MARIA Ramirez, 38-year-old RN from Dumont, N.J., is the winner of Dr. Oz’s recent nationwide #Nurse Search, according to the Hackensack University Medical Center.

She was voted as the winner after some months of nationwide search for a nurse who will join the show’s team of core experts.

“I have depended on the wisdom, guidance, support and nurturing of nurses in the entirety of my career as a surgeon,” said Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of the three-time Emmy award-winning “The Dr. Oz Show.”

“I have worked alongside nurses every step of my medical career and it’s time that a nurse joins my team of medical experts,” continued Dr. Oz.

“The same wisdom and passion for healing that is so critical with patients should also take place on the stage.”

Ms. Ramirez, mother of an 11-year-old girl Mackenzie and wife of Greg Reape, is a graduate of the Holy Name School of Nursing in Teaneck, N.J., and has been connected with Hackensack University Center for 27 years in various staff positions and, until recently, as ER registered case manager.

In its broadcast to the public, the Dr. Oz Show requires that those who are nominating the candidates for the #Nurse Search must be able to satisfy the questions:

(1). “Do you know a nurse that exemplifies the best of the nursing profession? And,

(2). Is the nurse a role model in the health industry?”

The announcement for a nurse search, a call for a nurse to join its core team of guest experts, was made during an episode of the show that was devoted to nurses.

The show episode titled, “Nurses Nation,” was part of the scheduled season seven tapings.

In announcing the results of the contest, Dr. Oz says, “I am very proud to announce that the #Nurse Search results are in, and Nurse Maria Ramirez will be joining my core team of experts. Thank you to everyone who helped with this amazing campaign, including all the other candidates.”

A spokesman from the HUMC sent a congratulatory message that reads, “So proud to have an amazing nurse like Maria on our team.”

As the chosen nurse, Maria will participate in segments and offer expert commentary, additional perspectives and practical advice on a variety of health topics.

She will have a core team role very similar to the core experts that make regular guest appearances on the show when relevant topics are on the focus.

What prompted Dr. Oz to launch the #Nurse Search was when Miss Kelley Johnson, as Miss Colorado who won 2nd runner-up in the Miss America Pageant, gave a monologue about her career as a nurse and this generated a lot of reaction nationally.

As a consequence of the national conversation surrounding Miss Colorado’s tribute to the nursing profession, “The Dr. Oz Show” stepped up to provide a forum for extended discussion of nurses’ integral role in providing health care and healing.

The unorthodox appearance of Miss Colorado in nursing scrubs and wearing a stethoscope ignited a discussion that highlighted the need to celebrate and recognize the nursing profession.

In an episode following Miss Colorado’s appearance in the show, the entire studio audience is comprised of nurses dressed in their work attire (scrubs).

In a survey taken by the Guinness Book of Records on May 18, 2011, it reported that the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the toughest degree among all the undergraduate college degrees.

According to its survey, the BSN degree has 64 university exams + 130 series exams + 174 assignments within four years.

Currently in its seventh season, the award-winning syndicated series “The Dr. Oz Show” is hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz, accredited health expert, best-selling author, and world-renowned cardiac surgeon.

The show is an informative hour that offers audiences the opportunity to learn about a wide range of health and wellness topics.

Tackling the balance of mind, body and spirit, Dr. Oz calls on specialists from a variety of disciplines to expert advice on how viewers can be their best selves.

Since winning the #Nurse Search, Ramirez had already appeared on two episodes of the show, the last one featuring her doing the actual flu vaccination to Dr. Oz.

Maria’s phenomenal win is a continuing tribute to thousands of Filipino-American nurses who formed the largest bulk of immigrants to the United States.

To Maria Ramirez-Reape — More Power to you and to all nurses everywhere.


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