How one comment on The View sparked a nurse-led revolt nationwide

Nurses across the nation are up in arms over comments made about their profession by the women on The View.


The talent competition of the Miss America pageant doesn't often breed controversy.

This year, that was not the case.

Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, took a somewhat different route for her talent. She performed an original monologue about her career as a nurse for Alzheimer's patients. She walked on stage in scrubs with a stethoscope and discussed one of her patients, her role in his life — and his role in hers.

See the video below.

Instead of commending Ms. Johnson for her service to patients and for her bravery for performing a monologue, as opposed to the usual song and dance, the women on the television show The View chose to mock Ms. Johnson and, by extension, nurses in general.

"Seriously?" Joy Behar said in response to the video. "Why does she have a doctor's stethoscope on?" They also implied that doing a monologue was not a talent, mentioning instead contestants who sang opera and played instruments. (See the video here, courtesy of E!)

That reaction sparked a backlash on social media — with its own hashtag, #nursesunite — as well as a response from the president of the American Nurses Association, Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN.

Dr. Cipriano said it was "disturbing" that Ms. Behar would "use her national platform and influence to mock Miss America contestant Kelley Johnson for wearing a 'doctor's stethoscope'…as if Johnson were wearing a costume. Nurses don't wear costumes; they save lives."

The responses drew an apology from all of the personalities on The View, including Ms. Behar. "I didn't know what the hell I was talking about," she said. Ms. Behar reiterated that she didn't know Ms. Johnson was actually a nurse, and that she thought the contestant was just wearing a costume.

Meanwhile, Ms. Johnson went on The Ellen DeGeneres show and defended her monologue. "I'm a nurse and that's my talent, taking care of people, caring about other people," she said, according to People magazine. "If I'm ever going to win Miss America or win Miss Colorado I want to do it being myself, and I'm a nurse."

However, the apology was not enough for some companies that advertise during The View. According to E! News, Johnson & Johnson and Eggland's Best have both pulled commercials over the comments.

Amid the apologies, nurses at hospitals across the country are raising their stethoscopes in support of Ms. Johnson and others in their profession. See some tweets below.

In response to the apology, Dr. Cipriano said, "We are pleased that Behar apologized on the show…and think this is a great opportunity for those in the media to highlight the important, lifesaving role of nurses and to show them the respect they deserve."

My hat goes off to the 3.4 million registered nurses out there, caring for patients and saving lives daily. I raise my metaphorical stethoscope to you.  

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