Inspirational Quotes for Nurses

Nursing is a wonderful, yet challenging career. It can be mentally, physically, and emotionally demanding. Yet, the work one does as a nurse can be incredibly rewarding. The following are a few quotes to keep in mind when your work day has been tough. 

“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, a patient’s condition or situation may seem a bit hopeless. You are familiar with caring for people in pain, and who are critically ill and dying. You have seen patients and family members lose hope. Yet, nurses show up to work every day ready to provide comfort and healing. 


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

Val Saintsbury

One of the hallmark characteristics of nursing is providing compassionate care. Even when situations cause stress, or a patient’s fear and anger is aimed at you, a great nurse pushes beyond the difficulty to hold a hand or be a patient’s cheerleader.  


“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.  


“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 providing compassionate, competent care. Often times, this holistic care can supersede our medical knowledge and make even more of a difference in the healing journey of patients.  

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

Mother Teresa 

Even when a nurse has been on their feet all day and has barely had time to sit and drink water, having a smile on your face is important for the patients you work with. Most patients are enduring difficult health situations, and seeing a smiling face can lift their spirits. You will probably find yourself in a better mood as well! 


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

John Ruskin, social thinker 

Nursing’s combination of medical knowledge and compassionate care are what defines the “art and science” of the profession. It’s not enough to just know what you are doing – it needs to be done with love and respect.  


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

Mahatma Gandhi

If you are having a particularly difficult day, get lost in your work and remember your “why”. Remember the human element and impact you are making in the lives of others.  

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Dr. Jenna Liphart Rhoads is a registered nurse and a nurse educator. She earned a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and an MS in nursing education from Northern Illinois University. Jenna earned a PhD in education with a concentration in nursing education from Capella University where she researched the moderation effects of emotional intelligence on the relationship of stress and GPA in military veteran nursing students.