No Nurse is an Atheist

By Christina FeistHeilmeier on Thu, Mar 29, 2012

Of all the hundreds of nurses I have known, I have never known one who is an atheist. Just as there are no atheists in fox holes, there are no atheists in nursing. If by chance there may be some atheistic nurses in existence, I have never met one personally. Nurses from any faith do better for themselves and for their patients by actively practicing their faith. The Muslim nurse strives to be a better Muslim. The Hindu nurse strives to be a better Hindu, etc. They draw their strength and sustenance from their faith system. The nurse who tries to have consistent growth in her own spirituality for renewal is less likely to experience despair and burn out.

By far, my greatest role model has been Mother Teresa of Calcutta. In addition to being a nun with a deep, contemplative, marital relationship with God, she was a nurse and educator in every sense. Her scope of nursing, educational, and inspirational influence started very small and locally in Calcutta and expanded from there. By the grace of God, her influence expanded from modest beginnings to engulf the world with her multi-national effects of charity, love, caring, and compassion. She knew each and every one of her compassionate actions for any human being was not only being done for the person, but for God Himself. Her international impact continues across the world, even after her death, through the tremendous work of her Sisters of Charity.

When Mother Teresa was accused of baptizing and converting her Muslim and Hindu patients to her Catholic faith, the accusers learned that she was doing nothing of the sort. She was merely acknowledging their dignity as human beings and showing them universal love and caring. The caring can be universal amongst many religions when everyone’s humanity and dignity are the goal.

Ideally, I believe it is possible to care about every patient. Unless a nurse has a good system of coping and renewal, the emotional well-being is very much at stake. I believe this is why we see many nurses engaging in behaviors that aren’t the best for them: smoking, obesity, unwillingness to support each other, drug addictions, alcohol addiction, and unwillingness to celebrate each others’ successes. Other frequent trends we see in nurses’ lives reveal how else they struggle: inability to get to church for renewal because of shift work, depression, single-parenthood, and falling prey to abusive partners who they are trying to “help”. Many nurses are trying to meet their patients’ needs, Maslow’s lowest to highest, while failing to meet their own needs.

So the next time I am tempted to skip church or my work-out or healthy meal or my prayer time, I’ll remember what is written here and allow myself the luxury of taking better care of myself. I hope you will do the same.  Heaven is waiting to hear from us.



202 COMMENTS

Michelle Curtis 3 days ago
Christina you are a sickening, bible thumping, ignorant nut job.

Chanda Kim 3 weeks ago
Proud Atheist nurse here! I really think this "article" is rather offensive and shouldn't really be in this forum. This was not a sharing of idea or information or even advice. It was a blatantly offensive and self serving piece that simply expresses a persons very narrow opinion while offending and really belittling a decent population of the nursing community.I'm rather disappointed that Nurse Together actually saw it fit to allow it to remain posted as it does not do anything other than inflame and incite rather than facilitate discussion that is empowering or encouraging as this site was designed to do.

Anonymous 4 weeks ago
Having a personal believe system can empower any individual to perform their job successfully as long as the believe system does not become a drain. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, was a person with a religious vocation, not a nurse per say, despise of her dedication to the poor, this woman struggle for years and years in an aridity of soul that she herself explained, she was a servant to a cause that by a religious vocation she embraced, she gave her life away as a choice to help the indigent and the sick, orphan children and she did her best. Her life style may not fit me as a nurse even though I find her to be what they call a selfless saint. Certainly I am not a saint but I do my job with responsibility and with care, sometimes the helping hand or the support of a coworker empowers me through the day, sometimes is just human kindness and respect towards one another, that is it.

Robin Scott 1 month ago
You do not speak for me, Christina FeistHeilmeier. I have been a nurse for over 30 years and I find your segregated belief system not one nursing embraces. Did you not attend class the month your nursing school taught the "art" of nursing? Unconditional acceptance and tolerance of others' beliefs are to be respected. It is the nature and character of a professional nurse that separates integrity from bigotry. You may not have ever known another nurse who is atheist. Yet, your acknowledgement reveals you simply did not know "all" nurses. I am Agnostic. I respect your belief system. I encourage you to learn to respect mine.

gemma smith 2 months ago
What a disgusting piece of garbage. I can understand why people have problems with nursing as a profession when tripe like this is printed. I am a Jew and an atheist. I believe in science and the healing properties of best evidence based practice. If you feel a need to believe that some distant little man is running your life then by all means .... go for it but don't speak for me or for my profession.

Michelle Curtis 3 days ago
Very well said gemma! This tripe and this whole "There has to be a God, or some kind of higher power" is just nuts. I'm tired of Jesus thumpers that think they speak for the whole world when it comes to religion. This is garbage and I find it extremely offensive. It really needs to be removed. I guarantee you, if someone posted something about how proud they are to be an atheist in nursing practice, it would be removed, I;m sick of the double standard and this article is pretty much saying that if you are an atheist, you are not a good nurse! It angers me!

Krystal Whetsell 2 months ago
Even Atheists believe in a higher power. If not now....,,on their deathbeds they must face God and be judged. Those who do not believe will perish.

Jan Wenin 2 months ago
Atheist nurse here. We exist and we're pretty awesome. Hi!!

Chanda Kim 3 weeks ago
Yes we are! I don't think being religious or believing in a higher power makes you a better nurse let alone a better person. I've met some nurses who have said and done some seriously insensitive and down right harmful things because of their religious views

David Bonnett 2 months ago
Good medical care heals patients not prayers. Go ahead and pray and have the success rates of Christian Scientists and the law suits too.

Anonymous 3 months ago
There are many atheist nurses. We fear coming out. My own personal experience was brutal. You live and you learn.
Mother Teresa was horrible. She allowed millions to die in pain. Believed that was god's plan. Yet she went to all the top medical centers herself for any care.
I perform and love this job for many reasons. Not a one has anything to do with a god. It's challenging. Constant learning. Gives you perspective. Satisfaction at helping another gives a big return. And if you live and work in California it pays well and you even get breaks.
As nurses we are the last line of ethics and voice at the bedside. I find it offensive that you belittle my belief. When the atheist passes their non-religion deserves respect. I do the right thing because what are we but our actions and word.

Ian Dempsey 3 months ago
Writing such as this may be one of the reasons why nurses are not often taken seriously. Broad, flowery claims with no evidence to back them; it's disgusting how some nurses can get so self-involved and portray themselves as martyrs.

Contrary to almost every point you've tried to make, all of the most religious nurses I've known have actually had their beliefs become a hinderence to care. They don't seem to be able to hold prejudices in. I cringe at the terrible things they say in the break room when they have a gay or transgender patient, or someone going through issues with substance abuse.

Oh, and add this to your tally book, you've got yet another proud atheist nurse here.

Jordan Taylor 3 months ago
This made me laugh. Mother Theresa a role model for nursing. Guess it's too late for her to take a course on primary prevention and change her stance on condoms and abortion. Religion is what is wrong with this world. It poisons every naturally beautiful thing and is an insult to me as a free-thinking and moral human being. Say that I am insensitive if you want, but we will never be rid of religion until we are able to openly ridicule it for what it truly is, fairy-tales and non-sense

Jordan Taylor 3 months ago
Unfortunately while I'm at work as an atheist nurse I will have to keep being professional and leave my personal bias towards religion at the door, Like the other 180 other atheist posters here do

Anonymous 3 months ago
I am one, and I have been a nurse for 15 years.I draw my porality from my good sense of wrong and right.The fact that it pays to be good is my philosophy.

Anonymous 3 months ago
I would rather know a kind Atheist than a kind Christian. At least I know the Atheist is being kind/caring because it is the right thing to do for another human being and not because some "god" told them they had to be. Doing the right thing because you are human is a lot harder than doing the right thing because god told you to.

dm 4 months ago
I joined this site because of this infuriatingly ignorant "article" and it's maddening bigotry. I read the comments and realized that I was not alone. I am only commenting to note that Mother Teresa was an evil sociopath and anyone who thinks differently should look beyond the PR and gain a different perspective. That woman perpetuated suffering.

Michelle Curtis 3 days ago
I agree, I only joined this site to comment on this annoying post and will unsubscribe as soon as I am done! So if they think this is a way to get subscribers they are very wrong. See ya Nurse Together! You suck!

Anonymous 4 months ago
In the spirit of the author, I think all Nascar fans are obsessed with left turns and all Democrats are all pro-choice.

I don't like absolutes, especially when they're used to make asinine generalizations about the nature of man.

I don't know which is worse: the idiot who wrote it or the idiot who published it.

When I began the article, my IQ was 180, now it's just hovering around 98.




Anonymous 4 months ago
I don't think the author meant any offence to the atheists out there. I would like to say that as I do believe in God that it doesn't affect my practice and would never do so. I don't think it's fair to say people who believe in God don't believe in medicine or anything like it- if anything we believe we should help more. I am not saying that either belief makes anyone a better nurse, and personally I do know more atheist nurses, but for myself my faith helps me carry on.

Duggie RN 4 months ago
This lady must only put 5,000 miles a year on her car- from home to work and back and from home to church and back. How else could you explain the extreme ignorance in this article. There are plenty of atheists in the medical field in general. In fact I would say that as science continues to march on and create new drugs, new medical equipment, new surgeries, etc, that more atheists than ever go into nursing because they see it as a way to offer REAL help to suffering people. Help beyond simply talking to your imaginary friend who obviously didn't care enough to keep the patient out of the hospital in the first place. If you are a Christian and you believe in heaven, this glorious afterlife, then aren't you doing your patients a disservice by keeping them from eternal joy? Why give them that $2,000 antibiotic when you could gleefully point them towards "the light" where they can spend eternity in a place much better than this earth? I'm sure 50+ years ago when nursing there were probably more nurses who were just "answering god's call"... But that was when it was more about holding hands and cleaning patients, knowing a fraction of the medications (and there SE, MOA, etc) that we have to know today, having healthier patients stay in the hospital for longer (making your patient load easier), the sicker patients died quick without the pesky advancements in science prolonging their life and their chances at life. Now we have study after study to show why we use this drug vs. this drug for an infection, why we get you out if bed right away after an operation, why we want to get you off the ventilator ASAP. Prayer has been around for a long time sweetie and it wasn't because of prayer that we now have a longer life expectancy. If I ever go into the hospital and my nurse or doctor is saying a prayer before my surgery etc I will literally run, crawl, wheelchair my way out of that hospital because that person is relying on their imaginary friend to save me and not their education and experience in medicine!

Duggie RN 4 months ago
Open up your eyes and find out what that "innocent" spreading of the good word has done for the world and you'll see who's being ignorant. How many wars have been started in the name of atheism? How many abortion clinics have been bombed by by atheists? Does atheism tell women in holy scriptures that they are inferior? Was it atheists who used their holy book to justify slavery, being against interracial marriage and homosexuality? Please! I have read the entire bible cover to cover and used to be overly involved in church... And that's why I am an atheist today. Because the last thing I am is ignorant!

Anonymous 4 months ago
by the way, I mean no offence- just that it doesn't mean you can't be a good nurse having a religion

Anonymous 4 months ago
Unfair to say that God is an imaginary friend. That is ignorant in itself my friend. Why be so judgmental to someone who wants to spread the word of what they believe? Atheism doesn't mean you have to hate those who believe in God, it simply means you don't believe. So don't be so ignorant as to call it 'real help' because that is insulting and also believing in God does not mean that they don't use actual nursing skills, it simply means said person chooses to have faith. No one has said that science is wrong.

1690613868_facebook 4 months ago
I stopped believing in god about the same time I stopped believing in Santa Clause or the Easter Bunny. I also grew up believing in Humanity, and the necessity for humans to behave with kindness and compassion. That is one of the reasons I make an excellent nurse. It also helps that I have the utmost faith in Science, finished at the top of my class in high school and nursing school, and always act in a professional manner. By the way, while most other nurses are not atheists, agnostics, or Humanists (many are!), NONE of them pray. We're too busy saving lives to waste it in prayer.

Justin Baines 4 months ago
I think I am a better nurse as an atheist, than I ever was when I was religious. Knowing that you only have one life and one chance to help patients makes me more motivated to support and advocate for them. There is no "better place", so it is vital we help one another here and now.

Lindsay Kirkman 7 months ago
I'm an atheist and a great nurse. Mother Teresa was also an atheist. She wrote in her journal about it her last few years on earth. She had a lot of cognitive dissonance.

Catherine Carter 6 months ago
^ seconded, all of this.

Jonathan James 7 months ago
Finishing my nursing degree, I'm atheist- since age 12 or so....

Gracie Fisher 7 months ago
I am an atheist nurse who provides safe and high quality care for all of my clients regardless of their race, religion, sex, etc. I find it quite sickening that this view seems to permeate each corner of healthcare. I am for the separation of church and medicine. Was it not the church who deemed nursing as an undesirable career to begin with?

I do not have a need for ancient mythology to drive my motives and morals. I do not need a wizard in the sky to help me cope. As a mature adult, I have found my own methods for providing holistic healthcare and coping with the personal repercussions for providing individualized and empathetic care for all of my patients.

Hopefully you can expand your horizons beyond this closed-box belief fallacy.

Have a pleasant new year

Anonymous 7 months ago
The number of intelligent comments from Atheists is quite refreshing. Do you believe we are all less than? I am a much better Godless nurse than many of my God fearing peers! God has no place at the bedside!

Anonymous 7 months ago
I am currently in my first year of nursing and my very first class was based on health. We did a thorough analysis of emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. What I learned was that in order to be the best nurse that I can be, I need to care for myself and be as holistically healthy as I can be. Spiritual health, despite the underlying connotation, does not refer solely to a belief in a superior being or faith in a certain religion. I am an atheist and can say without a doubt that I am spiritually healthy because I recognize that I am a living being and that my purpose is to make this world a better place. I may not be your perfect definition of "spiritual" but I know deep down that it will never have an impact on my care. As someone who respects the profession and fellow nurses, I am deeply saddened at your ignorance. I truly hope that your state of mind does not have an effect on the care you provide.

Anonymous 8 months ago
I am not sure if it is arrogance or naivety that leads you to such false assertions. As a registered nurse of over twenty years and an atheist I can assure you that you are wrong on all counts. But what really disturbs me is that you feel you have a right to judge those who do not share your believe and I worry that you subject your patients to your judgmental and ignorant assumptions especially at a time of great vulnerability in their lives. Have you heard nothing about CULTURAL COMPETENCE? As an atheist I believe that you and many like you choose religion as a cover to spread words of hate and intolerance.
FYI…when I had a head on collision (me little car/them Toyota Tundra) my thoughts were of my family and that I was happy for the life I’ve had NOT an utterance to an imaginary overlord.

Anonymous 8 months ago
In the UK there are many atheist Nurses. I would guess they form the majority of the profession. The expression of religious views at work is frowned upon. Rightly so in my view. You are meant to advocate on behalf of your patient and not seek to impose your religious views on them. I am an atheist Nurse and I find your article disturbing. Maybe you should consider another profession which is more in keeping with a belief in fairy tales.

Anonymous 9 months ago
It's already been said, but here's another voice: I'm an atheist nurse, and so is my best friend! Maybe you've never met one because you're so busy shoving your religion in other people's faces that they're too uncomfortable to share with you. The most disgusting stereotype I've heard about atheists is this "atheists are amoral" or otherwise somehow less good. My atheism has inspired me to be a better person because I realize how rare and precious life is.

Anonymous 9 months ago
Wake up. There no need for this amount of suffering. If it was caused by "sin", then maybe God should a more active interest; other than handing out punishment. If he was more actively interested he wouldn't need us or the pastor's wearing $2,000 suits. I like the profession, but I have a front row seat to more human suffering than anybody should have to see. I struggle with my faith everyday, because God doesn't seem to be there. You must be one of those fortunate nurses that only see people with hang nails. Jump in and deal with the people that suffer. They need you, since God doesn't seem interested.

Anonymous 9 months ago
This article is offensive. This is exactly the type of attitude we are suppose to be made aware of in nursing school and put aside for our work. Just as we have atheist and agnostic patients who maintain their lack of faith during illness and death, we can also have medical professionals that do not believe in a higher power in the face of their patients' illness and death. This article is prejudiced, at best, and a very poor example of cultural tolerance in nursing and the medical workforce. The organization/persons who own and maintain this site should take it down. I would go so far to say that the person who wrote this article is, however well-intentioned, guilty of unethical behavior for a medical professional by posting this to a public site. Were I an atheist or agnostic patient- or someone similarly situated- I would not want this person as my nurse.

Debra Deschamps 9 months ago
Hello Christina ~
I have been a nurse for 38 years and counting, and an A-Theist. You may be surprised to learn that I am filled with love, compassion, and empathy for humanity. I am active in fighting for human and individual rights. Was once "very" Christian until I studied more Science, History, Psychology, and Logic. I will always fight to protect your right to believe as you choose, but at the same time offer you the facts to consider if you ever choose to challenge your premises. All religions are based upon imagination and poor story telling, then religious leaders change the stories to better control the people. Considering that there have been many gods before the current ones, Jehovah, Allah, Buddha, etc, such as; Zeus, Horus, Ra-Amen, Prometheus, Ishtar, Zoroaster, Mithra, et al, you are also an A-Theist. You just believe in one more of all the gods than I do. Your article is naive at best.

joann Coke 10 months ago
what kind of garbage is this? I'm a proud atheist and I take very good care of my patients and everyone I meet. Thank you Christ Smith for the blog link I will definitely check that out.

chris smith 10 months ago
There are most certainly atheist nurses, though, for professional reasons, a number of them choose to keep their atheism to themselves. I would welcome any atheist nurses, atheists, and anyone else interested to visit my Facebook community page at https://www.facebook.com/theatheistnurse . Recently I've also decided to start blogging. I am in the process of starting a blog and I'd invite you to keep an eye open at my blog at http://theatheistnurse.blogspot.com/

Evie Clemens 10 months ago
You, Ma'am, are an addlepated twit. Some of the best nurses I know are atheist. If you honestly believe that your higher power has a grand scheme and purpose for everyone's lives, why are you interfering with it?

(And, by the way, EVERYONE in a foxhole is an atheist. If they truly believed their deity could/would protect them, they wouldn't need one!)

Phred Phirmphoot 10 months ago
Mother Teresa should be nobody's idol, except perhaps Satan's. She raked in millions upon millions of $, but enjoyed the suffering of the poor so much that she chose not to spend any of that money actually caring for them. When it came to her own health issues, however, nothing but the best doctors in the West would do for her. As hypocrites go, she may be one of the biggest ones humanity has ever produced.

As for atheists in foxholes, there are nothing BUT atheists in foxholes. True believers do not require the protection a foxhole offers since they depend on their god(s) to protect them. Only those who don't believe a god is protecting them need a foxhole to hide in.

Anonymous 8 months ago
I had the pleasure of meeting Mother Teresa many years ago. She was a perfectly delightful person.

I object strongly to your assertion that she was hypocrite. More correctly, she was consistent to a warped worldview that percieved suffering as a gift from God and privilege and hieracrchy as God established. There was no hypocrisy in spending for the best care possible for herself. Delightful but wrong.

The statement in the article that "Nurses from any faith do better for themselves and for their patients by actively practicing their faith" is laughably false. The hypocrisy attributed to Mother Teresa was nothing more than the active practice of her faith. Noone of any of the major Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) could function in the modern world, much less as a nurse, if he or she truly actively practiced what is taught in their scripture(s). (The same is true for many of the other world religions, but I am less versed in their teachings to make that assertion.)

Ryan C 11 months ago
My Mistake; Not just doctors keeping people alive, but Nurses as well.

Ryan C 11 months ago
Whoever wrote this obviously has never spent time in a PICU. If your stupid religious asses truly believe "God Has A Plan", spend time watching a premature relapse from methanphedamine addictions, newborns with HIV & every type of oncology issue or genetic mutation. The only thing that's keeping a child alive in the PICU is MEDICAL SCIENCE! NOT PRAYERS! That's right, doctors who spent 8 years in college and another 4 years in medical school, then another 3-4 years in residency. An imaginary being wasn't powerful enough to prevent the issues and sure as hell isn't powerful enough to cure them. Real HUMANS with real intelligence are the ONLY ones capable of helping a patient. This is why I wish every nurse has to obtain a 4 year BSN instead of a 2 year ADN. They'll learn more science and philosophy and will disregard their dogmatic bullshit.

Catherine Carter 6 months ago
woah, sorry. for the double post. Where have you seen that BSN's fare worse on cultural competency? I think that's an unfounded claim. Also, this:http://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/news/2013/03/bsn-prepared-nurses-connected-to-fewer-patient-deaths.aspx

Catherine Carter 6 months ago
citation please?

Catherine Carter 6 months ago
citation please?

Anonymous 8 months ago
Plenty of BSN's are full of dogmatic bullshit, and ADN just means that you are a single parent that doesn't have the thousands of dollars to pay some rich asshole professor to critique your A.P.A. style. Thinking and learning are free, University credits are what cost, and BSN's are known to fare less well than ADN's on cultural competency evaluations.

Ryan C 11 months ago
I was in a foxhole and my dog tag said ATHEIST! Go Fuck Yourselves!

toby bear 11 months ago
I too am an atheist, I don't understand how anyone can believe in science and not be an atheist!

Ric Elizondo 11 months ago
I'm a very caring and professional nurse and I'm a proud atheist.

denise hargis 11 months ago
This is a mistake, right?

Me Anon 11 months ago
Having read some of this author's other articles, I am forced to draw the conclusion that she is a right wing nut case.
A member of the group who wish to foist their politico-religious dogma on the entire society.
Her cv contains the very experiences that make nurses "in the trenches" skeptical of over schooled and under educated administrative types who pontificate from their ivory towers about what nursing is and how it should be practiced.

Chanda Kim 3 weeks ago
I'm kind of scared that she has written more stuff like this and it keeps getting published. But sadly I am unsurprised

pee tee 11 months ago
You are ridiculous, Ms. Feisthellmeier. I am an atheist. I am also a nurse. One who is unhindered by the religious dogma that surrounds ending life support or withdrawing artificial feeding.

bob kittty 11 months ago
fucktard

Emily O'Mara 12 months ago
I am an atheist and a fantastic CICU nurse. I feel I am better able to care for patients and perfect my practice when I'm not assuming that lives are under the care of some higher power. I'M the nurse that makes a difference by recognizing my actions have consequences; good and bad.

jess acosta 12 months ago
This is such a ridiculous statement. I could hardly bring myself to go past the first 2 sentences. I am an atheist and I am a nurse. I worked exclusively with the elderly for six years as an LPN in long-term care/skilled nursing facilities and I am now an RN working in a hospital on a progressive intensive care unit. Through my six to seven year career in nursing, I have met several other nurses who consider themselves atheists as well. Though we are the minority, we do exist.

Please try to make sense next time and rethink your close-minded views before spewing them as though they are fact.

Anonymous 2 years ago
for all those nurses that don't exist because they are Humanist,Atheist or holders of Humanist values there is a facebook page specifically for professional nurses that hold these values 'Humanists in Nursing' https://www.facebook.com/groups/456144434425792/

Anonymous 2 years ago
This article is an embarrassment to the nursing profession. I am an atheist nurse. This fact defeats the legitimacy of this article from the title to the last sentence. Appalling.

Anonymous 2 years ago
Wrong. I've been a nurse in Texas for well over 20 years & have been an atheist the entire time.

Anonymous 2 years ago


I'm a former marine infantryman who was an atheist in foxholes, and now I'm a nursing student. Funny, I always considered myself to have existed.



Rick Brown 11 months ago
"always considered myself to have existed" brilliant

Anonymous 2 years ago


Silliest thing I've read in...ever... When nursing decides to let you speak for all of us...we'll let you know...don't wait by the phone



Anonymous 2 years ago
"The Muslim nurse strives to be a better Muslim. The Hindu nurse strives to be a better Hindu, etc." I am an Atheist nurse. I strive to be a better nurse, period.

Anonymous 8 months ago
I'm striving to be a better athiest, myself.

Anonymous 2 years ago
This article is an embarrassment and the fact that this website would publish it makes me question their judgement. I am an atheist nurse and I can care for my patients just as well as any nurse who has religious beliefs. This author is an embarrassment to the profession.

Anonymous 2 years ago
I am an atheist nurse.

Anonymous 2 years ago
I am an atheist RN.

Anonymous 2 years ago
This is seriously one of the most misguided things I've read. Not only are you delusional about the people and world around you, but you fail to remember that Mother Teresa wasn't all the all-loving good person we think she was. She allowed a lot of people suffer, under the assumption that her belief system transcended to all, which resulted in completely inadequate care to patients. As a nurse, you should know better. If I am ever in the hospital, I hope everyone who takes care of me IS an atheist.

Anonymous 2 years ago
I am an atheist nurse, I love my job and enjoy helping people. I have compassion and empathy because I respect people. Fear is not my motivator. Christianity is a fear based system; do what the book says or burn in hell. I respect peoples beliefs regardless of faith. More importantly I judge people by their actions. There are many nurses I work with that preach the importance of being a good Christian while neglecting their patients. You haven't met an Atheist nurse because your narrow mindedness prevents a rational discussion. Spend your Sundays how you want but at least try to educate yourself before writing such rubbish. Not only am I a nurse I am a Desert Storm and Somalia veteran so again you are wrong. Jesus doesn't save.....I do.

Debra Deschamps 9 months ago
"your narrow mindedness prevents a rational discussion".
This is a real problem and is an ever present epidemic! We must find a cure.

Anonymous 3 years ago
ZOMG, that means that my sister is imaginary!
Either that or she's lying about being a nurse?
But I figured the hospital would have caught on by now....

Anonymous 3 years ago
So Eileen... it's more important to criticize fools nicely than to be honest?

Anonymous 3 years ago
@ Eileen B.
The people on here are responding in a polite (if not respectful) way to a series of demonstrably false, bigoted statements.

Now, if you want impolite I could tell you what a friend of mine (who is a mental health nurse) said after reading the article.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This nurse... an athiest.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This article is very ignorant. I am not yet a nurse, just a nursing student but I know at least 3 atheist nurses and there is at least one other person in my nursing school class who is also an atheist. Perhaps you don't know atheist nurses because it's not like they're going to say "hey, I know you're sick and praying to god right now, but you shouldn't bother because god does not exist." It is not the job of a nurse to push her/his personal beliefs on a patient like that. It is their job to care for the patient and that includes respecting and nurturing their spirituality because nursing is a holistic profession. Some of the comments here are also ignorant. There is nothing empty about being an atheist. In fact, I would argue there must be an emptiness in regard to people who believe in god which is why they feel like they need to fill it up with something and choose to do so with a god.

Anonymous 3 years ago


@ Elileen B "I understand why some of you would not agree with this piece, but to take such offence to the point that you are acting hateful yourselves -get over it" You where that person that asked why black people complained about the back of the bus weren't you?



Anonymous 3 years ago
"I understand why some of you would not agree with this piece, but to take such offence to the point that you are acting hateful yourselves -get over it. Why does it bother you so much - one person's opinion?" - Eileen B.

Well, Eileen, put on a t-shirt that simply says, "Atheist," and wear it out in public for a day and see how that feels. This article not only ignorantly decrees that we don't exist in the military and nursing professions, but in a way says that if we did we would be inferior. It is blatant bigotry, which many people in the US feel is acceptable towards atheists. If any other group were spoken of in this way this article would not have even been published. Well, we're tired of it and we're not sitting in the back of the bus anymore. We're your neighbors, your family and maybe even your friends and in the next few years you are going to start to realize just how many of us there are.

Brielle Brauner 12 months ago
Insinuating in order to be a well rounded nurse you need god is offensive and alienating. Dividing people is detrimental to spreading compassion and caring to our communities as we promised to do as nurses.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I happen to be married to an atheist nurse.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I became an atheist about 2 years ago, but the level of care I give my patients has not changed at all; why? because of such things as empathy, and compassion which come from within, not from any holy book.

Anonymous 3 years ago
There's something to be said for a person who does the right thing not because a book tells them to, but because they decide on their own what is right. Atheists are good people by choice, so maybe think twice before you write another generalizing, critical article like this one.

Heather Maki 11 months ago
Thank you for that. I'm an atheist former nurse and let me tell you, I do the right thing because I believe it's the right thing, not because some imaginary being supposedly told me to. I nursed my Mom through terminal cancer and that was definitely enough to reinforce my atheistic worldview. Alot of "Christian" patients and nurses and doctors who have mistreated me despite their claims to love Jesus and follow him, also have reinforced that in me.

Atheists never will be respected, I get that. But even still, I find such condescending behavior from people of faith, truly offensive and disgusting.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Waving! Hi! I'm an atheist nurse! And I remained so DURING and after the death of my own daughter. Not ONCE did I pray to a make believe deity to save her. This "opinion" piece is a joke. And to the idiot who states that our lives must be empty. Check yourself. Our lives are rich, full, beautiful and poignant.

Anonymous 3 years ago


This article is total trash. I'm a nurse, and an atheist. Oh, and I'm also a buddhist. But since buddhism is non-theistic, yeah, I'm still an atheist. Oh, and Joey K, to say that our patients need SPIRITUAL help more than physical help? Really? Tell you what: Try praying to your magic sky daddy next time you have a patient in a code blue. But stay out of my way. I'll be working the AED and doing chest compressions. Bet I know which one of us is giving the patient the right kind of help...



Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm much more comfortable having other atheist nurses on my team. I know they are doing it for the love of helping others and not because of either some ecclesiastical salvation bribery or fear of eternal torture.

Anonymous 3 years ago
How do you have the temerity to make a contrast between how theists would perform against atheists, when you confess to having never met any? And look to Mother Theresa's duplicitous actions when you want to speak of the "benefits" of being seen to by the faithful.

D M 4 months ago
This comment. THIS.

Anonymous 3 years ago


Joey K: Persecuted? Really? This fool writes a piece dismissing the EXISTENCE of all the people posting on this page, and when we criticize her for it, that's PERSECUTION? Get over yourself, you privileged nitwit!



Anonymous 3 years ago


I am a nurse, and I have no idea how anyone could be in this profession and still believe in a god. I give good care because I am smart, well educated, and because I care about my fellow man. It rewards me in THIS life - it's not intended to impress some imaginary friend so that he may let me into his country club when I die. Which is the more noble motivation? And seriously, after having met and worked with several christians, I'm pretty proud to say I'm NOT one.



Anonymous 3 years ago
Of all the hundreds of nurses I have known, I have never known one who is named Christina Feist-Heilmeier. Just as there are no Christina Feist-Heilmeiers in fox holes, there are no Christina Feist-Heilmeiers in nursing. If by chance there may be some nurses named Christina Feist-Heilmeier in existence, I have never met one personally.

Anonymous 3 years ago


It's ok Christina, take heart remember that the only reason you're being persecuted by these people is because you speak a truth to their hearts that they spend their lives trying to deny. The world needs nurses who realize that our patients need spiritual help more than physical. Let it be known to all of you that there is a God, His name is Jesus and He loves you, no matter what you believe!



Anonymous 8 months ago
Go fuck yourself

Anonymous 3 years ago


I'm an atheist nursing student who derives my strength and compassion from...strength and compassion. And in my future career I plan to derive my healing capabilities from science, just like you do. Thanks for suggesting I don't exist though.



Anonymous 3 years ago
Atheist ICU nurse checking in.

Like it matters to you Christina Feist-Heilmeier. I don't exist according to you, and even if I did, I wouldn't be nearly as good as you would I?

Anonymous 3 years ago
If they find it impossible to be a good nurse without their religion to support them it does not say much for the character of the individual or the standard of training they undergo.

I suppose of they make a mistake that will be because it is the will of god/allah or other deity/.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Lifelong atheist and a nurse here. Please don't generalize. Just as there are atheists in foxholes there are atheists in nursing.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My best friend is a nurse, AND an atheist.

But she doesn't go around telling people at work she is an atheist, for fear of being ostracized by fellow nurses like you.

Atheist are in foxholes
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2011%2F04%2F27%2Fus%2F27atheists.html%3Fpagewanted%3Dall&ei=dB1NT__BMOqKiALh26nrDg&usg=AFQjCNFGvz_t0lW0sMz6wcO-7jhkLh8m5g


Anonymous 3 years ago
Despicable. Try and learn something before you make hateful and bigoted generalizations in such a public forum.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Only someone with a huge ego and ignorance of facts would claim "there are no atheists in foxholes" and "there are no atheist nurses" That's like me saying I've never met a person from Australia, therefore they don't exist! LOL. maybe all the nurses that work with you keep their beliefs to themselves so they won't be proselytized to death >_>

Anonymous 3 years ago
I am!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Having read all the comments here by atheist nurses who refute the author's assertion that they don't exist, I wonder if she will exhibit the integrity to come here and amend this article, admitting she was wrong, and apologizing for having spoken for people she had no right to speak for in the first place.

My guess is, she doesn't have the courage. Religionists generally never back down and never admit error. This is in spite of the fact that most religions teach adherents to be humble and contrite.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This author must live a pretty sheltered life; maybe it's true that none of the nurses she knows are atheists. Time to get out and see the world! I have been a nurse for over 30 years and I am an atheist. On just my own medical unit I know at least 2 others. There are probably more, because where I live, it is considered unprofessional to air your personal religious views at work - something this author should consider

Anonymous 3 years ago
I always thought that the expression "there are no atheists in foxholes" was an arguement against foxholes rather than atheists?
In any case the premise that as she apparently hasn't seen a nurse who will admit to her that he/she is an atheist, rather than just changing the subject, then there can't be any atheist nurses.
Given the harrassment-to-hostility that they'd face from her and her kind, is any wonder?

Anonymous 3 years ago
No atheists in foxholes? Ever heard of Pat Tillman? The NFL player who gave up his career to server overseas then died in a (disputed) friendly fire incident? He was overtly atheist and his brother defended his nonbeliefs at the funeral when John McCain tried to paint Pat otherwise.

Anonymous 3 years ago
What a naive assumption! I am a nurse and an atheist. If I worked with Ms. Feist-Heilmeier I am certain I would not disclose that personal little tidbit to her.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I was a volunteer firefighter/EMT for 18 years, and I am also an atheist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
There are atheists all around you. We just don't let you know because you Christians are often such bigots. Of course we are in the military and also are nurses. We even pretend to pray so you won't try to burn us at the stake or something.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm an atheist pediatrician and I know numerous atheist physicians and nurses. My life is not empty. It is much more precious and beautiful to me now than it ever was when I had some imaginary friend and afterlife to believe in.

Anonymous 3 years ago
So, just because you've never knowingly met an atheist nurse, they don't exist?? Let me introduce you to a newfangled concept: the scientific survey!! I'd also introduce you to my sister, a kick-ass atheist nurse, but she's too busy NOT stereotyping good professionals right now.

Anonymous 3 years ago
If you've never met a atheist nurse how can you then say "Nurses from any faith do better for themselves and for their patients..."? You're drawing a comparison with that which you say you don't know.

As for Mother Teresa, apart from her notorious relationships with both Charles Keating (of American Savings and Loan Scandal fame) and the Duvalier dynasty of Haiti, it seems that she protected a Jesuit Priest accused of child sexual abuse. She actively sought Father Donald McGuire’s re-instatement after multiple complaints against him, starting in 1994, for abuse dating back to the late 70s. McGuire, now serving 25 years for multiple counts of molestation, confessed to another priest who sought to exonerate him.
(Source: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/nelson-jones/2012/01/mother-teresa-mcguire-abuse)


Anonymous 3 years ago
And Mother Theresa was a monstrously evil being who kept people in poverty and abject misery because she glorified suffering as a religious experience

Anonymous 3 years ago
"She is expressing her opinion!"
No, she's expressing bigoted falsehoods that even a few minutes research can debunk. Sadly too many religious folk can't seem to discern the difference these days.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"Air molecules do not because I have never seen one."

That's the logical equivalent of the introduction to this piece.

Anonymous 3 years ago
No atheists in foxholes? Perhaps you've never heard of Pat Tillman.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Well, that was one of the more asinine things I've read today.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Question: if the muslim nurse is striving to become a better muslim, and the hindu nurse is striving to become a better hindu... what is the atheist nurse striving to become better at?

Nursing.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Atheist nurse here. I am kind compassionate and value life.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Atheist nursing student soon to be an RN (w/ BSN) and I can tell you why youve never met an atheist nurse, same reasons why my professors dont know my beliefs: 1) they would judge my beliefs and it might get reflected in my clinical evaluations (or once I have a job, down here in Louisiana it could very well get me fired) and 2) spurting out my beliefs to everyone would be very unprofessional, just like this author.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is one of the most poorly written pieces I have ever read. I don't believe that the author has never met an atheist nurse. She is making a false statement, she just wishes to push her beliefs on others and needed an opening line.
I have been a RN for more than 30 years in critical care areas...I have been with many patients as they have died...Speaking to them, physical contact and reassuring them that they were not alone. I never once experienced a miracle or saw a soul leave a body. In fact I have seen hideous deaths and suffering alleviated only by the doctors and nurses, not some god.....

Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm an RN and an atheist. On my 24 bed unit I work with four other atheist RNs, One agnostic RN, and 2 atheist CNAs. That's just one small unit in an 800 bed facility. Atheist RNs and other healthcare workers are everywhere.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Ummm ... I'm a nurse and an atheist. This author should get out more!

Anonymous 3 years ago
Student Nurse here, looking forward to being in a position where I can truly help people in need as an RN. Oh, and I am also an atheist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Perhaps this author has never met an atheist nurse because she's so narrow minded that they prefer to keep their lack of faith to themselves.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm a proud US Army veteran, and was just accepted to graduate nursing school. I am also a proud atheist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
According to M.Teresa, pain and suffering were "gifts from god". This may be why she allowed her patients to suffer, lie in filth and gave them very little medication. Money she received went to building convents, not to alleviate suffering.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My Mother was a nurse and is an atheist, Same with my Grandmother. I also know 2 friends who are atheist nurses.
So you wasted your time writing this article I guess.

Anonymous 3 years ago
You know who else aren't in foxholes? Chaplains OR nurses. See? I can make sweeping generalizations too... but mine are actually true, unlike yours.

Anonymous 3 years ago
To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens "Mother Teresa was no friend of the poor, she was a friend of poverty"

Anonymous 3 years ago
Since I am a transplant recipient, I have had a chance to know many nurses. Mine were evidently a very professional bunch because not once their religion became a topic of discussion.
But of the nurses I know more personally, 2 are christian and the other two are atheist/agnostic. I guess that based on my experience 50% of nurses are Christian and 50% are Atheist then. But that would be a huge fallacy on my part.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Deborah R, I'm sorry that you're ignorant of atheism and feel the need to make up things about atheists.

Anonymous 3 years ago
There are atheists in fox holes and in the nursing field. My brother is an atheist in a foxhole and I am an atheist nurse. Perhaps you've never heard of humanism. It would be a wise choice to research these points before you publish them. Degrading the service of others because they do not fit within the realm of your understanding, is disrespectful. I am a detail oriented and caring individual that strives to give my patients the best care possible regardless of their creed, origin, race, sexuality, or religion.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is such an ignorant claim! I am an atheist nurse, and I'm a good nurse!

Anonymous 3 years ago
While you mention that a good coping system is necessary to be a nurse, you full-on generalize that this means religion. Then you say you are tempted to eat less healthy or skip a work-out, are those strictly religious activities? You don't assert that there is a god, but you maintain that belief is necessary. I think you might also be making the logical leap to say there is a god, since all nurses (you've talked to) believe in one. Try listening to yourself before you broadcast.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My wife is an atheist and a nurse (RN). This article is a joke. Thanks!

Anonymous 3 years ago
To the person who says the author is "expressing her opinion!" as if this is a defense for her opinion, something being an opinion doesn't mean that the opinion can be proved false. People all too often confuse opinion with taste. If I feel that jazz is my favorite music ever, this is a matter of personal taste. If I say that the United States was founded in 1918, yes, this is an opinion, but it is making a claim about reality beyond my personal taste. If someone shows me that the United States was founded in 1776, for me to say, but it's my opinion!" -- well, it is a nonsense defense. Not all opinions are matters of personal tastes. The fact that something is an opinion doesn't mean that the opinion cannot be proven to be incorrect and false.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Personally, I know three atheist nurses. And I only know at most five nurses total. Therefor 60% of all nurses must be atheists.

As a practitioner of evidence-based medicine, I thought you should know the dangers of basing a conclusion on antidotal knowledge.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I guess you didn't ask the Atheist nurses what they thought before you wrote yor article. There are plenty of us, but we respect our patient's right to their beliefs and don't harass them for believing. On the other hand, I have seen plenty of theist medical professionals harass non-believers for not believing in God, and in time where they don't need someone telling them they're going to Hell for not believing. Perhaps you haven't seen any Atheist nurses because those who would confess their disbelief in public would risk being fired in a field saturated with believers who would judge.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My wife is an atheist nurse. This piece is just plain embarrassing.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have been an atheist my entire nursing career and despite your ignorant assumptions it has been very rewarding. Religion is not the sole basis for morality, empathy or compassion. I take pride in caring for my fellow humans and I do it without the crutch of religion.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My sister in law is a nurse and atheist...she is even working on becoming a "Humanist" Chaplin so she can comfort those in need, without being religious.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"Mother Teresa as a role model" - really! Hitchens exposed her duplicity. You could do with a better role model, I think.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Without doubt this is one of the most fallacious and offensive posts I have read in a long time. The assertion that there are no atheist nurses is factually incorrect (I am an atheist nurse and so too are many of my colleagues) and the inference that a nurse needs a mythical god figure to practice their profession compassionately is utter nonsense. I feel sorry for the patients you nursed - I only hope you didn't try to ram your religious beliefs down their throats as you have done here.

Anonymous 3 years ago
If Mother Theresa is your role model, I feel very sorry for the people to whom you provide care. There is much testimony to the fact that her organization does not provide basic medical care, but rather lets people experience pain in the hope that a death bed conversion will occur so that their soul will be saved. I honestly hope that you are a better nurse than that. Give me an atheist with pain killers any day.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have never met a Buddhist. I bet they don't exist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This is an extremely ignorant article. Are all christians like this?

Anonymous 3 years ago
well i was a corpsman in the navy served with marines. I know work as RN and i'm a atheist so swing and a miss on both parts. I also fell very fulfilled helping people knowing that just praying for them does no good t all.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"Nurses from any faith do better for themselves and for their patients by actively practicing their faith." - WRONG...just WRONG

Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm an atheist in the medical field. I'm afraid this blogger lost whatever credibility she has by posting such flimsy observations. Just very, very poor quality work here.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Wasn't Mother Teresa against reproductive rights for women so that the crushing poverty and suffering that comes from over population would continue on and on?

Anonymous 3 years ago
You are 100% incorrect. My best friend is an atheist nurse. I'll make sure to tell him some ignorant religious zealot says he doesn't exist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Student nurse here and I'm an atheist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Atheists just try and live better lives And make the people lives around them better. They aren't concerned about someones soul.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I've never been to Fiji. By your line of reasoning I should conclude that Fiji doesn't exist. I would bet that you've met atheist nurses/doctors/medical staff, but they chose to not disclose this to you because it isn't relevant when it comes to the care, and trust in science, to treat patients.

And to Deborah R - I can assure you we do not feel emptiness. Most agree that this is our only chance at life and try to make the most of it. I find happiness and beauty in the world everyday. Ignorance truly is bliss.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"just as i am proud to be ignorant of evolution, i am proud to be ignorant of both my coworkers, and the people working had to protect me!"
i have an athiest uncle who is a nurse, and my best friend is both an atheist, and serves in canada's military

Anonymous 3 years ago
I suggest you read some of the letters of Mother Theresa over the years. I suggest you look into the practices of her missionaries.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"Nurses from any faith do better for themselves and for their patients by actively practicing their faith." Source? Or are you just making this up?

Anonymous 3 years ago
She's not stating her opinion when she says "no nurse is an atheist." That's not a matter of opinion, it's a matter of fact: either there are atheist nurses or there aren't. As is obvious to nearly everyone but the author, there are.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Bigoted and judgmental. I would rather that you weren't my nurse.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Testing

Anonymous 3 years ago
Maybe this author can say that she has never MET a nurse who is an atheist. I am a critical care nurse of 19 years, and an out and proud atheist. Rest assured, there are many others out there like me. We just don't go around prosthelyzing our beliefs to our coworkers and our patients.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Where to start?

First, there are atheists in foxholes. Just visit Google and see.

Second, if you know of no atheist nurses how can you say nurses of faith are better? Better needs something to compare to.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Perhaps the atheist nurses who work with the poster don't want to be proselytized by the author of "Nurses are from Heaven", so remain closeted from you in self-defense.

Personally, I would prefer a nurse who uses rational thought instead of one who thinks faith is an important part of my medical treatment.

Anonymous 3 years ago
" The Muslim nurse strives to be a better Muslim. The Hindu nurse strives to be a better Hindu, etc."

And the atheist nurse strives to be a better nurse.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Ignorant beyond words. Please shut your hole.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Hmmmm, interesting article and many interesting, if erroneous claims. I'm an atheist MD and I know many atheist nurses and doctors. My brother is also an atheist soldier serving in Afghanistan.

Anonymous 3 years ago
The letter linked below helps to explain why Ms. Feist-Heilmeier does not know about the several atheist nurses she has surrounding her. They tend to keep quiet about it because of the ignorance, intolerance, and self-righteous sense of privilege that she is helping to perpetuate.

For a theist nurse to pretend that he or she knows how a hypothetical atheist nurse would feel or what their motives would be or not be is to parade arrogance. Do not assume the worst of others based on what you think you would do. That is simply a candid glimpse into your own shallowness.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/01/22/ask-richard-atheist-nursing-students-treated-as-pariahs-by-fellow-students/

Anonymous 3 years ago
My GF is an Atheist nurse and so are all of her 7 co-workers at her most recent job I've meet also atheist nurses. Come to think of it, I've never meet one of her co-workers who has ever been religious. Guess I can write an article saying "no religious people are nurses" then huh?

Anonymous 3 years ago
Mother Theresa is a HORRIBLE role model. She thought suffering was a good thing, not something i'd want any nurse to think.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I'm an atheist doctor and most of my friends are atheists doctors and nurses. There are plenty who are catholics or other faiths too but I don't go asking people for their believes because it doesn't make them better workers or better people.

Anonymous 3 years ago
All generalizations are false.

Anonymous 3 years ago
"No atheists in foxholes" is one of the most offensive things ever spoken - pure religious bigotry and blatantly untrue. This "no nurse is an atheist" claim is the exact same thing.

You've met atheist nurses, you just didn't know it because they weren't going around preaching it to everyone.

Let me try it: computer science (my field) requires logic. Therefore, there are no Christian computer scientists. Except of course there are and that's no indicator either way of their job performance. Do you understand how offensive this is? How rude and dismissive of a human being?

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/02/27/yes-there-are-atheist-nurses/

Anonymous 3 years ago
You might want to look more into the life of Agnes Bojaxhiu, aka Mother Teresa. She was not as exemplary as many claim. Read The Missionary Position, by Christopher Hitchens, or Aroup Chatterjee's book.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This letter might help Ms. Feist-Heilmeier to understand why she doesn't know that several of the nurses around her are actually atheists. Thanks to the ignorance and intolerance that she is helping to spread, they are keeping it a secret.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/01/22/ask-richard-atheist-nursing-students-treated-as-pariahs-by-fellow-students/

Anonymous 3 years ago
Mother Teresa = Thieving Albanian Dwarf

Anonymous 3 years ago
This letter might help Ms. Feist-Heilmeier to understand why she doesn't know that several of the nurses around her are actually atheists. Thanks to the ignorance and intolerance that she is helping to spread, they are keeping it a secret.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2010/01/22/ask-richard-atheist-nursing-students-treated-as-pariahs-by-fellow-students/

Anonymous 3 years ago
Yet another atheist nurse here who knows many, many other atheists in our line of work. Compassion does not require faith, and coping and renewal do not require prayer or church. What a self-righteous, narrow view of the world.

Anonymous 3 years ago
What an offensive piece. If you want to focus on your own faith, so be it - you are welcome to do so, & if you had done so, this piece could have been really lovely & meaningful. But to generalize so broadly is a disgust; there are plenty of atheists in foxholes, just as there are atheists everywhere. Atheist doctors, lawyers, pilots, & every other profession you can think of. Faith does not a better businessperson make.

Anonymous 3 years ago
And her "opinion" is demonstrably false.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I also think part of the problem is many people are 'in the closet' because of ignorance like yours. Have you asked each and every nurse you have met about their beliefs and/or lack of them? I think you are misguided and uninformed.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My girlfriend's an atheist nurse. One of our good friends is an atheist nurse.

Those are the only two nurses that I know.

Anonymous 3 years ago
And now she has her silly opinion criticized. That's how it works

Anonymous 3 years ago
I know one nurse. She is an atheist. By your logic, all nurses must be atheist.

Anonymous 3 years ago
This article betrays the extreme ignorance of its author. I would not want to have such an ignorant person for my nurse, whether they are religion or not.

Anonymous 3 years ago
She is expressing her opinion!

Anonymous 3 years ago
This article is full of baseless and hurtful claims. Aside from compassion and skill nurses also require critical thinking skills. Clearly you have none. This vile article should be removed from this site.

Debra Deschamps 9 months ago
2 years later, it remains.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Ms Feist-Heilmeier, your comments display your ignorance to the world. There have been, and still are many atheists serving in the United States Military. There are also atheist nurses in existence. Just because you state you have not met one does not mean these individuals do not exist. Additionally, your claim that religious nurses provide better care is laughable. How are you able to prove that hypothesis? Or is that something else you pulled out of your rear? Atheist nurses provide care by attempting to provide for their fellow human beings. There is no need to prove their qualities to a mythical being.

Your comment is insulting to those individuals who serve, or have served, in the military or in nursing. Your attempt to disregard their contributions is an affront to all these honorable individuals.

Perhaps you should attempt to educate yourself on the reality of atheists in these professions before opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. For your edification, here is the website for the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers. This is the list of those who willingly state their military service and atheism.

http://militaryatheists.org/expaif.html

Demonstrate you have some decency and offer an apology to the atheists in uniform, both military and nursing.

Madam, you are a joke.

D. Williams
United States Army (Retired)
Combat Veteran
Registered Nurse
Atheist

Anonymous 3 years ago
I don't personally know any nurses who are Christians. Does that mean I can write an article entitled "No Nurse Is a Christian" and get it posted here?

Anonymous 3 years ago
I enjoyed your blog and I am a nurse who relies on my faith to
not only give me strength in my career but also in my life. I have worked with many good nurses and not one time have I ever thought I wonder if they are an atheist and if they are an atheist they surely can not be a good nurse. I first assess a nurse by their skills not by their religious or non-religious background.I understand your blog but remember "judge not lest ye be judged. Thanks.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Here's the link: http://www.militaryatheists.org/expaif.html

Anonymous 3 years ago
You might want to check out some of the atheists in foxholes on this page. At the time of this post, there is a nurse at the top of the list. I myself was a medic in a foxhole. I'm sure you can find plenty of other foxhole nurses on this site if you search.

Anonymous 3 years ago
The Military Association of Attheists & Freethinkers has a list of atheists in foxholes. The one currently on top is a Nurse - Air Force Captain Howard Grantham. Maybe you should retract this entire column since it's built on a prejudicial lie. You might reprint it with other sentiments, but it's too far gone as it stands. http://www.militaryatheists.org/expaif.html

Anonymous 3 years ago
I wonder if the author has spent majority of her time working in hospitals with names that start with ST.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Around my parts of the world, I'd say that a large majority of nurses are atheists. Atleast every nurse I know(and every doctor aswell) is an atheist and atheists make up a majority of the population. No lack of helping people here, I'll tell ya.

Anonymous 3 years ago
My aunt is an atheist nurse, and my sister an atheist in a foxhole (navy). Just to let you know.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I guess if a nurse is an atheist, he or she doesn't feel the need to alienate others with their beliefs. I learned in my nursing education to leave my doctrine at the door, but not my personal beliefs. Maybe you haven't met any atheist nurses because they can already sense judgement in your words.

Anonymous 3 years ago
I have never met one, let alone, many atheist nurses. It must be an empty feeling.

Anonymous 3 years ago
And many of us are atheists. Please don't generalize so. Many people take pride and pleasure in a job well done and wish to serve our fellow human beings without faith in a higher being or belief system having any part of it. Please don't purport to speak for all nurses.

Anonymous 3 years ago
Many of us are agnostics.