Inspirational Nursing Quotes For When You Need Motivation

Inspirational Nursing Quotes For When You Need Motivation

Words can be powerful and can be invaluable with the right timing. With all the stress in nursing school, sometimes you need a bit of motivation or a little push to make it through. To help, I’ve gathered a list of my favorite nursing quotes for when you need motivation, need to remember your “why”, or need a laugh. Read until the end, too, because I’ve thrown in a few cheesy jokes!


Inspirational nursing quotes
Kate Johnson


June 6, 2024

Positive Nursing Quotes For When You Need Motivation

These nursing quotes are perfect to give you some motivation. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take motivation for nursing school wherever I can get it!

“To do what nobody else will do, in a way that nobody else can do, in spite of all we go through; that is what it is to be a nurse.” – Rawsi Williams

Being a nurse is an honor even when it doesn’t feel like it. As nurses, we will do things that nobody else can’t and make an impact that no one else will.

“Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation, as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.” – Florence Nightingale

Like with any craft, this quote reminds us that to make something beautiful, it takes hard work and dedication.

“A nurse will always give us hope, an angel with a stethoscope.” – Carrie Latet

When you need motivation, remember that you’ll be somebody’s angel just when they need it most.

“The character of the nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.” – Carolyn Jarvis

In nursing school, sometimes we get so caught up in all of the things we have to learn, but it is important to also consider that your character can get you a long way, so take time to nourish yourself.

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

When the calendar slows down and every day until graduation feels like forever, think about his quote from Earl Nightingale.

“Forgive yourself; you are not perfect. Show yourself grace; you are still learning. Show yourself patience; you are on a journey.” – Unknown

When I get tripped up, this is the quote that always keeps me going. We are all still learning and learning doesn’t take place in a straight line!

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

Yes, that is a Dr. Seuss quote! You’re never too old for a good Dr. Seuss quote and he has said it best. When all else fails, you get to control your own destiny.

Inspirational Nursing Quotes For When You Need To Remember Your “Why”

It’s hard to keep going in difficult times when you can’t remember why you began your journey in the first place. These are a few nursing quotes that help me remember my “why”.

“You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win… no matter the outcome.” – Robin Williams

For many of us in nursing school, the reason why we started is to help people and Robin Williams reminds us that above all we are treating people, not diseases we have read about in books.

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

Again, if you, like me, have set out to help people, this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is a good reminder.

“As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

For those who want to be a nurse to have an impact on others, Maya Angelou puts things into perspective with this quote.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela

If your “why” is to change the world, Nelson Mandela’s quote is a good place to start reflecting!

Funny Nursing Quotes For When You Need A Laugh

In times of challenge, laughter can keep you going. We all need a laugh here and there!

“Nursing: when you’re running on caffeine, chaos, and sheer determination.” – Unknown

A coffee and a bit of determination go a long way in the chaos that’s for sure.

“Nursing: because even doctors need heroes.” -Unknown

I’m sure most docs would agree!

“I’m not just a nurse, I’m a multi-tasking, problem-solving, superhero-wrangling, patient-care magician!” – Unknown

The job title of “nurse” is just an abbreviation for all of the things we actually do!

“Every nurse has a best friend, Pam: LorazePAM, DiazePAM, and ClonazePAM.” -Unknown

We do love Pam! Just kidding of course!

“While that’s correct… it’s not the most correct. This is nursing school.” -Unknown

This quote is a bit painful because we have all been traumatized by these nursing school tests, but you have to laugh at these things!

Nursing Jokes To Lighten Your Mood

Now, if you’ll humor me, I’ve got some cheesy nursing jokes. Pull these out at your next study group session!

What’s it called when a hospital runs out of maternity nurses? … A midwife crisis!

Midlife… Midwife… all crises are bad, but I love a good pun!

Q: What did the nurse reply when someone asked, “Does an apple a day keeps the doctor away?”

A: “Yes, if you aim it nicely.”

Disclaimer: I do not recommend throwing apples at anyone, though it is a pretty good joke, huh?!

Q: What did the nurse say to the tonsil?

A: You should get dressed. The doctor is going to take you out.

Dad jokes anyone?!

I once heard a joke about amnesia but I forget how it goes.


What is the opposite of you’re out? …Urine.

I know I know, this one is almost too much. I’ll just stop here!

Some Words Before You Go

Nursing school can be challenging with long hours, demanding coursework, and lots of emotions. During hard times, finding motivation and inspiration is crucial to be able to push forward. Fortunately, insightful and powerful quotes can serve as a guiding light during those inevitable tough moments.

So, when the weight of nursing school feels heavy, remember the motivational, inspirational, and sometimes funny words of others to help you through. Always come back to these nursing quotes to give you a lift, energize you, and reignite your “why” for nursing. I know you’ve got this! Just keep going!

We've been there.
We get it.

Don’t have a clue what to expect in nursing school? Terrified of clinical?

Nurse Liz has spent years troubleshooting the challenges of nursing school for her social media community. Get her proven strategies and inside tips for every step of nursing school. 

Lecturio's Anatomy Course with Prof. Pickering

Further Reading

The day has finally arrived! Your favorite student nurse will finally take the long-awaited walk across the stage for their ...
Is nursing school hard? That’s the big question everyone asks when looking into becoming a nurse. ...
As someone who has completed both a B.A. and a full-time nursing program, I won’t hesitate to say it: being ...

User Reviews