Comedian Calls Nurse Practitioners "Shady" For Not Going To Med School, NPs Clap Back

4 Min Read Published August 16, 2023
Comedian Calls Nurse Practitioners "Shady" For Not Going To Med School, NPs Clap Back

Comedian Greg Warren (@grockwarren), a comedian from St. Louis, has recently made some nurse practitioners and others in the healthcare community upset after a recent set mocked nurse practitioners (NPs) as “shady” and claimed that NPs are only allowed to practice because “we are running low on doctors.” 

“These nurse practitioners got a lotta leeway,” he captioned a video clip of the bit that he posted to his Instagram page. 


“They can do doctor stuff and it seems a little shady to me,” he said in his description of NPS. “It feels like one day they were like, ‘Man we are running low on doctors. Lisa is the smartest nurse, let her do the doctor stuff.’ Like, did she go to med school? No, but she's smart. Like, she just doesn’t take tests well, but she can do it. We only gotta pay her like an extra nickel an hour, we can’t afford a doctor.”

>> Click to See the Ultimate List of Master’s Degrees in Nursing

Commenters React to the Comedian

The comedian’s comment section quickly exploded into a vast pool of varied reactions, including those who agreed with Warren.

“70% of NP schools are entirely online. Vast majority are 100% acceptance and 100% graduation and take nurses straight out of nursing school with zero working experience,” claimed @doctor.ryann, whose private profile lists him as a travel anesthesiologist. 

“NPs are wannabes. Posers. Doctors are doctors. That’s why they’re called doctors. WTF has this country turned into? Remember when you gave respect where it is due? You want to be considered a doctor? Do the work. Until then stop playing doctor,” added Joe Anzalone (@anzaloneiii).  

However, many in the comment section of his bit were quick to chime in and defend nurse practitioners.

“I actually prefer nurse practitioners to doctors,” wrote @hurricanemacfrost

“NPs are my favorite! My NP diagnosed me correctly when my MD did not,” added @sarah_annie.

“This is really really offensive and ignorant,” said Reece Aron (loren12982). “Wow just wow….glad you think that is how nurses become nurse practitioners. It isn’t. I have been a nurse for almost 20 years and five of those as an NP. I do the job just as good if not better than my colleagues physicians and many ask my advice/opinion on A LOT because my background prior to becoming a nurse practitioner that catches babies also known as a certified nurse midwife, was surgical trauma burn ICU and emergency medicine. So this isn’t funny it is gross, denigrating and insulting to an entire profession of people who work just as hard if not harder than their physician colleagues and do not get paid nearly enough to do so.”

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) affirms that there is a “half-century” of research that shows that nurse practitioners deliver “high-quality” care, from primary to acute to specialty services. 

The AANP also states that NP care is “comparable in quality” to physicians with no “statistically significant difference” in outcome measures. And in fact, patients who are cared for by NP also have certain measurable positive outcomes in comparison to physician-cared patients, such as fewer unnecessary hospital readmissions, fewer potentially preventable hospitalizations, higher patient satisfaction, and fewer unnecessary emergency room visits.

RNs vs. LPNs

Warren also has a bit in which he compares LPNs to RNs, saying that the title “Registered Nurse” doesn’t sound as impressive as being a “practical” nurse. 


“Just no offense, ma'am, it doesn't sound like a big deal. It sounds like, ‘Oh, you registered.’ So what? Like, you know, one time I registered to win a Jeep Cherokee in a drawing. It took seven seconds,” he said, referencing an audience member who said she was a Registered Nurse while her friend was an LPN.

Warren is not the first comedian to insult nurses in the name of “comedy.” In 2022, Nurse Blake shared his reaction to another comedian who said nurses “don’t know s***” and “don’t care” onstage. 

Some commenters pointed out that Warren did land on some troubling points about healthcare in general, such as the low pay and shortage of primary care providers, which is exactly why supporting NPs is crucial. Additionally, because NPs work as nurses first, they come to the position with a unique background and perspective that many physicians do not—and that can be helpful, not harmful.  

“This.... this isn't funny. It's a huge miss for me,” pointed out @tashacaroline77 on Warren’s NP video. “NPs are oftentimes the practitioners who have been most helpful to me a lot of the time. Not knocking doctors but I've had some incredible doctors as well. But NPs.... nurses see stuff, man.... nurses see stuff. You want the person who's seen stuff helping you out.”

Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie Contributor

Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

Read More From Chaunie
Go to the top of page