Nursing community reacts to comments made by TV host

Nursing Student Assistant Shelby Mayhunt (right) walks senior Gabby Kroeger (left) through the procedure for drawing blood.

“The View” is under scrutiny for allegedly mocking Miss Colorado Kelly Johnson — and nurses in general. Due to these comments, some sponsors pulled their backing from the talk show. The comments and backlash from them have sparked a debate in America.

During the talent portion of the recent Miss America pageant, Johnson came out in nursing scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. She then gave a monologue about a patient who helped her realize why she was important as a nurse.

“The View” briefly covered the competition the day after it aired. However, in this brief moment, the host managed to insult Johnson and other nurses by minimizing what they do every day.

Nursing is the No. 1 undergraduate major at UNA. There are 793 undergraduate students declaring nursing as their major with 196 currently in the program. The nursing college saw 145 undergraduate students and 24 graduate students graduate in the 2014-2015 academic year.

“Joy Behar made an unfortunate comment that probably, to some degree, might have been taken out of context,” said Professor of Nursing Helen Coronel. “By making the comment that it was a doctor’s stethoscope, it clearly shows she doesn’t have an understanding of the job of a nurse.”

This has drawn attention to the profession, Coronel said. Nurses have come out in support of one another, and advertisers for “The View” have pulled their ads from the show.

The comments were unfortunate and came across as mocking the entire profession, said Associate Professor of Nursing Tera Kirkman.

“As a result of the comments, more people have become aware of the role of the nurse,” she said. “I think the roles of nurses have been misleading on different shows on television. That’s why a lot of people have a misconception of what nurses do.”

What nurses do is a talent and not something a lot of people can do, said senior Stephanie Terry.

“While doctors are the ones who prescribe what’s needed for the patients, they aren’t always there to administer it,” she said. “The nurses do what the doctors say for the patients. We take care of them, and we assess them with the stethoscope.”

Nurses do more than work in hospitals and doctor’s offices, Coronel said.

“Nurses are everywhere,” she said. “We have nurses on committees and in Congress. We have nurses that are nurse executives that lead companies. We have nurses who write policies and work on ethical committees.”

Senior Todd Grayson said he thinks nursing is an important profession and the comments made on “The View” were disrespectful.

“Nurses spend a lot of time with the patients,” he said. “A good experience at a hospital really depends on the nurse. The nurse is who you remember when you go there.”

Coronel said she decided to become a nurse because of the nurses she interacted with when she was younger.

“I grew up being a real sickly child,” she said. “I was in and out of the hospital, and the people who had the biggest influence on me were the nurses. They made me feel comfortable, and I wanted to be like them.”

Kirkman said nurses show compassion and other characteristics, which allows them to do their jobs well.

“It requires a level of intellect and integrity,” she said. “We provide the best care to our patients, not because someone is watching, but because this is who we are.”

Nursing is more than a job, said junior Kacie Baugus.

“I think nursing is much more than being trained,” she said. “It takes character, integrity, loyalty, love, and generosity. Nursing is very demanding and unique profession. You’re caring for the well-being of others.”