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Watch Miss America contestant's heartwarming monologue about being a nurse

Watch Miss Colorado, Kelley Johnson, break from the norm to deliver a heartfelt monologue about being a nurse during the Miss America pageant.
/ Source: TODAY

During her routine at this week's Miss America pageant, Miss Colorado decided to trade her makeup and dress for a stethoscope and scrubs to show the judges her heart more than her talent.

In a break from the usual comedy routines, song and dance, Kelley Johnson, 22, delivered the rare monologue during the talent portion of the pageant on Wednesday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., about her work as a nurse.

Johnson is a registered nurse, who graduated as the valedictorian of her nursing class at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. During her monologue, she talked about her work with a patient named Joe, who was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and often suffered from night terrors.

"Although you say it all the time, you are not just a nurse,'' she recalled Joe telling her. "'You are my nurse, and you have changed my life because you have cared about me.' That's when it hit me. Patients are people with family and friends, and I don't want to be a nurse that ever pretends. Joe reminded me that day that I'm a lifesaver. I'm never going to be just a nurse."

Johnson's monologue came during the preliminary rounds of the 95th annual Miss America competition, with the final round coming up on Sunday in Atlantic City.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.