15 Funny Differences Between a New Nurse and an Old Nurse

the difference between a new nurse and an old nurse

Nurses go through a lot of stages professionally. You will have your own quirks–from the time you first step into the hospital wearing your new pair of nursing shoes up to the point when you reach your 25th year in the profession. But that makes our profession even more fascinating.

A new nurse and an old nurse are miles apart in terms of experience, but there are also funny signs that make each of them different from one another. So whether you’re one of the millenial nurses who just graduated from college or those baby boomers looking forward to their retirement, this list will definitely help you see a little bit of yourself. Share and enjoy!


  • A new nurse worries that the patient might die. An old nurse knows that there are worse things than dying.
  • A new nurse gets scared when a doctor yells. An old nurse yells back.
  • A new nurse thinks that psych patients are interesting. An old nurse thinks that psych patients are crazy.
  • A new nurse charts too much. An old nurse hates charting.
  • A new nurse comes in with the perfect hair and makeup. An old nurse comes in and is just glad to be there.
  • A new nurse tries so hard to please the patient’s family members. An old nurse tries so hard to avoid them.
  • It’s a shock for a new nurse that she has to work on holidays. An old nurse wonders how holidays are like when spent with family.

  • A new nurse starts charting immediately after a surgery. An old nurse makes sure everything has been taken care of before charting.
  • A new nurse wants to go to Grad School. An old nurse wants to go on a vacation.
  • A new nurse dreams of being able to help other people in times of need. An old nurse dreams of a raise.
  • A new nurse will follow the doctor’s orders enthusiastically. An old nurse will give the doctor bits of advice.
  • A new nurse is excited to sign everything. An old nurse tries not to sign anything.
  • A new nurse doesn’t want the patient to fall because she doesn’t want him to get hurt. An old nurse doesn’t want the patient to fall because she hates paperwork.
  • A new nurse writes notes on a pad.  An old nurse writes on a napkin, at the back of their hand, or even on their forearm.
  • A new nurse is happy when the unit is quiet. An old nurse runs and makes sure that the crash carts are stocked.


While new nurses are blessed with the knowledge that modern nursing has taught them, older nurses are, of course, blessed with the experience that can never be replaced by a brand new license.

There are a number of equally good things that being new nurses and old nurses bring. We should just remember that despite these differences, every nurse has been trained to focus on providing quality patient care.

Can you think of other differences that old nurses and new nurses have? Share them with us!


About the Author: Mary Elizabeth Velarmino Francisco earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Philippines. She is always happy to share her passion for writing and blogging. With coffee running through her veins, she enthusiastically battles each day, one article at a time.