The Quote Garden

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 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Nurses

Nurses are the heart of healthcare. ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, R.N.

Nursing is an art; and, if it is to be made an art, requires as exclusive a devotion, as hard a preparation, as any painter's or sculptor's work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or cold 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 the Fine Arts. ~Florence Nightingale, "Una and the Lion," in Good Words, 1868

Caring: The essence and central focus of nursing. ~Madeleine M. Leininger, R.N.

Nurses can take the pressure. ~Nursing joke

The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest, and not inferior to either in her mission. ~William Osler, M.D., "Nurse and Patient," 1897

Patient's sister:  "I didn't know nurses do all that."
Nicolette:  "I'm a nurse practitioner. We do most things doctors do, just with better bedside manner."
~The Resident, "00:42:30," 2018, written by Harthan, Klaviter, Notarile, Deiker Restivo, and Lu  [S2, E1, 2018]

Nurses are IV leaguers. ~Nursing joke

When you're a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours. ~Author unknown

Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy… nurses are rarely short on caring. ~Sharon Hudacek, R.N., A Daybook for Nurses: Making a Difference Each Day, 2004

I felt as if I had been confronted by a blank wall, but panic plays no part in the training of a nurse. ~Elizabeth Kenny, 1943

Nurses are patient people. ~Nursing joke

Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription. ~Terri Guillemets

I think... that if th’ Christyan Scientists had some science an’ th’ doctors more Christyanity, it wudden’t make anny diff’rence which ye called in — if ye had a good nurse. ~Finley Peter Dunne, Mr. Dooley's Opinions, 1900

If love can't cure it, nurses can. ~Author unknown

The same laws of health or of nursing, for they are in reality the same, obtain among the well as among the sick. ~Florence Nightingale, Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not, 1860

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, R.N., A Daybook for Beginning Nurses, 2009

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 simple and humble words, "I am here. Let's heal together." ~Caryn Summers, R.N., quoted in JoEllen Goertz Koerner, Healing Presence: The Essence of Nursing, 2007

Nurses are angels in comfortable shoes. ~Author unknown

A nurse is compassion in scrubs. ~Terri Guillemets, "Health's helpers," 2007

      The development of sick-nursing has brought into existence a large, highly skilled, and organized profession. It is one of the most notable features of modern social life...
      The desire to be a nurse, and the willingness to submit to strict discipline and perform hard work, while of the utmost importance, is not all that is necessary. There must always be an element of self-sacrifice, effacement, and an appreciation of the seriousness of the work. There is no class of persons who come so close to the tragedies of life as does the nurse...
      Nurses must be willing to give patients their best, regardless of color, creed, or social standing; to forget any faults and remember only that patients are human beings. ~Charlotte A. Brown, R.N. The Junior Nurse, 1914  [a little altered —tg]

You know you're a nurse if… you triage the laundry at home. ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, R.N.

Nurses don't wait until October to celebrate Make a Difference Day — they make a difference every day! ~Author unknown

Young ladies, graduation is not the end of your training; it is but the beginning. You are not hereby married to your profession. But you are engaged! Your diploma is the diamond ring... if you are to be happy in your profession you must love it. You must feel the joy of self-sacrifice. You must have courage in dark days. You must be patient and keep smiling. Some of your work will be hard and ugly. Take care of yourself, and continue to improve in the technique of your art. Struggle to be expert, studious, skillful. Ten minutes' study a day will help you cover much ground in a year. May you have grace and strength to bear the burdens of your noble profession. ~Dean Gardner, address to graduating nurses, 1914  [a little altered —tg]

Nursing is not for everyone. It takes a very strong, intelligent, and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose and work to maintain the health and well-being of the planet. No wonder we're exhausted at the end of the day! ~Donna Wilk Cardillo, R.N.

I cannot too often repeat that patients are generally either too languid to observe certain things, or too shy to speak about them. Again, I say, what is the nurse or friend there for except to take note of these things? If you cannot get the habit of observation one way or other, you had better give up the being a nurse, for it is not your calling, however kind or ardent you may be. ~Florence Nightingale, "Observation of the Sick," Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not, 1860  [a little altered —tg]

A nurse will always give us hope,
an angel with a stethoscope.
~Terri Guillemets

We'd all be worse without a nurse. ~Author unknown

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, R.N., A Daybook for Beginning Nurses, 2009

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published 2002 Sep 19
revised Sep 2005, Aug 2021
last saved 2022 Jun 28