“Dear Jimmy Kimmel’s Nurse” from Nurse Kelley Johnson

It was a nurse at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles that saved Jimmy Kimmel’s newborn son. This nurse saved this little boy’s life by detecting his murmur, recognizing that he was blue, and ensuring he was brought to the NICU for life saving measures.

Here’s the part that I find most surprising: most people find this surprising.

“Wow! It was the nurse! How extraordinary!” …almost as if this was a fluke. But to the nursing community, this is normal. This is expected. This is our job description.

I am not bringing this up to downplay the heroic acts of all the nurses that assisted in saving little William’s life that day. I believe they are angels who were meant to be there for this little guy, and their expertise is respected. I am bringing this up to educate the public about what nurses do, because let’s face it, they do not know.

Most people believe nurses are assistants that can get you food, help you go to the bathroom, check your vitals, and follow a Doctor’s orders. It is true, those are things that we can do, but scientifically and medically our scope of practice is so much wider than that. There are too many ways to count that nurses save lives every single day through their assessments and expertise, but Jimmy Kimmel’s nurse did an amazing job in bringing one of them to the forefront.

I will not be surprised by what this nurse did, because that would be an insult to her skill. This kind of nursing happens ALL THE TIME, people. ALL THE TIME. Nurses are incredible. My point is this: this was not a fluke, not a one time “good catch”, this was a nurse doing her job in recognizing a life-threatening condition in one of her patients and doing something about it.  Yes, she deserves endless support and recognition because she saved a life, and I would be willing to bet this was not the first time. However, it is time we stopped being surprised by quality nursing care like this, but rather, start remembering that it is the foundation of the entire profession. Quality nursing care is most often the norm and it deserves appreciation every single day. Nurses are highly intelligent healthcare professionals that are essential to safe and effective patient care. Hopefully, with more people expecting this kind of care, nursing can receive the acknowledgement and thanks it has earned. Thank you, Jimmy Kimmel, for giving this specific superstar nurse the pat on the back she deserves for moments like this one. It won’t be her last.

64 Comments Add yours

  1. Karen Rennie says:

    Thank you for your comment and I totally agree. I thanked Jimmy Kimmel on his twitter account the night he spoke of this. I thanked him for recognizing this nurse, for it is usually not said. It is the nurse at the bedside, the nurse assessing her patient constantly, the nurse who sees that the patient is not improving or not looking right and the nurse who initiates a call to the doctor or a code. The nurse is the one who sees it first.


  2. Jeannine says:

    God Bless You Nurse Kelly Johnson…God be with you “Little Man”…Have a speedy recovery,,,


  3. MB says:

    My mother was a RN in the Navy during WWII and then a pediatric nurse for her career until retirement. I have good friends who are nurses. Nurses are the folks who do most of the work around patient care. They know how to comfort, provide relief from pain, and, yes, are able to diagnose many signs of serious problems before the doctor even sees the patient. I have had personal experience with this. Without nurses the medical field would not be able to adequately care for people. My father was so proud of my mom and that she was a professional. I’m never surprised to hear that a nurse, male or female, was instrumental in the well being of sick people of all ages.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Way to go and well said!!


  5. Anonymous says:

    My sister has had a doctor tell her that as a nurse she is his eyes and ears on the floor. That she spends more time with patients and is more likely to notice subtle changes in patients. Nurses are the frontline defense and rally the troops as needed.


  6. Libby Dolson says:

    Nurses are unsung heroes every day. Thank God for their hard work and caring hearts.


  7. Libby Dolson says:

    Nurses are unsung heroes everyday. Thank God for their dedication to all their patients.


  8. Anonymous says:

    I love Nurses. I am in and out of the hospital and my life was saved by Nurses.


  9. Well said. Thank you so much for pointing out what we nurses do.


  10. Pam says:

    Nurses are the driving force in good medical care in this country. I only wish Dr’s would listen to them and give them credit for knowing the patients needs much better than the Dr does. Egos should be checked at the door and Nurses should be equal partners in the Team.


  11. Anna Hudec says:

    I totally agree. I’m a nurse of 35 years and still by family and friends is considered the bed pan person. The public has limited knowledge of what I do on a job. I save lives. And most of the time will tell the doctor what my patients needs because he asks me first. We need a lot more recognition for the terrific loving caring responsible jobs we do on a daily basis.


  12. Maia Ylanan says:

    Thank you Nurse Kelley for reminding all of us nurses that quality nursing care is a norm and must never be an exception!
    Our profession deals with the joys and horrors of human life where seconds will always matter.


  13. Amen! She is a rockstar!


  14. Kerri Termors says:

    It’s the Nurse who comes in and sits with you while you’re watching General Hospital to take your mind off, just for a few minutes, the fact your newborn just had his 1st open heart surgery. It’s the Nurse who takes the time to get to know you when you’re son just had his 5th open heart surgery, and you live in TN, but you’re in a hospital in MI, and your husband and oldest son had to leave to go back home. Our family has been through a lot these past 12 years, and I feel it’s always the Nurses that are the ones that get you through it. God Bless Nurses!!!


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