To the editor:

In response to the honorable Rep. Woodcock’s opinion column in The Conway Daily Sun: First, thank you for reading it. Second, please go back and read it again.

Steve, you stated that I “went after Rep. Tanner” and you do not know why.

I did not “go after” Rep. Tanner. I clearly stated in my letter that instead of attacking her, “we are better served by addressing the fallacies she promulgated regarding the competence and necessity of associate degree nurses, as well as the quality of education available through the N.H. community college system.”

There is no denying that on Tuesday Feb. 2, 2021, during the House Education Committee debate, Rep. Tanner (D-Georges Mill) stated, “When I’m in the hospital and a nurse walks in the room I don’t want just some ‘Jeannie Smith off the sidewalk’ that’s maybe taken two years at a community college with basic education ...”

Regardless of the statements made on her behalf by you and others, Rep. Tanner made that comment, which is insulting to every RN who graduated from a community college.

Her remarks are part of the prejudice that has driven millions of Americans into debt, believing that the only good degrees are the expensive ones.

Sadly, Rep. Tanner is not alone in her educational bias, and this needs to change. I may agree that the experience necessary for a school nurse should be three years in pediatrics or equivalent, but you do not need an expensive degree to get that experience. As I outlined, our rural healthcare system is built around associate degree nurses.

Instead of circling the wagons to defend her statement, it would be better to acknowledge her mistake and move on, ensuring to not denigrate the education of so many of our neighbors and front line health-care workers in the future.

Ray Gilmore


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