10 Practical Jokes for Practical Nurses

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

A nurse’s job is serious business, but even nurses need to let loose and have a bit of fun during their shift. If you work with colleagues who have a healthy sense of humor, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Check out these ideas for hilarious practical jokes to play on your friends.

Warning: Pranking your friends could result in an all-out prank war. Proceed with caution.

“The favorite one around where I work is to send students or newbies to the supply room or to another department looking for left-handed syringes.” —Jennifer C.

“Drank apple juice from a male urinal in front of coworkers. The horror on their faces….good times.”—Robin A.

“Took a deceased patient to the morgue on Halloween night, no less, and the security guard jumped out of the chest freezer screaming. Needless to say, my coworker had to run home and get dry pants.” —Amanda N.

“Take the ball out of the old-fashioned computer mouse…” —Diane G.

“I put my phone in the lab refrigerator and called it before the lab guy opened it up to get samples out. The phone meows to ring. The look on his face still sticks with me.” —Joy B.

“Got the ward clerk to take ‘air hygiene samples’ by waving a sample pot in the air in each of the bays and side rooms.” —Chris G.

“Love telling doctors I’m concerned about the urine sample, sipping apple juice from a specimen cup and saying it tastes funny.” —Karen L.

“I once rolled up a Mars bar until it was soft and the shape of a poo…put it on the floor and when another nurse came along told them to watch out for the ‘poo,’ then picked it up and took a bite.”—Clare H.

“One of my coworkers on April Fools’ Day had every patient on the unit turn their call lights on at the same time. The coordination and cooperation was unbelievable. I just stood in the hallway flabbergasted and terrified!” —Krysta L.

“We put KY on the desk phone earpiece and paged the charge nurse to answer a call.” —Gina S.

Have you ever played a friendly practical joke on a coworker? We want to hear about it! Drop your best prank in a comment below!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I was a junior supervisor back in the day when this medical center had its first IV nurse for chemo patients. I found out that it was the birthday of this wonderful, compassionate woman. On my initial quick assessment rounds I asked the staff on each unit (12 units) to page her at 9 pm & wish her a happy birthday. I also notified the page operators so they wouldn’t panic, & would be able to identify a ‘real call’.
    When the IV nurse caught up to me, she was laughing so hard & said she knew I did it. No one else would pull that.
    (Yep, I got pranked back by each unit in the upcoming weeks! Story for another day.)

  2. Many years ago ee called a pretend code on an intern who would sleep in the on call room & turn his pager off. Whole group of doctors & RNs burst into the on call with the crash cart & defibrillator. Never forget the shock on that docs face. Those were the days.

  3. I once had a fart machine that I COULD USE A REMOTE and snuck in a patients room and when a doctor sat down with other doctors around a fart noise came out and they all looked up.I was laughing so hard as I was across from nursing station.

  4. Pt ordered to have a semen spec., toldy director it was a stat & needed a hand…..Mad & appalled he stomped down the hall. I let him get to the end of the very long hall before I called him and said “gotcha”. Still laughing at this one = )

  5. I called into the nurses station once to tell the charge nurse I would late due to being stuck on the toilet with diarrhea. She had me on speaker phone…..

  6. Once when I had a patient that had to have their meds ground up. I rubbed a little bit of acetaminophen under my nose and went out of the med room and I asked my co worker if my nose was clean. She cracked up.


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