See the current issue of Scrubs Magazine

The top 10 nurse myths that need to go away!

Image by: Thinkstock

I recently was doing a little research for school when I realized there are some common and popular nurse/nursing myths out there.

It seems there are two trains of thought: There is the public’s view of the nursing profession, and then there are those who actually know about the nursing profession.

I’m not sure if it’s our own fault or if Hollywood has a stranglehold on the general population’s opinion. This particular top 10 list is intended for all those who are considering pursuing the profession of nursing–I’d like to call it the “Here’s what we are not and don’t do” list:

  1. We don’t wear all-white uniforms.
  2. No, we stopped wearing caps a long time ago.
  3. We do more than pass medications.
  4. We do more than just clean up “poo.”
  5. This is not Grey’s Anatomy – we’re not secretly sleeping with all the doctors. Nor is this House – we do the blood draws.
  6. No, not every “nurse” is the same. There is a profound difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Nursing Assistant (about 6-8 years of education).
  7. We actively collaborate in the decision-making process and don’t just take orders.
  8. No, we are not all women.
  9. No, we work in other places besides hospitals and physicians’ offices.
  10. No, we didn’t fail at becoming doctors. We chose this profession.

I know, I know, we’ve beat this horse senseless, haven’t we? I have to admit, I am just scratching the surface here. I think we all could generate an endless list of nursing urban legends.

What would you add?

SEE MORE IN:
, , , , , ,

Sean Dent

Sean Dent is a second-degree nurse who has worked in telemetry, orthopedics, surgical services, oncology and at times as a travel nurse. He is a CCRN certified critical care nurse where he's worked in cardiac, surgical as well as trauma intensive care nursing. After five years practicing as an RN, Sean pursued and attained his Masters of Science in Nursing. Sean currently practices as a Board Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) in a Shock Trauma urban teaching hospital. He has been in healthcare for almost 20 years. He originally received a bachelor's degree in Exercise and Sport Science where he worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC).
By

Post a Comment

You must or register to post a comment.

20 Responses to The top 10 nurse myths that need to go away!

  1. bed15

    Nurses (and other professions) have a use for stethoscopes too, not just doctors ;)

  2. We are people, and we have feelings. We don’t like being verbally abused and belittled and we do need breaks. We are NOT doctors and we do NOT interpret your family member’s CT results and MRI results. We should NOT be paging the doctors for you at all hours of the night unless it is really necessary in an emergency or changing situation.

  3. Travelnurse01

    Honest to god we are not here to hurt anyone, or take your place as the parent. We have cared for neonates for 10- 30 yrs. I think we know more then you will every know. So leave us alone. Don’t second guess us, don’t tell us we are wrong, don’t go crying to the charge nurse when you think we “looked at you wrong or won’t listen to you or was talking mean to you”. We have 3-4 sick newborns we are caring for, we have important things on our minds and believe me you are not in the top 10.

    • jeanie

      So true

      • stillirise

        I have done Peds homehealth for most of my 23yrs. I always said I could work for the UN on peace missions on my next career. It is a fine line you walk in a mother’s house, when she can call and ask that you not come back if you step on her toes wrong. I always try to remember ( when I am biting my lip) that they have no control over so much that is happening to their child, and sometimes the only thing they can try to control is you. I always try to remind them nicely we are on the same team!!

    • sasha0525

      As a nicu mom. This is very disrespectful. Their were nurses that does a lot of unethical things.

      • fltNP

        Your horrific grammar and improper word usage basically negates your argument. NICU nurses are some of the finest nurses I have ever worked around. If you really have a NICU baby, you would already know this.

      • DCRandRN

        I’m very curious. What was so ” disrespectful” ? What was unethical?

    • jjocelyn44

      So true, we want our Patients to get better also, we are not trying to hurt them.

    • SickBabyRN

      Shame on you Travelnurse01. If you have been a NICU nurse 10-30 years, then you of ALL people should know it is up to us to reassure our scared parents!!! It is OUR job to care for the baby AND the parents! It comes with the territory. If you don’t have enough couth, I strongly suggest you find a new career! You definitely aren’t cut out for nursing!

  4. nurseshellbell

    Just because I’m a nurse it doesn’t mean I can answer questions about your mom’s, uncle’s, or grandma’s health problems or medications. I am a labor and delivery nurse. If it doesnt involve birthing babies, pregnant women, or newborns, chances are I won’t know the answer to your question.

  5. Nephretite

    11. Nurses are not just nurses that can work anywhere. A cardiac nurse most likely can not just work as an Ob/gyn nurse tomorrow. We are highly trained and knowledgeale in our field of specialty.

    • patricksm

      LOL this is so funny. I called SICU on Friday for report prior to picking up my patient for surgery. She gave me a long list of information and I questioned some of it because – I HAVE NEVER WORKED CRITICAL CARE. She gave me a little teasing and grief maybe even kinda embarrassed me. I called back 6 hours later to give report back post-op with my orthopedic surgery lingo. REVENGE WAS MINE ha ha. Good times.

  6. breehat

    There are still nurses in other countries who wear caps to work, such as the nurses in the Philippines, and most of them actually wear all white…well not the typical stiff white blouse and skirt, but a set of all-white top and pants with matching white shoes, and cap. No. 20 is funny.

  7. fltNP

    Sorry, but there are hospitals around the country that still have nurses wearing an all white uniform. I’ve also seen hospitals that require a white top or white pants with the other half randomly colored. And lastly, I have seen some, let’s call them ‘old-school’ nurses, wearing white caps to work.

  8. kassie726

    I am a pediatric nurse, not a babysitter.

  9. kindeychick86

    Just because I work in a special area does not mean that I can’t hack it on a med surg floor. I am a dialysis nurse and we get ab lot of flack from our local hospital nurses that think my job is a cake walk everyday and that I wouldn’t last 5 minutes on their floor. I wish they’d come work on my unit one day. I see 40 patients a shift. Have fun with that lol

  10. august

    I like #6. People hear the word nurse, and they assume we are all the same. It really should be clear distinction between different level of nursing, instead of general or overly used word “nurse”.

  11. Dee Kitchmaster

    We just want to help everyone who comes in feeling ill, sad, lonely, etc feel somewhat if not completely better when they leave . That is within my scope…..

  12. Julie

    No we are not waitresses for the family. I had a very ill patient I was trying to assess and the patients family member asked me if I could go make some coffee for her. I told her the cafeteria does all the coffee making and it in on the ground floor.