RN Isn’t Qualified to Provide Expert Health Education? Wait! WHAT?

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Sandra Lee MD, aka reality TVs Dr. Pimple Popper, recently posted a message on Twitter (see image) in response to a health blog written by an RN on WebMD about sunburn: “Why would a registered nurse explain this? Why not a dermatologist?” (Twitter removed this post, but not before plenty of people got a screenshot). She subsequently posted a lame non-apology statement, which was also removed after almost 1,000 responses calling her out on both her original statement and her response to the backlash she received from the nursing community.


The piece was written by regular WebMD blogger, registered nurse, health education expert (redundant because she is an RN), and award-winning professional writer, Elizabeth Hanes BSN RN.  And let’s not forget that nurses do the lion’s share of health education and are trusted above all other professions.

In addition to Dr. Lee inferring that an RN isn’t qualified to provide expert health education, she is not happy that she wasn’t asked to write/dictate the piece. She didn’t state that the article wasn’t accurate, but only that she thought a dermatologist should have written it rather than a registered nurse. Rather than put nurses down publicly, all she needed to do was contact WebMD to make herself available for future opportunities if that’s what she wanted.

Here is my original response to her on twitter, which has also been deleted by her: “Not getting enough publicity and attention? Don’t recognize and respect nurses for the health experts and educators that we are? How incredibly condescending your original remarks to WebMD are… trying to get more of the spotlight while stepping on others.”
It’s important for nurses to continue to call out inaccurate and derogatory statements such as these made in any form of media. We do have the power to impact positive change… Nurse Power!

© Donna Cardillo. All rights reserved.

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