In light of the recent controversy surrounding co-hosts Michelle Collins and Joy Behar’s comments regarding Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson’s Miss America monologue about being a nurse, The View brought out several special guests on Friday to further hit home the importance of nurses.
“When you think about how nurses are perceived and you look at the Gallup poll, for 13 years running we’ve been listed as the most honest, ethical, and trusted profession out there. But sometimes we don’t feel like we’re the most respected,” said View guest Larry Slater, clinical assistant professor from NYU College of Nursing. “Nurses come to the forefront a lot during times of tragedy, with the countless amazing women and men who have saved lives after 9/11 or Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, or the tsunami in Asia in 2004, or the military nurses on the front line in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Added Slater, “The truth of the matter is that there are countless heroic nurses and countless Kelley Johnsons that are impacting lives every minute of every day without so much as a whisper. They’re not doing it for the recognition. They’re doing it because of their passion and their love and the impact they can have on those they care for.”
Co-host Collins said that she “really didn’t understand the challenges facing nurses,” and acknowledged the necessity of improving the public’s perception and appreciation for the profession.
“I’ll be honest I think the comments made Monday kind of played into that, and I’m sorry about that. Every day you guys deal with life and death situations,” Collins said.
Slater and fellow guest Kellie Bryant, director of simulation learning from NYU College of Nursing, went on to describe the “rigorous” nursing curriculum and training nursing hopefuls have to endure as well as the mental and emotional toll in order to go on to work in their chosen field.
“One thing that became abundantly clear to me this week was that nurses wear stethoscopes,” Behar added.
The segment comes on the heels of news that Johnson & Johnson as well as Eggland’s Best had pulled advertising for the talk show earlier this week.
“Johnson & Johnson values and appreciates nurses and we respect the critical role they play. We disagree with recent comments on daytime television about the nursing profession and we have paused our advertising accordingly,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement obtained by EW. “We’re committed to raising the level of awareness about the skill and knowledge that the profession requires and we send our thanks today and every day to the millions of nurses who touch the lives of patients and their families.”
Eggland’s Best echoed Johnson & Johnson by releasing an official statement on their site on Thursday, saying in part, “Eggland’s Best appreciates nurses and values the important role they play in family health. In light of the comments about the nursing profession recently made on daytime television we will no longer be advertising on the show in question.”
During Monday’s The View, Collins and Behar made several comments concerning Johnson’s Miss America monologue during which she stepped out onstage in a nurse’s uniform and stethoscope to share the story of an Alzheimer’s patient named Joe. The duo’s remarks sparked the hashtag “#NursesUnite,” which led the co-hosts to address the controversy on Wednesday. The American Nurses Association then released a statement, accepting Behar’s apology.
Johnson, the second runner-up at this year’s competition, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss the monologue, saying she was happy to be “able to bring all those nurses together and have everybody standing up for our profession and giving them the voice that they deserve.”