The Power of Inspirational Nursing Quotes

.A wise nursing quote might be helpful to motivate you on the days when you need a little inspiration to get through your shifts or decide whether you’ll laugh or weep.

The Power of Inspirational Nursing Quotes

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Every shift as a nurse presents you with a new set of difficulties and new levels of vulnerability. Nursing may quickly transform into an amazing job, whether it’s at the patient’s bedside or on a mental level. In the middle of these events, words of wisdom emerge that can inspire and raise us.

Here is a collection of 156 inspirational nursing quotes that will help you stay strong when things seem impossible. These quotations, from Florence Nightingale to contemporary nurses, serve as a reminder of why we selected this amazing profession in the first place.

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Beautify your environment with stunning wall art adorned with inspirational nursing quotes.

1. “I did not think of going to give myself a position, but for the sake of common humanity.” – Florence Nightingale

2. “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

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

4. “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” – Stephen Ambrose

5. “Most of all, you need moral courage because nursing is about the pursuit of justice. It requires you to stand up to bullies, to do things that are right but difficult, and to speak your mind even when you are afraid. I wasn’t strong like this when I started out. Nursing made me strong.” – Tilda Shalof

6. “Finding a good nurse is not just about checking off a list of skills the nurse can perform; it’s also about finding someone who is a good fit for your home.” – Charisse Montgomery

7. “Every nurse ought to be careful to wash her hands very frequently during the day. If her face, too, so much the better.” – Florence Nightingale

8. “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.” – Jim Rohn

9. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – Mother Teresa

10. “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.” – Donna Wilk Cardillo

The Power of Inspirational Nursing Quotes

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11. “Nurses: one of the few blessings of being ill.” – Sara Moss-Wolfe

12. “I didn’t want just any career, so I am not going to be just any nurse.” – Denise Richards

13. “Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.“ – Florence Nightingale

14. “Everything is sketchy. The world does nothing but sketch.” – Florence Nightingale

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

16. “I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” – Clara Barton

17. “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

18. “Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

19. “Let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

20. “May we hope that, when we are all dead and gone, leaders will arise who have been personally experienced in the hard, practical work, the difficulties, and the joys of organizing nursing reforms and who will lead far beyond anything we have done!” – Florence Nightingale

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21. “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.” – Elizabeth Kenny

22. “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” – Maya Angelou

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

24. “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” – Derek Bok

25. “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

26. “Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.” – C.S. Lewis

27. “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

28. “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

29. “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” – Muhammad Ali

30. “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

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

32. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy; I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams

33. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

34. “Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.” – Charles Dickens

35. “Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” – Judy Blume

36. “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

37. “Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their greatest strength and fatal flaw.” – Dr. Jean Watson

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

39. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

40. “The world gives you so much pain, and here you are, making gold out of it – there is nothing purer than that.” – Rupi Kaur

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41. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

42. “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.” – Barack Obama

43. “Being a nurse means to hold all your own tears and start drawing smiles on people’s faces.” – Dana Basem

44. “The character of a nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” – Carolyn Jarvis

45. “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

46. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

47. “A nurse is compassion in scrubs” – Lexie Saige

48. “Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the job, every day, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.’” – Christine Belle

49. “I did not think of going to give myself a position, but for the sake of common humanity.” – Florence Nightingale

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

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51. “It is the nurse that the child first hears, and her words that he will first attempt to imitate.” – Quintilian

52. “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

53. “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” – Florence Nightingale

54. “Unless we are making progress in our nursing every year, every month, every week, take my word for it we are going back.” – Florence Nightingale

55. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

56. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

57. “Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.” – Christina Feist-Heilmeier

58. “Nurses 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

59. “The most important practical lesson that can be given to nurses is to teach them what to observe-how to observe-what symptoms indicate improvement-what the reverse-which are of importance-which are of none-which are the evidence of neglect-and of what kind of neglect.” – Florence Nightingale

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

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61. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” – Mother Teresa

62. “Nurses are like icebergs. At any one time, you are only seeing what they are actually doing.” – Ian Miller

63. “For the sick it is important to have the best.” – Florence Nightingale

64. “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi

65. “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

66. “We are each made for goodness, love, and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths.” – Desmond Tutu


67. “Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestation of strength and resolution.” – Kahlil Gibran

68. “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

69. “God appoints our graces to be NURSES to other men’s weaknesses.” – Henry Ward Beecher

70. “Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.” – Amy Leigh Mercree

The Power of Inspirational Nursing Quotes

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71. “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

72. “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

73. “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

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

75. “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

76. “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

77. “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

78. “A nurse dispenses comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” – Val Saintsbury

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

80. “A nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope.” – Carrie Latet

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

82. “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

83. “Nature alone cures. … what nursing has to do … is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to act upon him.” – Florence Nightingale

84. “Caring is the essence of nursing.” – Jean Watson

85. “Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.” – Harold Kushner

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

87. “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” – Plato

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

89. “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

90. “When a person decides to become a nurse, they make the most important decision of their lives. They choose to dedicate themselves to the care of others.” – Margaret Harvey

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91. “The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” - Carolyn Jarvis

92. “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

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

94. “Nurse: just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone.” – Brittany Wilson

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

96. “The best nurses have the essential qualifications before they go to school.” – Florence Nightingale

97.  ”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

98. “No man, not even a doctor, ever gives any other definition of what a nurse should be than this – ‘devoted and obedient.’ This definition would do just as well for a porter. It might even do for a horse. It would not do for a policeman.” – Florence Nightingale

99. “You treat a disease: You win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win—no matter the outcome.” – Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams

100. “Live life when you have it. Life is a splendid gift-there is nothing small about it.” – Florence Nightingale

Inspirational Nurse Quotes

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Inspirational Nurse Quotes

101. “Every nurse has that one patient that they’ll remember forever.” – Unknown

102. “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

103. “When you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.”– Unknown

104. “Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.” – Judy Blume

105. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived, this is to have succeeded.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

106. “No matter how difficult the days may get, don’t forget the reason you became a nurse.” – Unknown

107. “The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” – Carolyn Jarvis

108. “Nurse: just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate everything and soft enough to understand everyone.” – Unknown

109. “Let us never consider ourselves finished, nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.” – Florence Nightingale

110. “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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Funny Nurse Quotes

111. “Be nice to your nurse. They’re the person who chooses your catheter size.” – Unknown

112. “Nursing would be a dream job if there were no doctors.” – Gerhard Kocher

113. “May your cup runneth over, unless it’s that urine specimen cup you’re trying to hand me.” – Unknown

114. “Shift change is my favorite time of day.” – Unknown

115. “Always thank your nurse! Sometimes they’re the only one between you and a hearse.” – Warren Beatty
116. “Yes, I am a nurse. No, I don’t want to look at it.” – Unknown

117. “Don’t mess with me, I get paid to stab people with sharp objects.” – Unknown

118. “Be nice to me…I may be your nurse someday and remember…catheters and needles come in sizes that I choose!” – Unknown

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Quotes That Show Appreciation

119. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

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

121. “Remember, nurses are like icebergs. At any one time, you are only seeing what they are actually doing.” – Ian Miller

122. “Save one person, you’re a hero. Save hundreds, you’re a nurse.” – Unknown

123. “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly.” – Stephen Ambrose

124. “The doctors may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable. – Jodi Picoult

125. “Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their biggest strength and fatal flaw.” – Dr. Jean Watson

126. “A nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope.” – Carrie Latet

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

128. “Nurses—one of the few blessings of being ill.” —Sara Moss-Wolfe

129. “You didn’t even know me, yet you treated me like family…I’ll never forget that. Thank you.” – Unknown

130. “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” – Val Saintsbury

131. “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.” – Barack Obama

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Motivational Quotes for Nurses

132. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put into doing”. – Mother Teresa

133. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

134. “What you do makes a difference. And you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall

135. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” – Mother Teresa

136. “Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.” – Charles Dickens

137. “Save one life, you’re a hero. Save a hundred lives, you’re a nurse.” – Unknown

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

139. “There are only four kinds of people in the world. Those who have been caregivers. Those who are currently caregivers. Those who will be caregivers, and those who will need a caregiver.” — Rosalyn Carter

140. “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” — Emory Austin

141. “You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win…no matter the outcome.” – Robin Williams, Patch Adams

142. “Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

143. “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” – Plato

144. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams

145. “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

146. “Knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worse, beats the hell out of never trying.” – Grey’s Anatomy

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Short Quotes for Nurses

147. “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

148. “It is not enough to be compassionate—you must act.” – The Dalai Lama

149. “Be the nurse you want to work with.” – Unknown

150. “Treat every patient like they are family.” – Unknown

151. “I never dreamed about success—I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder

152. “Nurses are angels in comfortable shoes.” – Unknown

153. “I’m a nurse because miracle worker isn’t an official title.” – Unknown

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

155. “For the sick, it is important to have the best.” – Florence Nightingale

156. “From caring comes courage.” – Lao Tzu

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