One Year Later: how being made fun of on national TV was the best thing that ever happened to me.

There isn’t a day that goes by that someone doesn’t ask what it was like to be me on the day the television show “The View” made fun of me and the entire profession of nursing. Some of you want to know if Joy and Michelle ever apologized. Some of you want to know if they asked me to go on the show. Some of you want to express how sorry you are for me. Some of you want to make sure that I know you won’t ever watch the show again. And some of you just want to push it under the rug with a curse word and a stethoscope held high. I only have one response for you all: thank goodness for The View.

Yep, that’s right. I thank my lucky stars every single day for those ignorant comments and the insensitive women that said them.

I found out about the “Doctor’s stethoscope” comment from you all, the nurses of America. To this day, I have not watched that episode or the entire segment that featured my Miss America performance. I woke up that morning to over 2500 messages in my public figure inbox from nurses all around the world standing up for me and nurses everywhere. I read as many as I could and ultimately realized that this was a serious situation that was not going to go away without a fight. Millions of nurses, sponsors of The View, and the producers themselves were all feeling the weight of those words. It was immediately obvious how much positive momentum we were gaining as a whole; they picked the wrong profession to mess with. We, as nurses, were demanding an apology, demanding a correction, and most importantly demanding the respect that we deserve.

After their sorry attempt at an apology and spending three episodes dedicated to “educating themselves about nursing”, The View was moving on from the scandal. We were not. I did not ever receive a personal apology. I was asked to go on the show and politely said, “never”.  I have way too much respect for our profession to compromise our integrity by giving them more viewers and a chance to defend themselves in front of me. If I truly believed that I could go there and educate them about what nursing is and advocate for our profession I would have thought about it. But, that wouldn’t be the case. I would have been bullied and interrupted as most guests are on the show that have differing opinions than them.  It just wasn’t going to happen. Either way, they gave our profession an incredible gift.

When was the last time you remember this magnitude of enthusiasm being ignited within our profession? When was the last time our profession united together standing up for what we do and how intelligent we are? When was the last time you went to work with a new spring in your step standing proud as a nurse ready to take on anyone who downplayed your practice? This was a huge blessing in disguise that brought us together like we haven’t been brought together in a long time. The #NurseUnite and #ShowMeYourStethoscope campaigns lit our world on fire.

Don’t feel bad for me. I will spend the next year traveling to various television shows and all across our nation speaking at various engagements educating the public about nursing, advocating for nurses everywhere, and giving a voice to the millions of hardworking nurses across America that deserve to be heard, thanked, and appreciated. This improved my life dramatically and gave me a purpose and platform to give back to the most honorable profession in the world. The opportunities that have arose from this firestorm for #NurseKelley and nursing as a whole are both chances I am eternally grateful for.

At the end of the day one thing remains true: if Joy Behar truly needed a nurse, any one of us, we would be there for her. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. It’s simply in our character to do the right thing. And that, my friends, is what makes us nothing like her.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. dora says:

    I was born a nurse. I’ve been a nurse (RN) for 47 years. I was dedicated and enjoyed every minute I was working! No one should ever make fun of a nurse or nursing. It is the hardest job a woman will have. Who knows, a nurse might be the one to save U one of these days.


    1. kelleyjohnson4 says:

      Hi DORA!
      Thank you for sharing. We at USSI agree with you, and we are thankful for each and every hardworking nurse. Best wishes, Nurse Kelley.


  2. I agree with your assessment and look forward more from you. I don’t think you are done yet, I think you want more. There are a great deal of things wrong with this system. It’s going to take a multidisciplinary complex systems approach to solve them, yet change will not happen within our lifetimes. Maybe we could have a rally or something, to raise awareness of a significant issue that is facing the nursing profession nationwide.


    1. Lori says:

      Come join us at Show Me Your Sterhoscope! We are planning just that….a rally in DC May 5th 2017 for Safe Staffing Ratios!


    2. kelleyjohnson4 says:

      Thank you for your comment. We are proud to know, and be, nurses that fight for the good of the profession. Stay tuned for the next blog, we are happy to have you!
      -Nurse Kelley


  3. Sara says:

    Iv been a nurse for 10 years.
    And love caring for all kinds of patients in the ER, but what I don’t get. Why do we have the worse Healthcare insurance and sick policies
    We care for the sick, but we can’t get sick because only allowed a certain numbers of days off or our insurance won’t pay….does it make any sense


    1. kelleyjohnson4 says:

      Hi Sara!
      Thank you for your comment. The healthcare system, including insurance, is a complicated place right now. I am hoping to influence positive change within it. Best, Nurse Kelley.


  4. Nicole, RN says:

    That was amazingly put. It was also accurate. Thank you for your support for our profession. We need more people like you. You make me want to be a better nurse.


    1. kelleyjohnson4 says:

      Hi Nicole!
      What a compliment. Thank you so much for your kind words.
      -Nurse Kelley @realnursekelley


  5. Becky Gorby says:

    So proud of you. I really appreciate all your comments about nursing. Very well said you presented the facts. People have no idea what we actually do on our shift every day. You are so right if Joy or any member of The View needed a nurse we would be right there giving the best care we are so proud to give. Thanks a one much for continuing to educate the public.


    1. kelleyjohnson4 says:

      Hi Becky!
      It is honestly what I love about my job. I feel like I am SO active in nursing spending most of my time advocating for what we do. People NEED to know!
      Kind regards, Nurse Kelley (@realnursekelley)


  6. Linda Hartford RN says:

    Thank you, Kelley. I retired from nursing about 6 years ago and a part of me has been missing that part of my life. Not any more, though.
    I never saw the episodes when they insulted us. I saw bits and pieces and heard about all the nurses who responded. I have not been good at social media but I am improving.

    The step I took was to start writing a book about spirituality, God given talent and how that makes us, healers, who we are. Thank you for the stand you took at the pageant (which I also missed) and the stand you took on TV for all of us. This book seems to have been in me for years. If you have any interest in this, I would love some input from you.


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