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Best Inspirational Nursing Quotes

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Nursing can be a demanding job. But it is a rewarding profession. Nurses share intense experiences that affect life or death. Maybe that is why you see such a strong sense of camaraderie among nurses.

And that’s why quotes about nursing strike a chord in our hearts and minds. 

We have compiled a list of the best inspirational nursing quotes you’re sure to find relatable. Take a moment to enjoy these quotable sayings that honor the important work you do. 

“They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

“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, American nurse theorist, and nursing professor

“Nursing is not for everyone. It takes a very strong, intelligent, and compassionate person to take on the ills of the world with passion and purpose and work to maintain the health and well-being of the planet.”

  • Donna Wilk Cardillo

“When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.”

  • Unknown

“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.”

  • Emory Austin

“You treat a disease: you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you win—no matter the outcome.” 

  • Robin Williams, in Patch Adams

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

  • Unknown

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had; whose life was an inspiration; whose memory a benediction.”

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

“Nurses are there when the last breath is taken, and nurses are there when the first breath is taken. Although it is more enjoyable to celebrate the birth, it is just as important to comfort in death.”

“Yes or no. In or out. Up or down. Live or die. Hero or coward. Fight or give in. I’ll say it again to make sure you hear me. Human life is made up of choices. Live or die. That’s an important choice. And it’s not always in our hands.” 

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as if everything is.” 

“Nurse prayer: Let me dedicate my life today to the care of those who come my way. Let me touch each one with a healing hand and the gentle art for which I stand. And then tonight when the day is done, let me rest in peace if I’ve helped just one.”

We hope this dose of inspiration encourages you today. For more breakroom posts like this, subscribe to our blog, and don’t forget to follow us!

-Every effort was made to verify the sources for these quotes. 


1971, Richard Evans’ Quote Book by Richard L. Evans (“Selected from the ‘Spoken Word’ and ‘Thought for the Day’ and from many inspiring thought-provoking sources from many centuries”) Quote Page 244, Column 2, Publishers Press, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Verified with scans; thanks to the librarians of Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah)

Wagner, A. (2010, January 1). Core Concepts of Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring/ Caring Science. Retrieved September 23, 2014, from watsoncaringscience.org

[KSBS] Webpage Title: “Bessie Stanley’s Famous Poem”, [Text from Lincoln Sentinel, Nov. 30, 1905], Lincoln County Kansas History & Genealogy, Website Coordinators: Tracee Hamilton, Bill and Diana Sowers, KSGenWeb Project, Blue Skyways: A Service of the State Library of Kansas. (Accessed skyways.lib.ks.us on June 26, 2012) link

Seuss, Dr. (1990). Oh, the places you’ll go!. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=1q_xAwAAQBAJ&printsec

Sarah Falcone BSN, RN

Sarah Falcone BSN, RN


Sarah S. Falcone BSN, RN is a dedicated nurse based in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX. Her first nursing gig, was night-shift floor nurse in women's services (PP, L&D, nursery). Through a series of fortunate events, she found home health and a passion for helping seniors age in place. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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