Nurse Responds To Being Called "Just A Nurse" By Entirely Flipping The Phrase On Its Head

Nurses are the foundation of any good health care system, and yet rarely do they get the props they deserve. So when one fed-up nurse responded to a "just a nurse" barb on Facebook, it became an unexpected mic drop moment heard 'round the internet.

After a long day of caring for sick babies, Caitlin Brassington, a Pediatric and Child Health Nurse in Toowoomba, Queensland, ran into an acquaintance on her way home from the hospital. Though Brassington's career as a nurse has spanned nearly two decades, the acquaintance hadn't seen her in scrubs before, and said (rudely) that she didn't realize Brassington was "just a nurse." The snide, belittling comment upset Brassington so much so that she decided to write an open letter to the "acquaintance" on Facebook before dashing off to pick up her three girls from school.

Her powerful Oct. 7 post went viral, gaining thousands of likes and comments in a matter of hours. Brassington titles her open letter "Just a nurse" and writes, "I am just home from a busy shift, looking very ordinary in my scrubs. On the way home today I stopped at the shop for milk and saw an acquaintance. She has never seen me in uniform and said that she didn't realize I was "just a nurse." Wow! Over my 18 year career I have heard this phrase many, many time, but today it got to me. Am I just a nurse?" Caitlin asks.

The post reads:

Brassington was unsure if she had gone too far with her post, but her worries were soon eased. "During the afternoon, the thought crossed my mind several times that I had been hasty in venting my thoughts on Facebook — something I have never done to such an extent," Brassington told When she returned home that evening, the response to her post was overwhelmingly positive. "The support, appreciation, recognition and love for nurses has been, and continues to be, truly humbling."

Brassington hopes that two things can be gleaned from this experience and the attention that the post has gained. She foremost hopes that all nurses read the comments on Facebook, as she points out, "We are not a profession that very often stands up and says: 'Look at me — tell me what a good job I am doing'." Second, she would like to eliminate the dismissive word "just" from society's vocabulary — at least when referencing a profession or vocation. "We are not 'just nurses', 'just teachers', 'just cops', 'just mums', or 'just dads'," Brassington added. "Yes, I am #proudtobejustanurse."

Bustle has reached out to Caitlin Brassington for comment and will update the article as we hear back ...

Images: pixabay, CaitlinBrassington/Facebook