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Guinness changes its mind when nurses speak up

Author(s): Julie Cullen

By Julie Cullen, managing editor, American Nurse Today

Sometimes it’s the little things that get under the skin and require a response. Nurses soldier through a lot of big stuff…long hours of physically, mentally, and emotionally difficult work, ongoing education to stay up to date with best practices, violence, and much more. But tell nurses that they’re not working hard or what they should look like, and they’ll speak their minds.

Many American Nurse Today readers commented on the tone-deaf Washington state senator who said that nurses in small rural hospitals should be exempt from mandatory lunch breaks and rest periods because they “probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day.” That senator has changed her tune because so many nurses told her (and showed her) how wrong she was.

The other recent incident that’s riled up nurses is the decision by the Guinness World Records to not recognize the record set by a nurse in London (Jessica Anderson) for running the fastest marathon in a nurse’s uniform. It appears that the people at Guinness have (or at least had) an antiquated view of what nurses wear when they care for patients (think dress, stockings, and cap). Jessica wore scrubs to run the marathon.

Again, nurses around the world made their voices heard and Jessica has been awarded the Guinness World Record. She’s giving her winnings to a charity at her hospital.

The moral of these stories? When nurses speak, people listen. Makes you wonder what else nurses could accomplish when they band together to support each other at work and in their communities.

Source: Modern Healthcare

Julie Cullen, managing editor of American Nurse Today, is most definitely not a nurse, but she admires what all of you do every day. In her Off the Charts blog she shares some of her experiences as a patient and family member of patients, thoughts and ideas that occur to her during her work editing nursing content, and information she thinks you might find interesting. Julie welcomes your feedback. You can submit a comment on the website or email her at jcullen@healthcommedia.com.



  1. Thank you for this article. I’m a Nurse Practitioner and have over 30 years in medicine. I was just asked by a patient’s wife “did you know you are not a Doctor?” Yes, I know it and am proud of it. I never wanted to be a Doctor. I want to be able to spend time getting to know my patients and explaining their disease processes and medications to them so they understand and can improve their health. Susan Sailer MSN, CRNP-C CUNP

  2. I wish nurses could come together to globally to correct staffing issues in hospitals. Hospitals understaff ALL the time to increase their profit margin.

    They also internally “shame” their nurses to prevent reporting physical violence by patients.


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