Editor’s note: On Sept. 14, the hosts of The View had a segment regarding Miss America contestant, Kelley Johnson, who came out in her nurse’s uniform during the talent section of the competition. Host Joy Behar commented, “Why does she have a doctor’s stethoscope around her neck?” Nurses took to social media using the hashtag #NursesUnite to express their dissatisfaction with The View’s comments and to defend the importance of the nursing profession.
Who would have ever thought that a stethoscope would prove to be the catalyst for change for the profession of nursing? For too long, nursing has been hindered by a severe case of humility and a disjointed, unorganized attitude of “What can I do? I’m just a nurse.” Well, we are now proving what we can do as nurses.
My parents were nurses, and my oldest son might one day aspire to be a nurse. He’s joining the Navy soon as a Hospital Corpsman, like his parents and grandparents before him. Nursing is what I am; it’s what I do. I’m tired of seeing nurses tear one another down, eat our young, and mock those who aren’t as good as us. These are self-destructive acts that weaken our position on important issues. We don’t see our physician colleagues doing this to each other, but we openly do it to ourselves. It has to stop. Nurses know what’s wrong with the healthcare system in the United States. We see it every day from the frontlines of healthcare. Our professional organizations do an admirable job of trying to speak for us, but we are not united on an individual level.
You know what’s really upsetting about that segment from The View? It’s supposed to be a show that empowers women, right? Then why are they tearing down the women from the Miss America Pageant? Making fun of a nurse, making fun of a violinist, making fun of someone’s dress or hair. To impressionable young women who are watching this show, do you know what they hear? They hear that being different, showing intelligence, or displaying talent makes you a target for ridicule. This show is nothing but a platform for bullies to insult those women who are different than them. Shameful. Disrespectful. Hateful.
Now, like I mentioned before, we’ve all seen these same things in the nursing profession. It’s time to change, and that time is now.
There are many things that need to and can be changed. I propose we start with how we treat each other. We’re off to a great start with our response to The View, but we need leadership to keep this momentum going: a leader who is in the trenches, who has experienced the drudgery of nursing recently. From this change we can move on to more important issues, like safe staffing ratios, staff safety, and care based on science instead of satisfaction surveys.
I would like to take this opportunity to announce that I will gladly accept the position as Galactic Nursing Overlord, or GNO for short. From this position I promise to bring about swift change to our nursing profession, both internally and externally. The minions of evil, ignorance, neglect, and apathy will not stand a chance while I’m in charge. Place your trust in me, your GNO, and I will not let you down. Through me we all have a voice and a vision. I will be the voice and The View of nursing! #nursesunite #galacticnursingoverlord #gno #iwelcomeourgalacticnursingoverlord
Sean P. L’Huillier, BSN, RN, CEN, is recent graduate of Georgetown University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program. He works and lives in northwest Arizona.