For the days that you just need a little motivation to get through your shift, or you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, sometimes, a perfectly-placed nursing motivational quote might be just the thing you need to keep going.

Or maybe you’re a nursing student wondering how on earth you will find the strength to make it through the rest of the semester, when hearing a nursing quote for students will completely change your perspective. Nursing school, in my honest opinion, was even harder than my years as a “real” nurse. The crippling self-doubt, the not-knowing-where-you-fit-in, the studying while working night shift–it was all rough. So you definitely need a few of these inspirational quotes to get you through nursing school.

And, of course, there are some days when you just have to find a funny nursing quote because really, the only thing to do is find humor in the situation. After all, we all know nurses have the best sense of humor, right? Here are all the inspirational, funny, and moving nursing quotes you could ask for.

Quotes for Nursing Students

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

2. “It’s okay to learn from every experience, and it’s okay to make mistakes.”– Louise Hay

3. “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”–John Maxwell

4. “How many nurses does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None! They delegate it to the nursing student.”–unknown

5. “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

6. “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden

7. “Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.” – Aristotle

8. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

9. “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

10. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy. I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” — Art Williams

Quotes for New Nurses

1. “It’s the new nurses who aren’t scared that worry me”–every nursing instructor ever (and they’re right!)

2. “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

3. “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, 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

4. “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

5. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock

6. “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

7. “When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” – Unknown

8. “Value what you do and add value by what you do.”–unknown

9. “Forgive yourself, you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.”–unknown

10. “When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.”–unknown

Funny Nurse Quotes

1. “You know you’re a nurse when your finger has gone places you never thought possible.”–unknown

2. “Don’t mess with me — I get paid to poke people with sharp objects.”–unknown

3. “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

4. “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

5. “Nurse: the first person you see after saying, ‘Hold my beer and watch this!’”–unknown

6. “When I heard 2020 was going to be the year of the nurse, this is not what I expected…”–unknown

7. “The 3 words most people want to hear: ‘I love you.’ The 3 words nurses want to hear: ‘Alert, Oriented, and Ambulatory.”–unknown

8. “Being a nurse is weird: I can keep a poker face through trauma, but have a mental breakdown over losing my favorite pen.”–unknown

9. “3 AM: the time when you remember you forgot to chart that thing, bring that lady her water, or pass that med.”–unknown

10. “Nursing is not for the empty of heart…nor the faint of heart. ” –unknown

Short and Sweet Nurse Quotes

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

2. “I am among those who think that science has great beauty.”–Marie Curie

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

4. “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” – Donna Wilk Cardillo

5. “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” — Stephen Ambrose, Author

6. “Save one person, you’re a hero. Save hundreds, you’re a nurse.”–unknown

7. “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.”

8. “BE KIND for everyone you meet is fighting a BATTLE”. -Plato

9. “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

10. “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

Florence Nightingale Quotes

1. “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses….we must be learning all of our lives.”– Florence Nightingale

2. “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe.”–Florence Nightingale

3. “Nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backwards.”–Florence Nightingale

4. “Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty.”–Florence Nightingale

5. “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

6. “The very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.”–Florence Nightingale

7. If a nurse declines to do these kinds of things for her patient, “because it is not her business,” I should say that nursing was not her calling. I have seen surgical “sisters,” women whose hands were worth to them two or three guineas a-week, down upon their knees scouring a room or hut, because they thought it otherwise not fit for their patients to go into. I am far from wishing nurses to scour. It is a waste of power. But I do say that these women had the true nurse-calling—the good of their sick first, and second only the consideration what it was their “place” to do—and that women who wait for the housemaid to do this, or for the charwoman to do that, when their patients are suffering, have not the making of a nurse in them.”–Florence Nightingale

8. “I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”–Florence Nightingale

9. “I attribute my success to this:—I never gave or took an excuse.”–Florence Nightingale

10. The world is put back by the death of everyone who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality. – Florence Nightingale


*Originally posted at nurse.org