Inspirational quotes every nurse should read

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A good quote can lift you up when you’re feeling blue. It can inspire you to reach your goals. It can even make you laugh out loud.

As a nurse (or aspiring nurse!), you probably face obstacles every day – whether it’s helping a patient overcome pain, studying for your boards, or facing off against a doctor. If you need to be reminded why being a nurse is such an amazing experience, take a look at the following quotes for some inspiring words.



“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”

– Dag Hammarskjold, Diplomat

“To do what nobody else will do, a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is to be a nurse.”

– Rawsi Williams, BSN, RN

“The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest.”

– William Osler, MD

“Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.”

– Sister Elizabeth Kenny


“The most important practical lesson than can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.”

– Florence Nightingale


“Nurses may not be angels, but they are the next best thing.”

– Anonymous Patient


“Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.”

– Val Saintsbury




R-eally great

S-uper smart

E-ager to work hard!


“Nursing encompasses an art, a humanistic orientation, a feeling for the value of the individual, and an intuitive sense of ethics, and of the appropriateness of action taken.”

– Myrtle Aydelotte, PhD, RN, FAAN

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.”

– Florence Nightingale

“Whether a person is a male or female, a nurse is a nurse.”

– Gary Veale, RN

“We often think of nursing as giving meds on time, checking an X-ray to see if the doctor needs to be called, or taking an admission at 2:00 a.m. with a smile on our faces. Too often, we forget all the other things that make our job what it truly is—caring and having a desire to make a difference.”

– Erin Pettengill, RN, quoted in RN Modern Medicine


“Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy… nurses are rarely short on caring.”

– Sharon Hudacek, RN

“Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the joy, everyday, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.’”

– Christine Belle, RN, BSN

Related Articles

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15 Responses to Inspirational quotes every nurse should read

  1. The quotes are great but they way they are laid out is awful. Why aren’t they just all on one page. This is a nightmare to navigate via a mobile device :(

  2. Marie

    I don’t know, as an RN of over 30 years, in various hospital settings, areas, specialties, there is more to be kept in mind than simple slogans. They won’t get you through a shift. Intelligence, knowing what you are doing you are doing in the correct way, self confidence, these are more major factors in keeping RN attrition —people fleeing nursing—down. Its hard and thankless, the pay isn’t all good. The “thank you” of a patient is meaningful, but we all know they’re more likely to write administration or your supervisor over some perceived problem, having to wait for something, and so on.

    This is also coming up to Nurse’s week….wonder if we’ll get those tacky “angel nurse” pins again this year, or a … pen? Its nice to be appreciated. You go to work and do your job because of self integrity, not those little things and, for me, not slogans about how great and loved we are.

  3. see my webpage and business page on facebook. I have been an RN since 1985 and it is the best choice I have ever made. Love to get discussions up on corporate mentality of hospitals and the nurses they employ. How is it working for you?

  4. Walter

    I concur Marie. Having your ego stroked by a patient is awesome, but there is a lot more bitching than stroking. It’s like they think that they are the only person you have to take care of. Doctors get all the glory while nurses do all the work. And don’t even get me going on being mired down in unit BS. Am I a nurse? No, but one comes home to me every morning so I kinda know what’s up. Keep up the good fight & know that what you do is valuable & necessary.

  5. nurul britney

    being a nurse such a holy carrier ever!!! n_n

  6. bernadith awidan

    choosing a nursing profession is not that easy…it requires more effort but its challenging,,,,

  7. mcclain689

    i enjoyed the Inspirational prayers also. Had to copy and paste to get only prayers. Some were wonderful

  8. I wanna share mine:

    “Constant attention by a good nurse may just be as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”

    -Dag Hammarskjold

    “Nursing is not just an ART, it has a heART.

    Nursing is not just a SCIENCE, but it has conSCIENCE.”

    – Anonymous

    “Nursing would be a dream job…..if there were no doctors.”

    -Gerhard Kocher

  9. Purplehippo

    I love all of these nursing quotes; especially the one about Florence Nightengale when she says that “Nursing is an art.” I truly believe that because it takes a lot of time to do assessments on patients and then craft a patient care plan so that actions can be taken through care. I am very happy with all of these quotes and I really enjoyed reading them. They brought me much comfort and joy. I also read Chicken Soap for the Soul Nurses Book and it is such a beautiful book.

  10. Shepherdnurse

    I remember when I was going to nursing school and I got this small pocket size book mark. It was so beautiful and so helpful too. It said on it: “Nurses are a gift.” That is such a sweet and true statement because nurses do so much for so many people. They are so caring and so wonderful. Nurses have sure helped me in the past and that is why I became a nurse in order to help other people.

  11. Shepherdnurse

    There are so many nursing quotes that I have read in the past. Florence Nightengale has had some very inspirational quotes that I have loved dearly and the book “Chicken Soup for the Soul” had some quotes which I absolutely loved too. Now, it is my turn to write my own nursing quote and here it is:

    U=undivided attention
    E=everlasting care

  12. Shepherdnurse

    I love nursing quotes. In fact, I went to the mall one time and was in the Hallmark store. At the store, there was a book about nursing quotes and a book mark that had a nursing quote which I just loved. I love making up my own nursing quote and since I have worked with geriatrics, I will do this quote:
    R-rich in knowledge
    I-invest in good quality life
    A-always smiling
    R-rich in love
    C-caring people

  13. Shepherdnurse

    I love nursing quotes and I also love making them myself. Here is a short nursing quote that I have:

    L=Labor of love
    D=Delivery of the promise of the future

    This quote is for the L&D units who work so hard everyday in the labor and delivery units.

  14. Shepherdnurse

    I had this book and it detailed some nursing quotes. One of the nursing quotes that it detailed was this one:

    A=Always available
    N=Needing love
    D=Desires good health
    S=Satisfying patients needs

  15. Purplemouse

    I love nursing quotes because they are so uplifting. I remember reading “Chicken Soup for the nurses soul.” In the book, there were some very important nursing quotes that were so uplifting. One quote that I love to say is, “Nursing is a gift from God.”