#NursesUnite: How We Can Use This Influence EPS 169


In this timely episode of RNFM Radio, cohosts Elizabeth Scala, Keith Carlson, and Kevin Ross discuss two recent news stories that have lit up the nursing community.

RIP, Brian Short


All of us at RNFM Radio were saddened to learn of the death of AllNurses.com founder Brian Short and his entire family in an apparent murder-suicide. Our hearts go out to all who’ve been impacted by this tragic and sad event. May Brian, his wife, and his three children rest in peace.

We never know what another person is thinking, feeling, or experiencing; no matter the circumstances of his life that led him to the act he committed, we honor this groundbreaking nurse entrepreneur for the path that he paved for us all.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal ideation or has experienced the suicide of a loved one, please consider visiting the website of The American Suicide Prevention Foundation for resources and support. Or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Miss Colorado and The View

It has also come to our attention that the social media universe exploded this past week over an unfortunate comment made by Joy Behar, a host of The View, a daytime talk show popular with female viewers.

This article on The Huffington Post breaks down what happened to spark this controversy. In short, during the recent Miss America Pageant, Kelley Johnson (Miss Colorado) chose to perform a monologue about her career as a nurse rather than dance, sing, or otherwise entertain the audience and judges.


Unfortunately, Joy Behar and other hosts of The View made relatively disparaging comments about Johnson’s nurse-related monologue. Meanwhile, a retaliatory firestorm was sparked among the online nursing community, with significantly negative reaction against The View, and Ms. Behar, in particular. Many nurses have rallied around the hashtag, #NursesUnite, and the NurseUp.com forum on Facebook has seen significant traction on the topic. Feel free to read this open letter to Joy Behar by nurse blogger Kateri.

The conversation between Keith, Elizabeth, and Kevin focuses mostly on how we nurses can shine a light on our profession, avoid knee-jerk reactions, and back away from anger, vitriol, and snarky comments that paint nurses in an even more negative light than Ms. Behar’s original offhanded comment.

For nurses who want to learn how to improve their communication skills and their ability to respond publicly to stories or comments about nursing, “From Silence to Voice: What Nurses Know And Must Communicate To The Public” by Bernice Buresh and Suzanne Gordon, and Beth Boynton’s “Confident Voices: The Nurse’s Guide to Improving Communication and Creating Positive Workplaces” are great resources. These and other resources can help nurses to calmly speak out during such events, and stay calm when under emotional duress or reaction.

Nursing’s public profile is a hot topic at this moment in history. We at RNFM Radio want nurses to embrace this opportunity to provide education to the public about who nurses are, what we are, and what we do in real life.

If you have something to say about what Joy Behar said about nurses onThe View, why not write a letter to your local newspaper about real nurses’ lives, or reach out to your local television station or news show and ask them to do a segment or series about nurses and the profession of nursing? And if you have criticisms of Ms. Behar and The View, avoid simply criticizing them, and perhaps ask them to make up for their faux pas by doing a series showcasing real nurses.

Please tell us what you think about these topics, and let us know if you want to hear more. And if you hear of a newsworthy story about nurses or nursing, give us a heads up about it!


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