Sunday's Miss America pageant will surely feature plenty of glitz, glam and glitter.
Miss Colorado didn't look like that in this week's preliminaries. During the talent competition, Kelly Johnson walked onto the stage with her hair in a ponytail, clothed in baggy scrubs with a stethoscope draped around her neck. Johnson didn't show off a talent, but she passionately explained hers: nursing.
After a deep breath, she said, "Every nurse has a patient that reminds them why they became a nurse in the first place. Mine was Joe."
Joe suffered from Alzheimer's disease and at night, screamed out because of night terrors. Miss Colorado would comfort him and stop him from screaming, but explains she couldn't change his treatments or medications because she was "just a nurse."
Instead, they'd talk about his grandchildren and laugh together. Until one day he was crying. She stopped and said to Joe, "You're not just Alzheimer's."
"Same goes for you. You're not 'just a nurse,'" he responded. "You have changed my life because you have cared about me."
Johnson graduated as the valedictorian from Grand View University in Des Moines.
"I am so grateful for the opportunity to share how passionate I am about this profession. Thank you to the Miss America Organization," Johnson wrote on Facebook.
The final round of the competition airs on Sunday at 8 on 7NEWS.