20 Fun Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Nursing


If you think you know everything about nursing, think again.

Reading all your notes, watching tutorials and lessons, and answering questionnaires can give you valuable lessons about the profession but they aren’t enough to let you know everything about nursing. After all, it’s really rich in history. From the inspiration of the nurse cap to the first hospital training ground, there are things that aren’t always taught in school.

If you are starting to get curious, here are 20 interesting nursing facts you’ll be surprised to learn.

1. The nurse cap is patterned after a nun’s habit to keep the hair neatly in place. Although this clothing item has long been phased out as it is known to carry pathogens, some countries still use this as part of the female nurses’ outfit.

nurse cap

2. Did you know that Linda Richards was the first nurse to earn a Nursing diploma in the United States? She earned it in 1873 and the proof of her graduation is now displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

linda richards

3. The top occupational health concern of nurses is back injury. A survey done in 2011 shows that 59% of nurses are afraid they might have this.

See Also: 10 Ways Nurses Can Prevent and Manage Low Back Pain

4. James Derham, a black slave, was “owned” by several doctors working as a nurse. He bought his freedom using his nursing salary and he later became the first African- American physician.

5. The first Nursing school was established in India in 250 BC.

6. Did you know that the only US First Lady who helped in Union hospitals during the Civil War is Mary Todd Lincoln? She was a volunteer nurse back then.

mary todd lincoln

Also Read: 30 Most Famous Nurses in History 

7. Japan’s exam for foreign nurses is so difficult that, according to the latest report, it has been passed only by 96 out of 741 test takers in the past five years.

8. The knights who were ordered by Pope Urban II to fight during the crusades became nurses to the ill and wounded. They decided to take this role for good thus they were called the Knight Hospitallers.

9. The term nosocomial which means “hospital acquired” originated from a Latin term “nosocomium” which refers to men who tended the sick in ancient Rome.

10. The first hospital training ground for nurses was established in the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany in 1846.

11. The UKCC or the United Kingdom Central Council has established the Nurses Registration Act of 1919 that ensures nurses get the proper and high standard of training.

12. According to the World Health Organization, Nepal is one of the countries with the lowest nurse per capita. It only has 5 nurses per 100,000 people.

13. Lucretia Lester was a well-known nurse and midwife who attended to 1,300 deliveries, with only 2 ending up unsuccessful.

14. May 8 is celebrated as the National Student Nurses Day.

national student nurses day

15. Home health care demands the highest number of nurses as lots of patients will soon be retiring and this is where a part of their fortune is planned to be spent.

16. According to the US Department of Labor, as of 2006, there are 709 nursing programs that offer bachelor’s degree and 850 programs that grant associate degree.

17. The number of nursing profession in the US has increased by 7% between 2006 and 2010 amounting to 5,150,780 nursing professionals. Such growth is faster compared to other careers.

18. In order to give recognition to school nurses, January 27 is now celebrated as the National School Nurse Day.

19. The famous poet and essayist Walt Whitman served as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His poem entitled “The Wound Dresser” got its theme from his nursing experience in the battlefield.

walt whitman

Also Read: 12 Badass Nurses in History You Probably Don’t Know

20. The first nurse in the New World was Friar Juan de Mena. He looked after those who were ill and was unfortunately deceived and killed.

Hope these information helped you and gave you a little bit of entertainment. Do you have other interesting facts to share?

Also Read: 10 Incredible Facts You Didn’t Know About Male Nurses