65 Nursing Quotes to Inspire and Brighten Your Day

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inspirational nursing quotes

Words are very powerful. They can either inspire you to greatness or make you feel like crap. This is why it’s best to choose the words you hear and the principles you believe. After all, we are all given a choice every day: to wallow in self-pity or push ourselves to achieve great things despite our imperfections.

Nurses are no exception. One’s success in the nursing profession is not determined by how much theoretical knowledge a nurse possesses, but how resilient you are to apply everything you’ve learned–and that includes the principle of caring.

We are trained to care for strangers. However, there are times when our character is tested and we feel as though every pinch of inspiration to do our job well has left us. This is when inspirational Nursing quotes come into the picture.

Words that are very inspirational, even if they were uttered by someone from many centuries ago, can brighten our day and uplift our souls. These quotes are extremely helpful especially during trying times at work, like when we’re dealing with demanding patients or coping with one death after another.

Without further ado, here are 65 of the most powerful and greatest nursing quotes to inspire and brighten your day:

Many things aren’t equal but everyone gets the same 24 hours, 7 days a week. We make time for what we truly want.

Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion. – Muhammad Ali

Save one life, you’re a hero. Save 100 lives, you’re a nurse.

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.

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

Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon. -Dag Hammarskjold

See Also: Top 10 Inspirational Nursing Quotes to Live By

Knowing is not enough, we must APPLY. Willing is not enough, we must DO. -Bruce Lee

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

CARING is the essence of NURSING. -Jean Watson

Bound by paperwork, short on hands, sleep, and energy… nurses are rarely short on caring. -Sharon Hudacek

Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill

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

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is. -Albert Einstein

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. -Duke Ellington

God appoints our graces to be NURSES to other men’s weaknesses. -Henry Ward Beecher

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. -Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and attitude. -Denis Waitley

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible”! -Audrey Hepburn

Be strong when you are weak. Be brave when you are scared. Be humble when you are victorious. Be badass everyday.

A nurse is one who opens the eyes of a newborn & 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.

Do small things with great love.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. -Steve Jobs



Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestation of strength and resolution. -Kahlil Gibran

Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday. -H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. -Mother Teresa

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

The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.

Treat the patient as a whole, not just the hole in the patient.

Value what you do and add value by what you do.

When someone is going through a storm, your silent presence is more powerful than a million empty words.

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, RN, Doctor, Author and Professor

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

To accomplish great things, you must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe. -Anatole France

Forgive yourself, you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.

When you are a nurse, you know that everyday you will touch a life or a life will touch yours. -Anonymous

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

Nurses: one of the few blessings of being ill. -Sara Moss-Wolfe

BE KIND for everyone you meet is fighting a BATTLE. -Plato

Every nurse is an angel with a key for healthy community! All in caring for patients is part of nursing soul! -Alexsandar Radunovic

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. -Dr. Seuss

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom. -Earl Shoaf

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fill your mind with truth. Fill your heart with love. Fill your life with service.

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark Twain

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

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.

If love can’t cure it, nurses can. – Author Unknown

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

They may FORGET your name, but they will NEVER FORGET how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou

The character of the nurses is as important as the knowledge she possesses. – Carolyn Javis

Sometimes I inspire my patients; more often they inspire me. – unknown

Nursing is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said he finest of Fine Arts. – Florence Nightingale

Nurses don’t wait until October to celebrate “Make a Difference Day”. They make a difference everyday! – Author unknown

A nurse dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription. – Val Saintsbury

Nurses are the heart of healthcare. – Donna Wilk Cardill

Nurses are the hospitality of the hospital. – Anonymous

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

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

A nurse will always give us hope, an Angel with a stethoscope. – Terri Guillemets

A nurse is compassion in scrubs. – Lexie Saige

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

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