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2020 CU College of Nursing Graduate Ross Brightman

Students

Bias Lives Anywhere

Author Dana Brandorff | Publish Date May 12, 2020

Pam:  So, uh, Greg. How’s your job?
Greg:  Um, good, Pam. Thanks for asking. I recently got transferred to triage.
Dina: Oh, is that better than a nurse?
Pam: No, Mom, triage is a unit of the E.R. It’s where all the top nurses work.
Greg:  Well—
Pam:  No, they do.
Jack: Not many men in your profession, though, are there, Greg?
Greg:  No, Jack, not traditionally.
Jack:  Mm-hmm.

Meet the Parents – 2004


Similar to Greg Focker from the hit movie Meet the Parents, Ross Brightman has faced bias because of his choice of a nursing career. But the bias wasn’t from others. It was from himself.

After graduating with an exercise physiology degree, Brightman thought, “All I need is a degree and I can have the best life ever!” He soon discovered, “No one knew what to do with me,” and realized that he needed more education. “I could be a cardiac technician or EKG technician, but without a more advanced degree and credentials, it was limiting.” Years as an athletic trainer connected him with doctors, nurses, orthodontists, who showed him he could have a better career in medicine.

With a passion for helping people, Brightman toyed with applying to medical school and PA school. “To be honest, I was biased. The age-old stigma of men being physicians and women being nurses was very present in my thinking, and I still think it’s really common.”

While at Porter Hospital working as a cardiac technician, he met several nurse practitioners who changed his mindset. “They showed me how amazing the profession could be. I knew I had found my calling.” He saw nurses working at full capacity and he loved it. “To be honest, I saw nurses in a whole new light. The cardiac nurse practitioners earned so much respect from their fellow workers. They were hands-on and could do so much.” That’s when the lightbulb turned on. “I can make what I want out of this career.”