Marathon Runner Who Changed Guinness’s Definition of ‘Nurse’ Honored for Shattering Stereotypes

To be eligible for the world record, you needed to run in a dress. Jessica Anderson changed that—and her profession applauds her.

Nurse Jessica Anderson made headlines earlier this year with her attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record’s record for the fastest marathon in a nurse’s uniform at the London Marathon.

At first, she was denied the record because old rules specified that the uniform must include some pretty outdated requirements: a blue or white nurse dress, a white pinafore apron, and a traditional white nurse’s cap, with optional tights.

Her scrubs left her ineligible for the nurse’s record category, though they met qualifications for the doctor uniform record.However, Anderson did not feel like that accurately represented the profession of nursing. So Anderson, along with the help of the Student Nurse Project—who put out a call on Twitter asking nurses to share a selfie in their uniform using the hashtag #WhatNursesWear—sought to get it changed.

After public outcry, Guinness has since changed their guidelines, and awarded Anderson the record for her 3:08:22 time.

Now, she’s being recognized by the nursing profession for her efforts in helping shatter stereotypes that have been pervasive in the field.

She was recently awarded a CNO silver award—which recognizes the work of nurses and midwives across England—for challenging the public perception of modern nursing by England’s chief nursing officer, Ruth May, M.D., according to Nursing Times. May told Anderson upon receiving the award that, “Part of what you did was leave a legacy that the nursing uniform perception has to change, and it’s something that really connected with me. Thank you for your nursing leadership and for what you did for our profession,” according to Nursing Times.

Anderson is thankful for the award, but believes the credit goes to the countless nurses who backed her in a show of social media support. Anderson said that she hopes her efforts have given the nursing profession a bit of positive PR.

This article was originally published on on 9/8/19 by Jordan Smith.