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336 Inspirational & Funny Nurse Quotes

July 21, 2022

Nurses endure workplace conditions that many other professionals don’t have to deal with. They help comfort patients during painful procedures and lengthy recovery and are often a target for abuse from patients and senior medical staff. 

Even though nursing can be grueling and thankless, many people are called to this essential profession. These selfless people do whatever it takes to make a difference in patients’ lives. But all that giving can take a physical and emotional toll on anyone.

How Laughing Improves Mental Health

Embracing humor can help nurses get through even the toughest of days, and the reasons why are rooted in science. Studies show that laughter has the power to reduce stress. Laughing reduces the amount of cortisol, epinephrine, and other hormones your body produces when you feel stressed. Quite literally, it reverses your body’s stress response. 

In addition to lowering stress hormones, laughing also produces endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that can improve your mood. And while it can’t fix the high levels of emotional exhaustion and fear among nurses, humor and laughing can help them begin to cope with their own complex mental and emotional health issues. 

Here are some of our favorite funny nurse quotes and jokes that are perfect for nurses and nurse-adjacent professionals. 

Funny Nurse Life Quotes

  1. “I love being a nurse, but I mostly love wearing scrubs. They’re basically professional pajamas.” —Unknown
  1. “Don’t piss off nurses. They’re like the mafia. Piss off one and you piss off the rest.” — Unknown 
  1. “You know you’re a nurse when your finger has gone places you never thought possible.” —Unknown 
  1. “Every nurse has a best friend, Pam: LorazePAM, DiazePAM, and ClonazePAM…” —Unknown
  1. “Nursing: when you're not sure if it’s Saturday or Tuesday.” —Unknown 
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  1. “How many nurses does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None, it’s delegated to the nursing students.” —Unknown 
  1. “If I collapse at work, here is a list of doctors that I don’t want working on me!” —Unknown 
  1. “Save one life, you're a hero. Save a hundred lives, you're a nurse.” —Unknown 
  1. “You know that feeling when you meet someone and your heart skips a beat? Yeah, that’s arrhythmia. You can die from that.” —Unknown
  1. “Treat the patient as a whole, not just the hole in the patient.” —Unknown
  1. “Just so you know, doctors are here to diagnose, not heal. We heal.” —Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie
  1. “No, RN does not stand for ‘Refreshments and Narcotics.’” —Unknown
  1. “Don’t mess with me—I get paid to stab people with sharp objects.” —Unknown
  1. “Hand sanitizer has started to become your best friend.” —Unknown
  1. “How can anybody hate nurses? Nobody hates nurses. The only time you hate a nurse is when they’re giving you an enema.” —Warren Beatty
  1. “I’ve come to the realization that I’ll touch anything as long as I have gloves on.” —Unknown
  1. “Nursing is not a career … it’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.” —Unknown
  1. “I’m a nurse because ‘miracle worker’ isn’t an official title.” —Unknown
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  1. “The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.” —Jodi Picoult
  1. “A new nurse gets scared when a doctor yells. An old nurse yells back.” —Anonymous
  1. “You can’t fix crazy, all you can do is document it.” —Anonymous
  1. “Why yes I do marathons. It’s called 12.5+ hour nurse shift run 3 times a week.” —Anonymous
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  1. “The nurse that can smile when things go wrong…is probably going off duty.” —Anonymous
  1. “You know you’re a nurse when your finger has gone places you never thought possible.” —Unknown
  1. “A nurse’s blood type? Coffee.” —Unknown
  1. “Doctors save lives; nurses save doctors.” —Unknown

Funny Nursing Friend Quotes

  1. “You know you work in healthcare when you can discuss puke and bowel movements at the lunch table and no one flinches.” —Unknown
  1. “May your scrubs be comfy, your coffee be strong, and your Monday be short.” —Unknown
  1. “Yes, I am a nurse. No, I don’t want to look at it.” —Unknown
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  1. “I’m a nurse. What’s your superpower?” —Unknown
  1. “Remember, I’m a nurse. You’re going to have to say a lot to gross me out.” —Unknown
  1. “Sometimes I have to remind myself around my non-nurse friends not to talk about bodily functions.” —Unknown
  1. "Nursing friendships are a different kind of love; like, 'I'll hold the butt cheeks while you clean the butt crack' kind of love!” —Unknown
  1. “Nurse: the first person you see after saying, ‘Hold my beer and watch this!’” —Unknown

Relatable Nursing Quotes

  1. “No, I will not rub your feet. I am a nurse, not a masseur.” —Unknown
  1. “I’m a nurse—nothing scares me.” —Unknown
  1. “I like keeping my metabolism on its toes. Like what’s it going to be today – starvation or 6,000 calories?” —Anonymous
  1. “If you walk a mile in a nurses shoes, you’ll walk a whole lot farther than a mile, and your back will kill you at the end.” –Anonymous
  1. “Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy…nurses are rarely short on caring.” —Sharon Hudacek
  1. “Whether a person is a male or female, a nurse is a nurse.” —Gary Veale, RN
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  1. “Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital.” —Anonymous
  1. “People who ask me what I’m doing tomorrow probably assume I even know what day of the week it is.” —Anonymous
  1. “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
  1. “Don’t let anyone treat you like an expired 24 butterfly gauge. You are a #16 in the left forearm with excellent venous return!” —Unknown
  1. “When I heard 2020 was going to be the year of the nurse, this is not what I expected…” —Unknown
  1. “The 3 words most people want to hear: ‘I love you.’ The 3 words nurses want to hear: ‘Alert, Oriented, and Ambulatory.” —Unknown
  1. “Being a nurse is weird: I can keep a poker face through trauma, but have a mental breakdown over losing my favorite pen.” —Unknown
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  1. “3 AM: the time when you remember you forgot to chart that thing, bring that lady her water, or pass that med.” —Unknown
  1. “Nursing is not for the empty of heart...nor the faint of heart. ” —Unknown
  1. 3. “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” — Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Diplomat and Economist
  1. “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” —Stephen Ambrose, Author
  1. “Save one person, you’re a hero. Save hundreds, you’re a nurse.” —Unknown
  1. “A nurse is not what you do. It is what you are… I am a nurse. It’s not what I do, it’s what I AM.” —Unknown
  1. “Nursing: The toughest job you’ll ever love.” —Unknown

Nursing Jokes

  1. Why did the nurse need a red crayon? To draw blood. 
  1. What do transplant nurses hate? Rejection. 
  1. What’s it called when a hospital runs out of maternity nurses? A midwife crisis. 
  1. Knock knock.  Who’s there? HIPAA.  HIPAA who? I can’t tell you that
  1. What do you tell a nurse when she administers an injection painlessly? Good jab.

Inspirational Nurse Quotes

  1. Caring is the essence of nursing.” —Jean Watson
  1. “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” —Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish economist and diplomat
  1. “A nurse is one who opens the eyes of a newborn and gently closes the eyes of a dying man. It is indeed a high blessing to be the first and last to witness the beginning and end of life.” —Unknown
  1. “A nurse is not what you do. It is what you are…. I am a nurse. It’s not what I do, it’s what I am.” —Unknown
  1. “Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” —Unknown
  1. “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” —Val Saintsbury
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  1. “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.” —Barack Obama
  1. “Nurses are there when the last breath is taken, and nurses are there when the first breath is taken. Although it is more enjoyable to celebrate the birth, it is just as important to comfort in death.” —Christine Belle
  1. “Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.” —Christina Feist-Heilmeier, RN
  1. “The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest.” —Dr. William Osler, Canadian physician and founder of Johns Hopkins University
  1. “Not all angels have wings … some have scrubs.” —Unknown
  1. “Nursing is one of the fine arts: I had almost said ‘the finest of fine arts.’” —Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing
  1. “You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win—no matter the outcome.” —Robin Williams in Patch Adams
  1. “When you’re a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” —Unknown
  1. “Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the job, every day, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.’” —Christine Belle
  1. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” —Mother Teresa
  1. “Value what you do and add value by what you do.” —Unknown
  1. “Nurses—one of the few blessings of being ill.” —Sara Moss-Wolfe
  1. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For passion will lead you right into your purpose.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes, evangelist
  1. “Sometimes I inspire my patients; more often, they inspire me.” —Unknown      
  1. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  1. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi
  1. “Nurse: just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone.” —Unknown
  1. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” —Plato
  1. “Be the nurse you would want as a patient.” —Unknown
  1. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained.” —Marie Curie  
  1. “Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.” —Charles Dickens
  1. “As a nurse we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” —Maya Angelou
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  1. “A nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope.” —Carrie Latet
  1. “Happiness … consists of giving, and in serving others.” —Henry Drummond, evangelist
  1. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” —William Shakespeare
  1. “The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” —Carolyn Jarvis
  1. “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” —Donna Wilk Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP
  1. “The definition of a nurse: To go above and beyond the call of duty. The first to work and the last to leave. The heart and soul of caring. who will pass through your life for a minute and impact it for an eternity. An empowered individual whom you may meet for only a 12-hour period, but who will put you and yours above theirs.” —Anonymous
  1. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” —Leo Buscaglia
  1. “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I’ll guarantee you’ll win.” —Patch Adams
  1. “A nurse is compassion in scrubs.” —Lexie Sage
  1. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.” —Unknown
  1. "Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts." —Winston Churchill
  1. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest accomplishment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” —Leo Buscaglia
  1. “The nurse is temporarily the consciousness of the unconscious, the love of life of the suicidal, the leg of the amputee, the eyes of the newly blind, a means of locomotion for the newborn, knowledge and confidence for the young mother, a voice for those too weak to speak, and so on.” —Virginia Henderson, RN
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  1. “When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” —Unknown
  1. “When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.” —Unknown
  1. “To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through…that is what it is to be a nurse.” —Rawsi Williams, RN
  1. “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” —Donna Wilk Cardillo
  1. “A caress, a smile, is full of meaning for one who is sick. It is a simple gesture, but encouraging, he or she feels accompanied, feels closer to being healed, feels like a person, not a number.” —Pope Francis
  1. “Nurses are always there, you care for us from the earliest years. You look after us in our happiest and saddest times. And for many, you look after us and our families at the end of our lives. Your dedication and professionalism are awe-inspiring.” —Duchess Kate Middleton
  1. “The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow; do good anyway!” —Unknown
  1. “Sometimes I inspire my patients; more often they inspire me.” —Unknown
  1. “Nurse: just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone.” —Unknown

Funny Nursing Graduation Quotes

  1. “Fill your mind with truth. Fill your heart with love. Fill your life with service.” —Vaughn J. Featherstone, American missionary
  1. “Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on Earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” —Vincent Van Gogh
  1. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” —Dr. Seuss
  1. “When I think about all the patients and their loved ones I have worked with over the years, I know most of them don’t remember me, nor I them. But I do know that I gave a little piece of myself to each of them, and they to me, and those threads make up the tapestry that is my career in nursing.” —Donna Wilk Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP
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  1. “Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it.” —Henry David Thoreau

Inspirational Nurse Graduation Quotes

  1. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” —Steve Jobs
  1. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” —Maya Angelou
  1. “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself.” — Florence Nightingale
  1. “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” —Salvador Dali
  1. “Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” —Mahatma Gandhi
  1. “I attribute my success to this; I never gave nor took any excuse.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” —Mother Teresa
  1. “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live life to express, not to impress. Don’t strive to make your presence noticed, just make your presence felt.” —Grace Lichtenstein, Author
  1. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Unknown
  1. “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” —Win Borden
  1. “Confidence is not ‘they will like me,’ confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.” Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.” —T. Harv Eker
  1. “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses....we must be learning all of our lives.” —Florence Nightingale
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  1. “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.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.” —Florence Nightingale

Inspirational Nursing School Quotes

  1. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo, educator
  1. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.” —Unknown
  1. “While that’s correct… it’s not the most correct. This is nursing school.” —Unknown
  1. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” —Art Williams, businessman and coach
  1. “Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou
  1. “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” —Unknown
  1. “I never dreamed about success—I worked for it.” —Estée Lauder
  1. “Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis
  1. “To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can, in spite of all we go through, is to be a nurse.” —Rawsi Williams, JD, BSN, RN, PhD
  1. “Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis
  1. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” —Earl Nightingale, American radio speaker and author
  1. “Forgive yourself; you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.” —Unknown
  1. “Although your educational journey may be difficult at times, you will reap the reward of utmost satisfaction when holding your nursing diploma for the first time—and nothing will ever compare to the fulfillment that improving and saving the lives of others will bring!” —Mikhail Shneyder, Nightingale College president and CEO
  1. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela
  1. “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” —Chinese proverb
  1. “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.” —Elizabeth Kenny, Australian bush nurse
  1. “Let us never consider ourselves finished, nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “Nursing school. One syllabus at a time. One class at a time. One exam at a time. One clinical at a time. Keep going…” —Unknown
  1. “It’s okay to learn from every experience, and it’s okay to make mistakes.” —Louise Hay
  1. “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” —John Maxwell
  1. “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” —Earl Shoaf
  1. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” —Benjamin Spock
  1. “Forgive yourself, you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.” —Unknown
  1. “I am among those who think that science has great beauty.” —Marie Curie
  1. “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.” —Florence Nightingale
  1. “Nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backwards.” —Florence Nightingale

Find the right workplace with Advantis

Choosing the right work environment can make a big difference in the level of stress you experience throughout your nursing career. If you want to try travel nursing or experience different facilities’ cultures to find the right fit, Advantis Medical Staffing can help!

We list nursing and other healthcare work opportunities from across the country on our job healthcare job portal, AdvantisConnect. Register today so you can start looking for the next opportunity in your career! And that’s worth smiling about!

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