11 Inspirational Quotes for Nurses

Nursing is tough. It’s demanding and often thankless, and sometimes you’ll feel a bit discouraged. Before you lose motivation to continue doing your great work, have a look at the following inspirational quotes just for nurses.

  1. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

– Dale Carnegie, American writer

As a nurse, you know that things can often seem a bit hopeless. You are more than familiar with tending to people in pain, those who are sick, who are dying. You’ve seen patients and family members lose hope. And yet, you show up each day, ready for what is there for you, knowing that your work is important.


  1. “Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.”

– Val Saintsbury

One of the keys to nursing is offering consistently compassionate care. This is not necessarily part of the job description and you don’t get paid more for being nicer, but you do it anyway, because that’s what a great nurse does.


  1. “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

– E.E. Hale, American writer

Any one of the above statements is probably part of your daily mantra as a nurse because you know how important it is to do whatever you can, even if it isn’t everything. That won’t keep you down because you know that people are in need and doing something is better than doing nothing, even if it doesn’t feel like quite enough.


  1. “It is not how much we do – it is how much love we put into the doing.”

– Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa is the epitome of what modern-day nurses aspire to be, and with good reason. With the emphasis on love and compassion, she is an incredible example of what a great nurse is. And it’s important to be aware of our limitations as we put our heart into our work.


  1. “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

It takes a very special person to choose to be a nurse, to actually choose the long hours and the rough shifts, the swollen feet and the aching back. But we know what it means to others and even though most other people won’t sacrifice the way that we do, we choose to go through it all anyway.


  1. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”

– Walt Whitman

While this quote isn’t necessarily for nurses alone, it’s an important thing to remember. There will always be ups and downs in our profession, but it’s important to leave the bad things behind us and focus on the good times to come. Keeping a positive attitude is crucial to be a good and effective nurse


  1. “Where there is love there is life.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

A simple and straightforward message. When we remember to bring love to our work with other human beings in need, we will bring life and happiness. We may not be able to cure every patient of every ill, but we can bring a sense of optimism to the time that we spend with them.


  1. “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”

– Dag Hammarskjold, diplomat

Nurses are experts in our realm of medical care, but sometimes even more important than knowing procedures and treatments is the attention and care we give to the patients we see. Indeed, when we treat them as human beings instead of cases, we have a powerful impact on their getting better.


  1. “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

– Mother Teresa

Even when your feet hurt from walking around all day and you’ve been abused by belligerent patients, having a smile on your face is important for the patients you work with. As badly as you’re feeling, most of your patients are scared or in pain, so do what you can to brighten their day. You’ll probably find yourself in a better mood as well!


  1. “When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.”

– John Ruskin, social thinker

The combination of knowledge and care results in amazing experiences for nurses. It’s not enough to just know what you’re doing – it needs to be done with love for others. They will be able to tell the difference.


  1. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi

Another great quote from Gandhi! If you’re finding it difficult to keep going each day, get lost in your work. Remember the human element. As you try to see your patients as individuals with needs and hopes, you’ll be able to focus on them more than on your own problems and woes.

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