, she feels keenly connected to death. "I have a deep awareness after working in oncology that fortunes can change on a dime," she tells Fresh Air'sTerry Gross. "Enjoy the good when you have it, because that really is a blessing."

Brown is the author of The Shift, which follows four patients during the course of a 12-hour shift in a hospital cancer ward. A former oncology nurse, Brown now provides patients with in-home, end-of-life care.

Talking — and listening — are both important parts of her job as a palliative care nurse. This is especially true on the night shift. "Night and waking up in the night can bring a clarity," she says. "It can be a clarity of being able to face your fears, it can be a clarity of being overwhelmed by your fears, and either way, I feel like it's really a privilege to be there for people."

Sometimes Brown finds herself bridging the gap between patients who know they are dying and family members who are still expecting a cure. "There can be a lot of secrets kept and silences. ... One thing that palliative care can be really good at is trying to sit with families and have those conversations," she says.

While some might see her job as depressing, Brown says that being with people who are dying is a profound experience. "When you're with people who die ... and being in their homes and seeing their families, it's incredible the love that people evoke. And it makes me realize this is why we're here; this is what we do; this is what we give to each other."

Interview Highlights

On cutting costs and stretching nurses too thin 

There's a sense that you can stretch a nurse just like an elastic band and sort of, "Well, someone called off today." That means a nurse calls in and says that she's sick or her car broke down or he won't be there, and sometimes we're able to get someone onto the floor to take that person's place, but often we're not. Or an aide might not be able to show up for whatever reason, and then the assumption is just, "Well, the nurses will just do all the work that the aide would've done," and the problem is that people do not stretch like rubber bands, and even rubber bands will break if you stretch them too far.

On loved ones wanting to feed their dying family members

Food is so fundamental, and their feeling is "I'm letting my husband starve to death and that's wrong." So I have to talk them through the process of the body slowly going in reverse. All the processes we think of as normal and that are integral to life, they're all slowing down. And so the body just doesn't need food when someone gets very close to the end of their life and, in fact, they found that forcing someone to eat can mean that they just have this food sitting in their stomach, they're not able to digest it, can actually make them more uncomfortable. So I talked to [one family member] about that, but tried to do it as gently as possible, while also acknowledging the incredible love that was motivating her and trying to honor that, but make it clear that she needed to show her love by being close with her husband, by holding his hand, by talking to him, but not by feeding him.

On whether patients ask if they're dying 

No, they don't. ... I think it's because they're afraid. They want to just take things day by day. I did have a wife once ask me. She said, "You know, I'm not new to this, and I want you to just tell me. Is he dying?" And at that point I was a pretty new nurse and I didn't have the experience to know to say, "Yes." Now I would know to say that. ... I got a sense that she really wanted to know and no one else was telling her. ...

Physicians can have a mindset of "we're thinking positively, we're focusing on the good that can come, and we're not going to talk about 'what if it doesn't work out.' " And they will sometimes pull the nurse aside and say, "What's going on?"

On leaving the hospital setting for palliative care 

I love the hospital. I never thought I would leave the hospital, but I left to see patients outside the hospital because in the hospital I feel like we never see people at their best. They feel lousy. We wake them up at night. We give them no privacy. We give them, really, almost no dignity. We tell them what they're going to do when, what they're going to eat when, what pill they're going to take when and no one likes living like that. ... So I wanted to see people in their homes because I thought there's got to be a way we could make the hospital better. Seeing what it's like for patients in their homes I thought would show me that. And I would say overwhelmingly what I've seen is control: People have so much more control when they're in their homes and it should not be that hard to give them back a little bit more control in the hospital.

On traveling to a patient's home

When I started, I thought, "I can't believe I'm doing this. I can't believe I just drive up to these houses and go inside them." I live in Pittsburgh, but it can get very rural feeling actually pretty quickly, and I remember ... going to [a house] that was already through back-country roads and then down a gravel driveway, and I thought: "What am I doing? Am I insane?" And then I went into this house, and this family was so loving and amazing and wonderful, so it was a great education for me not to judge. And I know that my workplace checks out and makes sure that the places we're going are real, so that's comforting, but it's definitely a giant leap of faith, and you just have to make that leap.

On home care versus hospital care

Often in the hospital they can be more comfortable in terms of we're relieving their pain, we're getting them anti-nausea medications very quickly, but ... they're not as comfortable with themselves, and in their homes they seem much more comfortable with themselves and with the people around them, and I had never thought about those two things as being so distinct, but they are. So the question then is how do we give people care that marries those two things, because they're both so important.

On how patients express appreciation to nurses 

A very popular gift in my hospital was Starbucks [gift] cards. ... Often people bring in cookies and chocolate and that's wonderful, but I remember one nurse saying, "You know, I wish someone would just bring in a lasagna." ... Because we never have time to eat and then you go into the break room and you're hypoglycemic and you see all this chocolate, and so you eat all this chocolate, which doesn't really help you feel that much better in the long run. So to actually drop off a meal is wonderful. 

EHRs Love It or Leave It?

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 12:13 PM

It is clear that digital technology has a firm grasp on our lives and is advancing daily. We walk around with a computer in our pocket (cellphones) full of endless amounts of information. This technology has changed the way we provide healthcare and with this change there are pros and cons. Specifically, Electronic Health Records (EHRs) or Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). 

An Electronic Health Record according to CMS.gov, is an electronic version of a patient's medical history. It is maintained by the provider over time, and may include all of the key administrative clinical data relevant to that person's care under a particular provider, including demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The EHR automates access to information and has the potential to streamline the clinician's workflow. The EHR also has the ability to support other care-related activities directly or indirectly through various interfaces, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.


EHRs will save you space and paper. Administrative duties in health systems represent a significant amount of time and costs. Staff can spend a good portion of the workday filling out and processing forms. Because they are paperless, EHRs streamline a number of routine tasks. With less paperwork taking up space there will be less clutter and more room to be efficient.

Patient’s medical files will all be consistent. The medical staff can interact easily with affiliated hospitals, clinics, labs and pharmacies about the patient’s medical history. All of the patient’s files are updated when something is entered or changed in the system. This way the patient’s information is always up to date, leaving less room for errors or miscommunication.

Easy access to all clinical data. Staff can quickly transfer patient data to other departments or providers, while also reducing errors, which yield improved results management. Patients and employees often respond positively to this because it helps keep a health system’s schedule on track.


Privacy is a major concern when it comes to electronic health records. Using EHR software could put your organization at risk if you don’t follow privacy settings correctly. Paper records also make it easy to violate a patient’s privacy but, electronic records are convenient and timely which makes it easier to violate the patient’s privacy. A common privacy concern is identity theft.

Another disadvantage is data loss. A computer crash could wipe out vital data that you’ve been accumulating over the years. Always have a backup plan. This is imperative.  Many systems backup their data through a cloud program. So if there is an unfortunate event and your system crashes, you will still be able to access the data from the cloud.”

There are high costs involved with implementing an EHR to your system and many smaller health systems might not be able to afford it. The American Action Forum says, “Implementing an EMR system could cost a single physician approximately $163,765. As of May 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had paid more than $30 billion in financial incentives to more than 468,000 Medicare and Medicaid providers for implementing EMR systems. With a majority of Americans now having at least one if not multiple EMRs generated on their behalf, data breaches and security threats are becoming more common and are estimated by the American Action Forum (AAF) to have cost the healthcare industry as much as $50.6 billion since 2009.”

Do you work in a health system that uses Electronic Health Records? If so, how do you feel about them? We want your honest opinion, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Topics: electronic health records

ICYMI: The Top 5 Blog Posts From This Summer

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Sep 30, 2015 @ 10:52 AM

It's officially Autumn season and we are sadly saying goodbye to our Summer sandals and pulling out clothes to keep us warm. If you're going to miss Summer like us, hopefully taking a look back at our hottest blogs of the season will help ease the pain. 

1. 14yr old African American Develop A New Surgical Technique To Sew Up Hysterectomy Patients

img_8652This incredible young man, Tony Hansberry II, is a 14-year-old student who used an endo stitch in a way no one has ever done before and the results are a game changer.

Read Story


2. Study Confirms What We Knew All Along: Nurses Are Key to Hospital Success

We all know and love Nurses, but isn’t it wonderful when a research study validates something you already know? We think you’ll enjoy this article.

Read Story


 3. 5 Things Labor Nurses Want You To Know

"As a labor and delivery nurse, here is what I wish I could say to every mother out there, what I'm sure many of us would want to say to the families we care for..."

Read Story


4. Nurse Practitioners More In Demand Than Most Physicians

 It comes as no surprise that primary care doctors are, and have always been, highest in demand. However, recent data shows that this paradigm is shifting.

Read Story


5. Empty Pill Bottles Desperately Needed (Take your meds & help others!)

In other parts of the world patients are handed their pills and must use whatever they have to keep the medication safe. In three easy steps you can make a difference for those patients. 

Read Story

Diversity and Inclusion in Health Systems

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 28, 2015 @ 03:02 PM


Diversity and Inclusion should be a top priority at Hospitals and Health Systems across the country. Why? Because your workforce should reflect your patient population. Your patients may come from your local communities. Others may have traveled from another country to have access to the specific illnesses you are noted for treating. It is imperative that your Nursing and medical team is culturally sensitive to their patients in order to provide the best care possible. Different cultures have different customs including: mannerisms such as not looking you in the eye; family members in attendance around the clock; the way  they dress; language/communication; the food they eat;  etc.

Understanding Diversity and Inclusion helps your team provide culturally responsive care. It also enhances the quality of life for your team. If your Nursing team is culturally aware, your patients and their families will be more comfortable and trusting of your hospital and staff. This makes the entire hospital experience a more positive experience for the patient, which in turn makes a smoother work environment. Imagine becoming ill and hospitalized in another country that doesn’t speak your language and doesn’t understand your subtle cultural differences. You’d most likely be scared and do whatever possible to get home immediately to a hospital where you feel safe and comfortable communicating with your medical team. A hospital you trust.

Hospitals and Health Systems use all types of approaches to monitor and educate their staff about Diversity and Inclusion. Many have Chief Diversity Officers or programs in place to educate and enhance this important factor of health care. Diversity can foster and drive excellence in patient care, research, and education. Here’s what some Hospitals and Health Systems are doing to improve Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

Chief Diversity Officers

The Chief Diversity Officer at the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges), Marc Nivet, Ed.D., defines a CDO’s role “It’s using the concept of diversity and inclusion to promote a stronger, better organization. Before, it was primarily about representational diversity, focusing on bringing in diverse faces. That remains critically important, but now we also are thinking about how to make use of that diversity to improve health.”

If your organization doesn’t have a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, do they need one? Nivet goes on to say, “There are still some doubters who do not see the value of a diversity initiative. They don’t see the microinequities of how staff or patients are treated. The pressure is on the CDO to illuminate those inequities, bring them to the surface, and encourage conversations about them.”

Leadership Programs

Boston Children’s Hospital provides leadership development programs for professionals of color. One of their programs is called Conexión. “Conexión was created to advance Latino leadership to meet the changing needs in business, education, and government organizations in an increasingly culturally complex world.”

The Partnership Program is another great opportunity Boston Children’s Hospital provides. The Partnership’s mission is to “develop professionals of color, increase their representation in Boston area businesses and institutions, enhance opportunities for advancement and influence, and thereby extend the region’s economic competitiveness. The Partnership program consists of two levels depending on experience.”

Diversity and Inclusion Team

Yale-New Haven Hospital has a 16 person team dedicated to carrying out their Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. The initiative is based on 6 key factors.

  • Recruiting a diverse workforce that is sensitive to and inclusive of people's differences
  • Providing an excellent patient experience by understanding patient diversity and the needs of the many different people the hospital serves
  • Working with a wide variety of groups and individuals in the community to improve people's health and access to care
  • Ensuring the hospital is the employer of choice by creating an environment that encourages the talents and recognizes the uniqueness of each employee
  • Supporting the hospital's efforts to use diverse vendors and suppliers
  • Educating staff on working with diverse team members and caring for diverse patient populations

Do you have Diversity and Inclusion initiatives in place at your organization? Does your workforce reflect you patient population? Feel free to contact us below to learn more about addressing some of these very important issues!

Contact Us!


Nurse Association 'Zero Tolerance' On Workplace Bullying

Posted by Pat Magrath

Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 10:34 AM

mily Mongan via www.mcknights.com 


This summer, the ANA (American Nurses Association) released a new position statement regarding Incivility, Bullying, and Workplace Violence. It clearly states that “All RNs and employers in all settings, including practice, academia, and research, must collaborate to create a culture of respect that is free of incivility, bullying, and workplace violence”. Any kind of workplace violence whether it be physical, verbal or psychological is not to be tolerated and should be reported immediately. This applies to bullying incidents/workplace violence from a co-worker, patient or patient’s family member. When these incidents are allowed to continue, there are many damaging consequences including psychological, financial and a toxic work environment.

A leading long-term care nurses group is praising a tough, new “zero tolerance” the American Nurses Association has adopted regarding violence and bullying in healthcare workplaces.

The ANA announced the new policy Monday, citing a survey of 3,765 RNs that found almost one-fourth of respondents had been physically assaulted at work by a patient or a patient's family member. The survey also found up to half of nurses had been bullied in some manner by a peer or a person in a higher level of authority. ANA's statement defines bullying as “repeated, unwanted harmful actions intended to humiliate, offend and cause distress.”

The ANA's new policy includes recommendations to prevent and handle violence like encouraging employees to report incidents of violence, avoiding blaming employees for violence perpetrated by non-employees and developing a violence prevention program aligned with federal health and safety guidelines.

“Taking this clear and strong position is critical to ensure the safety of patients, nurses and other healthcare workers,” wrote ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, in a statement. “Enduring physical or verbal abuse must no longer be accepted as part of a nurse's job.”

Violence against healthcare workers, especially nursing assistants, should be handled with more scrutiny by long-term care providers, according to American Association for Long Term Care Nursing Executive Director Charlotte Eliopoulos, RN, MPH, PhD.

“Studies have shown that more than half of certified nursing assistants [CNAs] are victims of assault and battery at least once every week,” Eliopoulos told McKnight's. “Staff need to be better prepared to identify violence-prone individuals, prevent violent acts, and manage them should they occur.”

Take a stand against workplace bullying.


Get Your Free Bullying Tip Sheet

This Medical ID App Could Save Your Life

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Sep 23, 2015 @ 03:45 PM


You don't know when an emergency is going to happen. You don't know if the emergency is going to happen to you. But you can prepare for a medical emergency by downloading the Apple Health app and creating a Medical ID. 

People should keep their information and medical history with them in case they cannot communicate during an emergency. We aren't saying you should carry your entire medical file to the grocery store. But what if we asked you to carry your smart phone?

Some people wear their information on jewelry like bracelets or dog tags. Other people have it written down and kept in their wallet. Now most people have a smart phone and can download apps like the Apple Health app. 

This health app allows you to store and update all your important medical information. Information including your name, date of birth, medical conditions, medical notes, allergies and reactions, medications, emergency contacts, blood type, organ donor status, weight, height, and photo can all be stored and accessed from a touch of a button on your lock screen.

Here's how to access Medical ID on a locked iPhone:

1. Swipe to unlock.

2. Tap Emergency.

3. Tap Medical ID, on the emergency call screen.


Here's how to insert your information in the app:

1. From the iPhone home screen, choose the “Health” application. It is the white app with a pink heart in the top right corner.

2. You will notice a “Medical ID” option in the tool bar along the bottom of the screen.

3. An option to “Create Medical ID” will appear and display a screen with fields for you to enter your information.

As a patient, it can save your life. For medical professionals, try to make it a habit to always check a  patient's phone for a Medical ID. It could help you save their life.

Related Article:

How Health Apps Will Change Nursing

'She Saved My Life': Mother Is Awakened From A Coma By Her Newborn Baby

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Sep 21, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

jdwz0-mom-daughter-2Many Nurses have a 6th sense when it comes to their patients. This story is about a Nurse who’s patient was in a coma after a C-section. Nothing was bringing the patient out of the coma. The Nurse’s actions changed the outcome of could have been a very tragic situation.

For Shelly and Jeremy Cawley, what should have been one of the happiest moments of their lives took a near fatal turn. 

Shelly went in for an emergency C-section and doctors had to put her under. After several hours, they were getting worried that Shelly hadn't woken up. 

The couple's newborn daughter, Rylan, was resting safely a few floors away in the same hospital. 

"I was a mess. I was numb. I didn't know what to think anymore," Jeremy told People. "The doctors had done all they could and it was clear, they absolutely thought they were losing her at this point." 

It wasn't until nurse Ashley Manus, a big proponent of skin-to-skin contact, stripped Rylan down and gently put her on her mother's chest that everything changed. 

"I was hoping somewhere deep down, Shelly was still there and could feel her baby, hear her baby and her mother's instincts would come out and she would realize, 'This is where I need to be.' " Manus said. 

Incredibly, it worked!

Jeremy says the bond for Ryland was instant, and she fell right asleep on her mom. She was so content the doctors had to make her cry so that Shelly would hear her baby. 

"We could see a spike in her vitals on the monitor. We knew that somewhere in there she was hearing her baby. Rylan saved her mom's life," Manus said. 

It would be another week before Shelly came out of the coma completely and could hold her baby for the first time. Both mom and baby were fine, with no complications from the ordeal. 

It's been a year since Shelly's miraculous recovery, and this past weekend, the family celebrated Rylan's first birthday. 


Thank You, NICU Nurse

Posted by Pat Magrath

Fri, Sep 18, 2015 @ 02:22 PM

Natalie Romero via www.huffingtonpost.com 


Grab the tissues because this article is a beautiful thank you note from the mother of an infant in the NICU. She refers to the Nurses in the NICU who took care of her baby as “background heroes”. Always there offering comfort to both her and her baby; translating the doctor’s language in to words she could understand; singing and reading to her baby; staying with him in the OR; and all the other important things the Nurses did to help her through it. She’s not sure if she ever properly thanked you so she wrote this letter. It’s beautiful and so are you for all you do for your patients and their families.

During our NICU stay, our son was seen by dozens of doctors -- surgeons, neonatologists, anesthesiologists, cardiologists, orthopedics and radiologists. He was treated by occupational therapists and physical therapists.

If you were to walk in the room during rounds on a typical day, you would have found five or six doctors huddled around his tiny body reviewing his charts. They discussed his numbers throughout the night, their opinions on his treatment, and how he was responding. The doctors didn't always turn to us to include us in the conversation. And to be honest, we didn't always understand their language.

If you were to look very closely at the scene, you may have noticed someone hovering in the background almost going unnoticed. If you looked hard enough, you would have noticed my son's NICU nurse who rarely left his side during rounds. His nurse stayed close by and tended to my son while the doctors tended to his illness. His nurse always helped us figure out the doctor language once they were gone.

Those nurses were our background heroes. They didn't get the same credit as the doctors and they never searched for praise, but they were such an important and necessary part of our NICU journey.

NICU nurse, I don't know if you know the impact you had on our family.

I don't think I thanked you.

I hope it's not too late.

Thank you for quietly closing the curtain to give me privacy when I couldn't stop the tears.

Thank you for rocking my baby when I couldn't be with him at night.

Thank you for knitting him hats and booties.

Thank you for reading to him.

Thank you for singing him lullabies.

Thank you for staying with him in the operating room.

Thank you for being gentle with him when he was battered and bruised after hours and hours of surgery.

Thank you for being his advocate and questioning everything, even the doctors, when you felt like he was being given unnecessary treatments.

Thank you for keeping the small bit of hair that was shaved off of his head when the only available vein was on his skull. "It was his first hair cut," you said when you handed it to us the following morning.

Thank you for teaching me how to bathe him without making all the alarms ring.

Thank you for teaching me how to read the machines he was attached to.

Thank you for helping me hold him without pulling out all his tubes.

Thank you for silently standing beside me while I cried tears of helplessness.

Thank you for helping me see the good I was doing by heading off to pump every three hours.

Thank you for making feel like a normal mother in the moments when I felt anything but normal.

Thank you for celebrating each ounce of milk consumed, each breath taken without the breathing tube, each time the number on the scale went up.

Thank you for celebrating when he was discharged.

Thank you for helping me get through one of the toughest experiences of my life. You were a part of the reason I survived it.

I don't know the half of what you have seen. I know that even though you always seemed to be smiling, behind closed doors you cried your own tears. I know that in the moments of chaos when alarms were sounding and codes were being called and my world seemed to be crashing down around me, you stayed calm and focused and you made sure that my world stayed upright.

I hope you know that I felt your hand of my shoulder. I hope you know that I was grateful to see your face every morning. I hope you know just how important you were to us.

I hope it's not too late to say thank you.


Minorities in Medicine: Diversifying Healthcare in the U.S.

Posted by Pat Magrath

Wed, Sep 16, 2015 @ 03:37 PM

By Denston Carey Jr. via www.wcuquad.com 


While many of us are well aware of the disparities in healthcare, this article written by a medical student, makes some good points about the need for more diversity at all levels in the medical field. What would you add to his thoughts?

Increasing the presence of minority groups within the medical field is a pressing issue in healthcare today. When one walks into the average doctor’s office or hospital, one cannot help but realize that there is not enough diversity within the medical field. The sparingly present racial and ethnic groups in medicine are more formally referred to as the Underrepresented Minorities.

African-Americans comprise about 13 percent of the American population but, they make up only four percent of American physicians. – AAMC

Groups that are underrepresented in medicine are present, as physicians or other medical professionals, in small numbers relative to their presence in the population as a whole. For example, though African-Americans comprise about 13 percent of the American population, they make up only four percent of American physicians (AAMC). Furthermore, the 14 percent presence of Hispanics in the American population is hardly reflected by the mere six percent of Hispanics coming out of U.S. medical schools in recent years. It goes without saying that there are some negative side effects that stem from this lack of diversity within American healthcare. 

The medical professionals of the U.S. simply do not reflect the mosaic of racial and ethnic groups that comprise our population, and this indeed has social and cultural implications. Patients not only come with symptoms and disorders, but they also come with different social and cultural backgrounds. 

Being a medical professional is about more than just understanding how the human body works—medical professionals need to be able to relate to their patients on a personal level as well. When caring for such a diverse population, our medical professionals must be both culturally competent and reflective of the patient population. Understanding and relating to patients is an important part of medicine, and it can make a huge difference in the patients’ experience if their healthcare providers are able to do this. 

Beyond the social and cultural reasons that call for a diversified healthcare force lie the needs of underserved communities. Underserved communities are those which face economic, cultural, or linguistic barriers to healthcare (DOH). There have been studies that show underrepresented physicians (African-Americans, Latinos, American Indians, and Pacific Islanders) are far more likely to practice in underserved communities than their white counterparts. Because theseunderserved communities may benefit from a more accessible healthcare system, when underrepresented groups serve them, the healthcare disparities that afflict these communities are likely to be mitigated by an increase in the amount of underrepresented physicians.


With this now in mind, it is apparent that increasing the prevalence of underrepresented minorities within the medical field can also decrease healthcare disparities. 

So, how can WCU help? The first thing we can do, as a university, is diversify our own pre-health programs. We can then work to support and embrace this diversified community of pre-health students. Lastly, we can reach out to the younger people of the West Chester community, encouraging them to pursue careers within the healthcare field as well. Through these three objectives, WCU can contribute to the national effort of diversifying the American healthcare force. 

Minorities in Medicine wishes you all the best this semester, and we look forward to seeing many of you pre-health students get involved with this organization. 

Register For The $5,000 Education Award!

Miss Colorado Wears Scrubs and Describes Passion for Nursing in Miss America Talent Portion

Posted by Pat Magrath

Mon, Sep 14, 2015 @ 02:48 PM

By Erin Powell via www.thedenverchannel.com 


No matter how you feel about the Miss America Pageant, if you missed Colorado’s Kelly Johnson and her view about being a Nurse, you can see it here. Please let us know what you think about what she had to say.

Sunday's Miss America pageant will surely feature plenty of glitz, glam and glitter.

Miss Colorado didn't look like that in this week's preliminaries. During the talent competition, Kelly Johnson walked onto the stage with her hair in a ponytail, clothed in baggy scrubs with a stethoscope draped around her neck. Johnson didn't show off a talent, but she passionately explained hers: nursing.

After a deep breath, she said, "Every nurse has a patient that reminds them why they became a nurse in the first place. Mine was Joe."

Joe suffered from Alzheimer's disease and at night, screamed out because of night terrors. Miss Colorado would comfort him and stop him from screaming, but explains she couldn't change his treatments or medications because she was "just a nurse."

Instead, they'd talk about his grandchildren and laugh together. Until one day he was crying. She stopped and said to Joe, "You're not just Alzheimer's."

"Same goes for you. You're not 'just a nurse,'" he responded. "You have changed my life because you have cared about me."

Johnson graduated as the valedictorian from Grand View University in Des Moines.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to share how passionate I am about this profession. Thank you to the Miss America Organization," Johnson wrote on Facebook.

This is why I did what I did. All in one message. This means so much to so many people. I love you, America. Thank you for reaching out to me. This is all for you! #NurseKelley

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DiversityNursing.com is a national “niche” website for Nurses from student nurses up to CNO’s. We are a Career Job Board, Community and Information Resource for all Nurses regardless of age, race, gender, religion, education, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or physical characteristics. 

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