This Nurse Appreciation Week, on May 8th, a very special episode of the popular game show “Let’s Make a Deal” hosted by Wayne Brady featured a contestant panel made up of our very favorite group of people—all nurses! And not only was the show made up of all-nurse contestants and aired during Nurses’ Week this month, but Nurse.org was also honored to be able to donate the Mega Money Monday $20,000 prize to Nurse Tiffany Stewart.
The episode was really special because each nurse who played was able to tell their funny, heartfelt and inspiring nursing stories. We loved getting to hear more about all of the contestants on the show. Nurse Alice also had a chance to talk with one of the nurse contestants, Tiffany Stewart, to learn more about her work as a labor and delivery nurse and what it was like to compete on the “Let’s Make a Deal” show—all while dressed up in an outrageous costume.
>>Listen To The Podcast “Nurse Who Won $20K on ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ Talks About the Once in a Lifetime Experience”
Making Grandma Proud!
Although she’s now been a nurse for over 14 years, Stewart confessed to Nurse Alice that she originally had a much different career path in mind. Growing up, she was convinced she wanted to be a dentist hygienist: ”I was super passionate, I knew that’s exactly what I wanted to do,” Stewart explained. “And then I became a dental assistant when I was 18 and I absolutely realized I did not want to do dentistry,” she said.
Fortunately, her grandmother, an ER nurse of almost 40 years at the time, encouraged Stewart to become an EMT and try out a different side of the medical field—and the budding nurse fell in love instantly. After working in an ambulance and in a trauma center, she decided to go to nursing school. After graduation, her first job landed her in labor and delivery and although she had initially thought she would choose ICU, ER, or even flight nursing, just like with her original pivot, she soon realized the high-risk Labor and Delivery unit was where she was meant to be.
“I’ve been a labor nurse for 14 years now,” she said. “[My unit] almost feels like an emergency room, very fast-paced and I’m using those critical care skills that I always loved and I don’t plan on leaving this specialty. I love women’s health.”
Not only is Stewart passionate about her job in labor and delivery, but she was also very close to becoming a patient of L&D herself when she first interviewed to be a contestant on the “Let’s Make a Deal” show. Stewart shared with Nurse Alice that she was actually nine months pregnant when she first interviewed and while she had joked about going into labor making for some great live content, it seemed to work, because she eventually got the call inviting her for the special Nurse’s Week episode made up of all nurses with a $20,000 cash prize donated by Nurse.org
Stewart told Nurse Alice that she was excited to be invited, but even more so because her Grandma is the biggest fan of the show and had even appeared on it in the past. She shared that her grandparents would always bicker about her grandma not bringing enough things in her purse, because part of the show is host Wayne Brady asking if people have outlandish things like cheese in their purse or bag—and if they do, they get a prize.
“My Grandpa never let it go and it was so funny,” Stewart said. “My whole childhood, I remembered that story and I was so excited to share it.”
Another part of the show involves dressing up in costumes, so Stewart and her husband choose to dress up like hippies. The other nurses on the show got very creative as well, with the unofficial award for best-dressed going to the nurse who dressed as Florence Nightingale (and another who dressed as a candle).
Stewart enjoyed seeing how everyone dressed up, but more than the fun of costumes, Stewart said she loved getting to know some of the “amazing” nurses that were also part of the show, from a military nurse to travel nurses to critical care nurses. “It was just fun how you put thirty nurses in a room and there are just organic conversations that happen because we all kind of share that bond together,” she said.
“It was a roomful of nurses with crazy costumes that all have the same sense of humor, all wanting to win just amazing prizes,” Stewart noted.
Stewart also had to laugh because the nurses seemed to be the ideal contestants because once the show starts taping you aren’t allowed to leave, not even to go to the bathroom. And who else knows what it’s like to skip bathroom breaks more than a nurse?
“I was like, we have nurse bladders, we don’t need to go to the bathroom” Stewart laughed. “And the producers were like, ‘Oh my gosh, like these nurses are a different breed of people!’”
Nurse Alice and Stewart also discussed the many benefits that choosing a career in nursing can have. For instance, Nurse Alice pointed out that there are so many things you can do as a nurse and finding your own personal passion and niche within the broader nursing industry can be so rewarding.
“We can do anything,” Stewart agreed. “I think that’s what’s the best thing about nursing is–if you want to go into cosmetics and plastics, if you want to work in an outpatient or in a surgical center, you could do that; or education. There are so many ways to get involved or do something different and now with telehealth, there are so many ways to get involved.”
Both nurses agreed that because there are so many opportunities in nursing, if you’re a new nurse and just not feeling your current specialty, to not leave nursing altogether. Try on something else and keep searching for your passion!
“It’s disappointing when you start in an area or location that’s not your passion because sometimes people think about leaving the profession, and we don’t want that. We just want them to find the right fit for what they love,” Stewart said.
“I think you always have to find your why in nursing and why you do what you do,” she added.
In addition to encouraging new and emerging nurses to find their passion, Stewart and Nurse Alice are also encouraging everyone—nurse or non-nurse—to tune in May 8th on CBS to watch the special episode of the nurse-filled “Let’s Make a Deal” episode.
“It’s going to be amazing,” Stewart said. “I wish I could say more, but I just really want everyone to watch—I think they’re gonna really love it. I think the passion of nursing is going to come through in that episode and they’re going [to] be really excited.”
Watch “Let’s Make a Deal’s May 8th “Hooray For Nurses” episode on CBS or stream it on Paramount+ to catch Stewart and more incredible nurses competing for a $20,000 cash prize donated by Nurse.org!
Let’s Make a Deal – Press Site