What if… there was an American Idol for Nurses

Stories - Bull HornWith the impending cancellation of American Idol, it is only fitting to consider what it would be like if there were a similar competition for nurses. At the very least, it would show the public what we do… and it could be a lot of fun!

For the audition segment, nurses would be required to perform “basic” nursing skills. They could be judged on making beds: how tight their corners are, how flat the sheets are, and how fast they can change the bed.

Those who are the best at bed making would then proceed to the next round at Cedars Sinai in California. Doesn’t make much sense for them to go to Hollywood or Vegas because they aren’t singing or acting.

In this round, the nurse would have to properly position a patient on a bed pan, feed a geriatric patient who refuses to eat, and ambulate a patient who is post stroke. Those who were able to best exhibit their skills would then enter into the top 25, and the American public would get to judge the nurse with the best skills.

For round one, the nurses could start with the 350 pound patient toss. Of course, this would be done with a weighted dummy, but the nurse would have to heave it on their own without hurting their back.

The next week would be IV starting. You’d have to get the vein in one stick or be eliminated from the competition.

The weeks would progress with various nursing skills. For instance, one week would feature changing a bed with a person in it. Of course, the patient would be covered in BM, complicating matters.

Another week would feature speed charting. Those who could type up a note on a complex patient the fastest would move onto the next round, providing the note is accurate and detailed.

Finally, the last week would arrive, with two nurses left to go head to head in the ultimate test of nursing skills: a code blue. Each nurse would run a code to the best of their ability.

Of course, whether or not the dummy lives would not be the only determining factor for winning. Nurses would be judged on how closely they followed ACLS protocols, whether they kept their cool, and how fast they were able to determine the cause of arrest.

Finally, on the last night, the winner would be chosen. What’s the prize?

The lucky winner receives a full scholarship to the school of their choice to become an APRN. This way, they wouldn’t have to work the bedside anymore. Hooray!

There will never be an American Idol for nurses, unfortunately. Not many, aside from nurses, know the skills that go into making a great nurse. Most people would not even be able to tell what a perfected skill looks like.

Still, it’s an interesting proposition. Maybe hospitals around the country will adopt a competition show for nurses, building morale, and allowing nurses to show their stuff.


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