July 11, 2022

Nurse Makes Top 20 on American Idol

Nurse Makes Top 20 on American Idol

Images: Jacob Moran Instagram 

Nurse Makes Top 20 of American Idol

You can find so many talented people in nursing, but musically talented nurses are a special breed. Jacob Moran, a registered nurse from Michigan, is one of them. Jacob was born into a family of musicians and grew up singing in different local settings, even performing for his patients at work. 

Then one day he received an invitation to audition for American Idol, which left the judges stunned. He made it all the way to Hollywood Week before going home, only to receive a second invitation to audition a few years later - this time making it all the way to the top 20 in the country

At 28 years old and having been a nurse for about 4 years, he now plans on uprooting his life in Michigan with his partner and heading to Los Angeles, California where he will take a deep dive into the music industry. Nurse.Org had the pleasure of talking to Jacob about nursing, his time on American Idol, and future plans. 

>> Click to See the 4 Steps to Becoming an Aesthetic Nurse
Tell us about your nursing career.

I began my nursing journey in Lansing, Michigan where I got my RN license from a community college. After graduating, I worked night shift at a medical-oncology floor at Sparrow Hospital. Then I tried OR nursing - which I hated! So, I moved to a sub-acute rehab center, which I absolutely loved. Long-term care and geriatric nursing is probably my favorite specialty. Now, I'm at a rheumatology infusion clinic, which has supported me through my most recent American Idol journey.
What is your favorite thing about nursing?

My favorite thing about nursing is providing answers and comfort for my patients and their families. When my patients are anxious or nervous about something, I love being able to swoop in and tell them exactly what is going on and what is going to happen next. I'm an anxious person myself, especially when I don't know how things are panning out.  Because of that, I like to be the one to alleviate that feeling for my patients and their families.
What is your singing history?

My whole family is musical; between instruments and voice, we do it all. Growing up, my dad formed a few different bands and I would sing with them sometimes. Most of the time I sang with my church group on Sunday, in talent shows, and for fun in karaoke.


How did you get on American Idol?
American Idol reached out to me! The first time they contacted me was through Instagram, and I saved all of their contact information. We kept in touch while I went through an entire weight loss journey over the last couple of years. Then, they invited me to audition one last time a because the age cap is 28.
How did they find you on Instagram?

I just kept putting content on my page! And I had a few random connections that followed me throughout the years on social media. It’s really a mixture of timing, connection, and randomness. So much of getting called in to audition for American Idol is outside of your control.
What was it like being onstage?

It's so much bigger than what it seems on TV. There are lights and cameras everywhere, and you have to look at each camera at different times while you're performing. The stage director is telling you where to look because the cameras are panning around you constantly. Plus, you have to engage with the judges and the audience - there's so much going on!
They give you your own custom in-ears and you can hear yourself perfectly; everything sounds so good and clear. One of the best parts is that you have the American Idol band behind you, and they are phenomenal. Every single musician is beyond talented and being able to sing with them is a dream. Plus performing in front of so many people and in front of the judges is such a rush!
Who is your favorite judge?

Definitely Katy. I listen to a lot of her music and I sang her song "Rise" for the second audition. There was a press party where the judges mingled with the contestants, and she pulled me aside to give me a few words after the Top 20 eliminations. She gave me some great encouragement and has always had lovely things to say about my journey.

What are some of the challenges in your artistry?

Probably that I still know so little about the music business. Right now, I'm focusing on getting myself out there and booking local gigs. Because I don't play an instrument at the moment, I have to use pre-recorded song tracks to sing on top of. One of my goals is to put a band together once I'm settled. Also, I will be learning how to play acoustic guitar so I can sing and play.
Also, navigating social media has been tricky to figure out, and it's so important in the music industry. You must know your audience, and how to navigate [viewership.] I don't really know much about operating social media in that way, I just like scrolling through it.
What is the biggest lesson you learned from the music industry?

This industry is cutthroat; it's very honest. If someone doesn't like something about you, or if they think something about you is not marketable, they're going to tell you.
Also in this industry, you also have to make your own luck and your own opportunities. For example, in healthcare, you can apply anywhere and get a job. Then you get a schedule, and you work your hours, and you go home. But in music, it's completely self-driven. If you have to hustle at all hours of the day or night, you do whatever it takes.
Are there similarities between nursing and the music industry?

In general, nurses are seen as healers and music is healing as well, so the two professions share this sort of this feeling from the public. But nursing has also taught me to be organized and to know my stuff, especially before I speak to my patients or to a doctor. In the same way, the music industry demands that you know what you want. You have to be organized and present yourself in a way that appears confident and ready to go.
Is there someone inspires you?

Tori Kelly. Her voice is perfection and she makes it look so easy. She plays instruments, sings, and the way she sounds live is the exact same as her recorded material. Tori is someone I would love to sound similar to - she's my biggest inspiration!
What is your ultimate goal for your music career?

I want to sell out stadiums, that is the ultimate goal. I feel like I've been given this gift and I want to use it to the fullest. I love nursing, but music is what I need to be doing.

You can follow on Jacob’s musical journey on social media. 

Go to the top of page