Nursing MSN & DNP

| 20 June 2024

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85 Nursing Quotes: Words of Wisdom for Nurses

USAHS Nursing Students

Nursing is a profession that requires intelligence, motivation and determination. Since nursing school can be hard, and shift work is even more challenging, it’s important to remain inspired. In this post, we share quotes about nurses to help you stay connected to your original dream and draw on strength to power through.

Jump to a section below to find:

Quotes About Nursing

nursing quote

  1. “Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.” —Unknown
  2. “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
  3. “Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their greatest strength and fatal flaw.” —Jean Watson, American nurse theorist and nursing professor
  4. “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” —Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish economist and diplomat
  5. “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
  6. “Caring is the essence of nursing.” —Jean Watson
  7. “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.” —Val Saintsbury
  8. “Every nurse was drawn to nursing because of a desire to care, to serve, or to help.” —Christina Feist-Heilmeier, RN
  9. “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
  10. “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
  11. “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.” —Barack Obama
  12. “Nursing is one of the fine arts: I had almost said ‘the finest of fine arts.’” —Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing
  13. “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
  14. “Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the job, every day, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.’” —Christine Belle
  15. “When you’re a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” —Unknown
  16. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” —Mother Teresa
  17. “Not all angels have wings…some have scrubs.” —Unknown

Nursing School Quotes

nursing quote

  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
  2. “Forgive yourself; you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.” —Unknown
  3. “Hardships often prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.” —C.S. Lewis
  4. “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
  5. “I never dreamed about success—I worked for it.” —Estée Lauder
  6. “Nothing will work unless you do.” —Maya Angelou
  7. “When you feel like quitting, remember why you started.” —Unknown
  8. “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
  9. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.” —Unknown
  10. “While that’s correct…it’s not the most correct. This is nursing school.” —Unknown
  11. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” —Anthony J. D’Angelo, educator
  12. “Apprehension, uncertainty, waiting, expectation, fear of surprise, do a patient more harm than any exertion.” —Florence Nightingale
  13. “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.” —Elizabeth Kenny, Australian bush nurse
  14. “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” —Chinese proverb
  15. “Let us never consider ourselves finished, nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.” —Florence Nightingale
  16. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” —Nelson Mandela
  17. “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

Inspirational Nursing Quotes

nursing quote

  1. “Value what you do and add value by what you do.” —Unknown
  2. “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
  3. “Nurses—one of the few blessings of being ill.” —Sara Moss-Wolfe
  4. “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson
  5. “Sometimes I inspire my patients; more often, they inspire me.” —Unknown
  6. “Nurse: just another word to describe a person strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand anyone.” —Unknown
  7. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” —Mahatma Gandhi
  8. “Be the nurse you would want as a patient.” —Unknown
  9. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.” —Plato
  10. “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
  11. “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.” —Donna Wilk Cardillo, MA, RN, CSP, FAAN
  12. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” —William Shakespeare
  13. “The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” —Carolyn Jarvis
  14. “A nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope.” —Carrie Latet
  15. “Happiness…consists of giving, and in serving others.” —Henry Drummond, evangelist
  16. “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
  17. “Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.” —Charles Dickens

Funny Nursing Quotes

nursing quote

  1. “Treat the patient as a whole, not just the hole in the patient.” —Unknown
  2. “Just so you know, doctors are here to diagnose, not heal. We heal.” —Edie Falco in Nurse Jackie
  3. “May your scrubs be comfy, your coffee be strong, and your Monday be short.” —Unknown
  4. “No, RN does not stand for ‘Refreshments and Narcotics.’” —Unknown
  5. “Yes, I am a nurse. No, I don’t want to look at it.” —Unknown
  6. “Don’t mess with me—I get paid to stab people with sharp objects.” —Unknown
  7. “Hand sanitizer has started to become your best friend.” —Unknown
  8. “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
  9. “I’m a nurse. What’s your superpower?” —Unknown
  10. “I’ve come to the realization that I’ll touch anything as long as I have gloves on.” —Unknown
  11. “Nursing is not a career…it’s a post-apocalyptic survival skill.” —Unknown
  12. “You know you work in healthcare when you can discuss puke and bowel movements at the lunch table and no one flinches.” —Unknown
  13. “Remember, I’m a nurse. You’re going to have to say a lot to gross me out.” —Unknown
  14. “Sometimes I have to remind myself around my non-nurse friends not to talk about bodily functions.” —Unknown
  15. “I’m a nurse because ‘miracle worker’ isn’t an official title.” —Unknown
  16. “No, I will not rub your feet. I am a nurse, not a masseur.” —Unknown
  17. “I’m a nurse—nothing scares me.” —Unknown

Nurse Quotes for Graduating Students

nursing quote

  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
  2. “Fill your mind with truth. Fill your heart with love. Fill your life with service.” —Vaughn J. Featherstone, American missionary
  3. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” —Mother Teresa
  4. “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
  5. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.” —Dr. Seuss
  6. “I attribute my success to this; I never gave nor took any excuse.” —Florence Nightingale
  7. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” —Unknown
  8. “Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it.” —Henry David Thoreau
  9. “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, FAAN
  10. “There no longer has to be a difference between who you are and what you do.” —Gary Vaynerchuk, entrepreneur and author
  11. “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
  12. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” —Maya Angelou
  13. “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
  14. .“How very little can be done under the spirit of fear.” —Florence Nightingale
  15. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” —Salvador Dali
  16. “I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.” —Florence Nightingale
  17. “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

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The best nurses are passionate and dedicated to the work that they do. They stay motivated during hard times and brush off the little things. Nurse quotes like the 85 we shared can help keep your fire lit for this demanding but fulfilling profession.

A career in nursing is challenging, but it’s even more rewarding. If you want to become a nurse practitioner or to take on other advanced roles in nursing, check out the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS).

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences (USAHS) offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program, a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, and Post-Graduate Nursing Certificates designed for working nurses. Our degrees are offered online, with optional on-campus immersions.* Role specialties include Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Nurse Educator,** and Nurse Executive. The MSN has several options to accelerate your time to degree completion. Complete coursework when and where you want—and earn your advanced nursing degree while keeping your work and life in balance.

*The FNP role specialty includes two required hands-on clinical intensives as part of the curriculum. 

**The Nurse Educator role specialty is not available for the DNP program.


  1. Caring Nurses Services, “The 13 Reasons Why Nurses Are Great,” Caring Nurses Services, January 29, 2018,
  2. Nurse Buff, “75 Inspirational Nursing Quotes for Graduation,” Nurse Buff, April 4, 2022,
  3. Nurse Fuel, “Inspirational Nursing Quotes to Help Get You Through Your Day,” Nurse Fuel, 2024,
  4. Nurse Theory, “66 Inspirational Nursing Quotes to Lift Your Mood,” Nurse Theory, 2024,


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