When the job seems too difficult, too thankless, and too tiring, the knowledge you are in a noble profession and the work you do matters can keep you going. So say those nurses who have gone before!
Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a first year student, there is no denying that nursing can be a stressful career. It’s not something that we often talk about, but the feeling of being overwhelmed, discouraged and even defeated is something every nurse will face at least several times in their career. Nursing is not easy. It takes a special persona and personality to do the job day after day.
The good thing about facing hardships is that every single time you come through one, you have won. You have faced adversity and come out the victor. You’ve come through the fire stronger. You’ve been able to do this because you are a nurse and being a nurse isn’t just about being skilled and compassionate, it is about being fierce and tough. You know that no matter how hard your job may be, you can survive the tough times. You can do it because you know that you make a difference and you are resilient. You survive to fight another day because you have purpose and you know that what you do matters.
Even when you know all of that, in a career that can be as chaotic as nursing, you can forget it sometimes. You need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and for a moment (Because sometimes that is all you have) take a look at all the good you do. Look for the subtle reminders of how essential you are and how much your patients and their loved ones appreciate the effort you put into caring for others. It is the little things that will restore your energy and enthusiasm. It’s those little things that help allow you to stay positive and avoid burnout when everything inside of you is screaming otherwise.
Sometimes, it’s not so easy to find something to cling to, even for the moment, to give you the energy and drive to keep moving forward. It’s one of the reasons nursing can be such a tough career. But here we have compiled 20 quotes about nursing that can help you find that center of calm again. That can lift your spirit and soul and remind that no matter what is happening, you’re not alone. I hope you will enjoy them and draw strength from them in times of need. Enjoy, and thank you for being a warrior day in and day out.
“The nurse is temporarily the consciousness of the unconscious, the love of life for the suicidal, the leg of the amputee, the eyes of the newly blind, a means of locomotion for the infant, the knowledge and confidence of the young mother, and a voice for those too weak to speak.” – Virginia Henderson
“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. A unique soul 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
“I may not be a doctor, but I am a nurse. And if you are someone whose mind says ‘just a nurse’ please, go ahead and ask the nurse you know best what it is that they do. I think you may be surprised.
I am a nurse. I didn’t become a nurse because I couldn’t cut it in med school or failed organic chemistry, but rather because I chose this. I work to maintain my patient’s dignity through intimate moments, difficult long term decisions, and heartbreaking situations. I share in the joy of newly-born babies and miraculously-cured diseases. I share in the heartbreak of a child taken too soon, a disease too powerful, a life changed forever.
My patient is often an entire family. I assess and advocate. Sometimes I wipe bottoms, often I give meds, but that isn’t the extent of what I do. There are people above me, and people below. I work closely with both; without them, I could not do what I do well. I chose this profession and love almost every minute of it. I know I am not alone, and I appreciate all of the nurses who work alongside me. Many of them have shaped me into the nurse I am. Someday I will shape others into the nurse they will be. This wasn’t my plan B. It was my plan A, and I would gladly choose it again.” – Kateri Allard
“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
“I’m an ex-convict. I have AIDS. I’m a prostitute. I’m poor. I’m old. I’m a lesbian. I aborted my baby. I’m a teenage mom. I’m a victim of rape. I’m a drug addict. I’m an alcoholic. I’m a beggar. I have cancer. I have a contagious disease… but the nurse said, “I’ll take care of you.’” – Anonymous
“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
“Being a nurse isn’t about grades, it’s about being who we are. No book can teach you how to cry with a patient. No class can teach you how to tell their family that their parents have died or are dying. No professor can teach you how to find dignity in giving someone a bed bath. A nurse is not about the pills or the charting. It’s about being able to love people when they are at their weakest moments.” – Anonymous
“The longer I’m in the profession, the more experiences shape my life, the more amazing colleagues influence me, the more I see the micro and macro power of nursing.” – Joni Watson
“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” – Dag Hammarskjold
“Sometimes I inspire my patients; more often they inspire me.” – Anonymous
“Nursing care comes in many forms. Sometimes it is the ability to make someone feel physically comfortable by various means. Other times it is the ability to improve the body’s ability to achieve or maintain health. But often it is an uncanny yet well-honed knack to see beyond the obvious and address, in some way, the deeper needs of the human soul.” – Donna Wilk Cardillo
“Nurse: Just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate everything and soft enough to understand everyone.” – Anonymous
“The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.” – Jodi Picoult
“Authentic service can be seen in the nurse who has nurtured herself, the healer who has been healed. It is the service we hear when the nurse can speak from her heart to the patient these simply and humble words, ‘I am here. Let’s heal together’” – Caryn Summers
“When I think about all the patients and their loved ones that 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 beautiful tapestry in my mind that is my career in nursing.” – Donna Wilk Cardillo
“Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” – Anonymous
“Nurses help people. And in doing so, we receive the unmatched satisfaction of knowing that we have made a difference to the patients and their families.” – Dawn Marino
“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
“The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” – Carolyn Jarvis
“Nursing is great for so many reasons, but there is one reason that means more than any poll results, amount of money, or job security: Nurses make a difference.” – Brittney Wilson