20 Most Ridiculous Nursing Superstitions

Nursing Superstitions

Superstition is as ridiculous as Loch Ness Monster and UFOs. Yet somewhere along the way, some nurses started to pick this ridiculousness and spread it even more.

Perhaps you don’t believe in superstitions because, you know, they are supernatural in nature. But no matter how silly they may sound, we can’t help but be fascinated by some of the most common yet unverified beliefs held by nurses both past and present.

This list shows some of the common but silly Nursing superstitions as shared by nurses we’ve found on Reddit and other Nursing forums.


1. “This has been disproven over and over, but every time we have three deaths in the same night I’m like, “DEATHS COME IN THREES!” – katherine_rf

2. “Never mention a frequent fliers name or they will show up.
Especially if the patient is difficult.” –Exedrn

3. “Some L/D nurses won’t open instrumentation until the Last Minute before a delivery because they are afraid they will end up with a c-section.”  –The Gypsy Nurse

4. “Don’t ever bring something to work to do on your downtime. Every time I have brought homework to work ‘just in case,’ I have had awful, awful nights.”  – pinksugar47

5. “We tape atropine to the window if someone starts going brady frequently. It wards off evil spirits. I mentioned to a few coworkers I had never even seen Acls performed on a pt, the next week my patient went into cardiac arrest. Shits real!”  –slayhern


6. “When there is a code in the hospital we open a room (turn the lights on, balance our bed scale, turn monitor to stand-by) and if the patient doesn’t make it into our ICU we NEVER turn the lights out.” –The Gypsy Nurse

7. “Never touch the code cart, and never talk about getting out early.”  –laquatarted

8. “I work in a NICU so it’s a little bit different, but anytime someone goes on a delivery you ALWAYS PREP THE ADMIT BED. Not warming the bed up is almost a guarantee to get a baby in it.”  – HoHoHo_Its_Santa

9. “On our unit, the windows actually opened, but only a few inches. If a patient was dying and we did not want that patient to die, everyone had to check the windows in their rooms to be sure they were closed and locked. On the other hand, if the patient was “ready” to die, we’d open the windows. The spirit can’t leave unless the window is open, don’t you know.” –HollyHobby

10. “Tie a knot in the bed sheet to keep your patient from dying on your shift.”  – Tara2001


11. “Every full moon, the census is up and those special patients are up at night. Never fails.” – runawayslug

12. “If you have a routine about where you put your stethoscope after work, DON’T BREAK THE ROUTINE. You will lose it. Forever.” – lilkuniklo

13. “Don’t ever tell yourself before the shift “Well, it’s a Sunday night shift, it shouldn’t be that bad.” Because then it will be awful.” –TheNextMovement

14. “Mentioning a frequent flyer or drunk will make them show up, guaranteed.”  –TheNextMovement

15. “The “Q” word: Never say how well a shift/day has been before you clock out…or it won’t be good anymore.”  –The Gypsy Nurse


16. “Avoidance of The Board. We have a run-down board of all patients and their stats–and NO ONE may erase or touch the board w/out permission. And when someone does get dc’d from the board, we all Knock on Wood.” – Nursing Link

17. “Don’t change the calendar date before midnight or you will have a crazy night.” –massrn116

18. “Once you prepare a bed for an admission and they don’t come, don’t close the bed or shut off the lights…you’ll admit.” –massrn116

19. “When I worked in the cath lab and we could pull meds (in the pre-Pyxis days). Always got the NTG and dopamine out on the counter along with tubing anytime we got the call for an emergency patient. Called it warding off the evil spirits.” –tvccrn

20. “Good-luck Charms. I know a nurse who always wears the same earrings as a talisman against a bad night. It seems to work for her!”  –NursingLink


Your Turn

Do you have your own Nursing superstition that you would love to share?