+
upworthy
More

At the Miss America pageant, one contestant said what we all needed to hear about nurses.

It's an important message about not being defined by what you do.

In this year's Miss America pageant, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson brought her unique talent center stage.

No, she didn't sing, dance, spin plates, solve long division problems, or do magic tricks. Instead, she spent some time talking about what she does when she's not repping her state on national television: nursing.


She told a story about how one Alzheimer's patient changed everything about the way she looked at her job.

In her mind, she was "just a nurse." Not a doctor — "just a nurse." But her patient Joe helped remind her that "just a nurse" or not, she helped change his life for the better.


Not able to change his treatments, Kelley connected with Joe on a more personal, emotional level.

The two spent quality time talking to one another. When he was hurt, she was there for him. When things were tough, she was his lifeline. When he lost hope, she helped restore it.

One night, Kelley came to Joe's room and he was crying. "Joe, I know that this is really hard," she said to him. "But you are not defined by this disease. You are not just Alzheimer's."

That's when he made her confront her own limiting self-definition. "Nurse Kelley, then the same goes for you. ... you are not just a nurse."

Kelley had forgotten how special it is to be a nurse. There is no "just" about it. Nurses are lifesavers.

Nurses change lives. Nurses save lives. Whether it's Kelley Johnson with her patient Joe or the nurse at your local clinic, these men and women have a real impact on society. It's a field that doesn't get nearly the appreciation it deserves.

That's what makes it so heartbreaking that many people inside and out of the field view nursing as an insignificant component of the medical system. In reality, nurses are the ones who spend the most time with patients. Their job defines how patients connect to medicine.

It's widely expected that within the next decade, the U.S. will experience a shortage of nurses.

We need nurses, and if things don't change, they'll soon be in short supply. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing outlines a number of factors contributing to an oncoming shortage, including an insufficient number of training facilities, an increasing number of nurses nearing retirement, and a stressful environment that leads some nurses to ditch the field.

Nurses are awesome, and they're far more than "just" anything.

Is there a nurse in your life? Let them know that you appreciate what they do.

Take a bow, Kelley!

You can watch Kelley Johnson's monologue from the 2016 Miss America competition below:

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

One man turned nursing home design on its head when he created this stunning facility

"What if we design an environment that looks like outside?" he said. "What if I can have a sunrise and sunset inside the building?



92-year-old Norma had a strange and heartbreaking routine.

Every night around 5:30 p.m., she stood up and told the staff at her Ohio nursing home that she needed to leave. When they asked why, she said she needed to go home to take care of her mother. Her mom, of course, had long since passed away.

Behavior like Norma's is quite common for older folks suffering from Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Walter, another man in the same assisted living facility, demanded breakfast from the staff every night around 7:30.

Keep ReadingShow less
via PixaBay

Being an adult is tough.

Nothing can ever fully prepare you for being an adult. Once you leave childhood behind, the responsibilities, let-downs and setbacks come at you fast. It’s tiring and expensive, and there's no easy-to-follow roadmap for happiness and success.

A Reddit user named u/Frequent-Pilot5243 asked the online forum, “What’s an adult problem nobody prepared you for?” and there were a lot of profound answers that get to the heart of the disappointing side of being an adult.

One theme that ran through many responses is the feeling of being set adrift. When you’re a kid, the world is laid out as a series of accomplishments. You learn to walk, you figure out how to use the bathroom, you start school, you finish school, maybe you go to college, and so on.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

7 things Black people want their well-meaning white friends to know

"You, white friend, need to speak up and say something when I can't."

Growing up black in a white neighborhood.

I grew up black in a very white neighborhood in a very white city in a very white state.

As such, I am a lot of people's only black friend.

Keep ReadingShow less

Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway.

Charles Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet’s closest business partner, passed away on Tuesday, November 28, at 99. Buffett and Munger's partnership lasted over 50 years, producing Berkshire Hathaway, one of the largest and most successful conglomerates in history.

When Munger passed, his estimated worth was $2.6 billion. Buffet, 93, is believed to be worth $119 billion.

But Munger was far more than just a wealthy man. Apple CEO Tim Cook called Munger a “keen observer of the world around him,” and he was known for his pithy bits of common-sense wisdom known as “Mungerisms.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

If you're grieving a loved one this holiday season, here's a gift you can give yourself

After losing her almost-4-year-old daughter to epilepsy, Kelly Cervantes created a "grief companion" that meets people wherever they are in their grief journey.

Images courtesy of Kelly Cervantes

Kelly Cervantes wrote her way through grieving the loss of her daughter, Adelaide.

Kelly Cervantes begins the Introduction to her book with five words: "Grief sucks. It's also weird." It's a concise truth that anyone who has lost a loved one knows all too well.

Grief is a universal experience—none of us get through life without loss—but it's also unique to each person. Most of us are familiar with the popular "stages of grief" theory, but denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (along with guilt and a host of things) are less like sequential rungs on a ladder and more like pools you fall into at various times as you stumble your way through the grief process. Grief is not linear and it's not neat and tidy and it's not predictable.

Take it from someone who's been there. Kelly Cervantes lost her daughter, Adelaide, to epilepsy just shy of her 4th birthday. Using writing as a therapeutic tool to help her process Adelaide's medically complex life, death and everything that came after, Kelly created the book she wished she'd had as she was trying to navigate her own grieving process.

Keep ReadingShow less