New York healthcare heroes will trade their scrubs for microphones this week as they perform on NBC's "America's Got Talent."
The Northwell Health Nurse Choir got the show's golden buzzer when they first performed on the season 16 premiere back in June and they're back on the stage on Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST.
The choir first gathered in November 2020 when they worked to virtually support Nurse Heroes, a nonprofit initiative to help solve the global nurse shortage, according to the hospital system.
"I remember when we first got in the room together when we sang together. It was like, wow. It was such a special moment and from then on I really knew that we had a real fighting chance," said Cassidy Toben, the Nurse Manager at Lenox Hill Hospital.
Toben and other choir members say music brought them hope during one of the most difficult years in healthcare.
"Getting up and putting on that PPE, you just feel so isolated and then to have this moment where we could finally be together and be people and do something that we all really love to do," Toben said. "It's given a message to everybody to go out there and do the things that you love and feel good about those things because we are still in the middle of the pandemic and we all could use a little bit of light, a little bit of hope."
Winnie Mele, director of Perioperative Service at Plainview Hospital, said the choir originally had 50 members who were chosen after a 30-second phone audition with no background music.
"It was a miracle we are here," Mele said, adding that the choir had to be even smaller when AGT reached out to them. There are now 18 members performing live on Tuesday.
DISCLAIMER: "America's Got Talent" is a property of NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBC New York.