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50 Motivational Quotes For the Real Heroes of the Pandemic: Nurses

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Let’s face it. Sometimes, when you get ready to start your nursing shift, you aren’t in the best of moods. Perhaps you’re tired from a late night with your kids, stressed out from the pandemic, experiencing a bit of burnout after a long shift or just feeling down. Whatever the case, it’s undeniable that everyone needs to hear a kind word (or several) every once in a while. Even if it’s from a random passerby who tells you that it’s going to be all right, the occasional “proud to be a nurse” quote or “love a nurse” quote can make your day. 

With that in mind, we’ve collected a few of our favorite inspirational nurse quotes to help keep your spirits up when times are tough. 

Heartening nursing quotes

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Nurses care for us and help us heal. But sometimes, nurses need—and deserve—a moving quote about care, too:

  1. “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
  2. “Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen every day.”—H. Jackson Brown Jr.
  3. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”—Mahatma Gandhi
  4. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”—Pablo Picasso
  5. “Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts.”—Charles Dickens
  6. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”—Steve Jobs
  7. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.”—Mother Teresa
  8. “The character of a nurse is as important as the knowledge she possesses.”—Carolyn Jarvis
  9. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”—Mother Teresa
  10. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle.”—Ian Maclaren

Motivational nursing quotes

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Other times, it’s not words of kindness you’re looking for, but perhaps words of encouragement and strength, like nurse quotes in times of COVID or other difficult situations.

  1. “Nurses are the heart of healthcare.”—Donna Wilk Cardillo
  2. “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”—Dag Hammarskjöld
  3. “I am among those who think that science has great beauty.”—Marie Curie
  4. “Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty.”—Florence Nightingale
  5. “I attribute my success to this—I never gave or took an excuse.”—Florence Nightingale
  6. “Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.”—Aristotle
  7. “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”—C.S. Lewis
  8. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”—Maya Angelou
  9. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.”—Salvador Dali
  10. “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”—Bishop T.D. Jakes 

As you can see, on the subject of perseverance, multiple Florence Nightingale quotes come to mind.

Quotes about nursing school

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As you train for any career that’s as intense as nursing, you may wonder, “Do I have the right qualifications for this job?” If you’re searching for direction and inspiration, here are some of our favorite nursing student quotes:

  1. “Learn from the mistakes of others.”—Eleanor Roosevelt
  2. “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.”—John Maxwell
  3. “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.”—Win Borden
  4. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”—Earl Nightingale
  5. “I never dreamed about success—I worked for it.”—Estée Lauder
  6. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy; I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”—Art Williams
  7. “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”—Anthony J. D’Angelo
  8. “Let us never consider ourselves finished nurses. We must be learning all of our lives.”—Florence Nightingale
  9. “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.”—Marie Curie
  10. “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”—Winston Churchill. 

Quotes for nursing graduation

Blue scrub for men

After graduation comes a mixture of excitement and fear as you take your first steps into the next chapter in your journey. It’s a time of strategizing with school friends, looking for ways to group order nursing supplies that you’ll need for your first days on the job and shopping for nursing scrubs that you’ll no doubt need, too.

Some of the best quotes to help you with this transitional period are:

  1. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”—Benjamin Spock
  2. “Nothing will work unless you do.”—Maya Angelou
  3. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”—Nelson Mandela
  4. “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
  5. “Our job as nurses is to cushion the sorrow and celebrate the job, every day, while we are ‘just doing our jobs.'”—Christine Belle
  6. “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia
  7. “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart, and body of our patients, their families, and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou
  8. “Panic plays no part in the training of a nurse.”—Elizabeth Kenny
  9. “Nursing is a progressive art such that to stand still is to go backward.”—Florence Nightingale
  10. “America’s nurses are the beating heart of our medical system.”—Barack Obama

Nursing quotes to laugh it off

Man with classic pant scrub

Lastly, sometimes we all just have a downright lousy day. Perhaps you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or you notice your favorite pair of scrubs falling apart midway through your shift and need to buy a new pair. A good laugh or two can lighten your mood:

  1. “Nurses: one of the few blessings of being ill.”—Sara Moss-Wolfe
  2. “How can anybody hate nurses? Nobody hates nurses. The only time you hate a nurse is when they’re giving you an enema.”—Warren Beatty
  3. “Nursing is one of the fine arts: I had almost said ‘the finest of fine arts.’”—Florence Nightingale
  4. “Success comes to those who are too busy to look for it.”— Henry David Thoreau
  5. “Nurses are a unique kind. They have this insatiable need to care for others, which is both their greatest strength and fatal flaw.”—Jean Watson
  6. “I am a mom and a nurse. Nothing scares me.”—Unknown
  7. “Yes, I am a nurse. No, I don’t want to look at it.”—Unknown
  8. “Nursing is not for the empty of heart nor the faint of heart.”—Unknown
  9. “May your scrubs be comfy, your coffee be strong and your Monday be short.”—Unknown
  10. “My favorite time of day is shift change.”—Unknown

To further cheer yourself up after a stressful shift or uplift a fellow nurse, check out our article on nurse gift ideas. Feel free to peruse our gift cards selection. Keep calm and nurse on.

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