8 Hilarious Ways To Tell You’re Actually A Nurse

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

We asked our Funny Nurses family to fill in the blank after “You know you’re a NURSE when…” and we got some pretty great responses! We think you’ll relate – see below:

You know you’re a NURSE when…

1. When you sign the credit card receipt at the store…and everything else with “RN” – Meighan H.

2. When you can write a complete paragraph in nursing shorthand and it makes perfect sense… to any other Nurse. Conversely, it is an unbreakable code to anyone else. – Michael F.

3. When you inhale every meal you eat. Even at home literally hardly any chewing. #aintnobodygottimeforthat – Gabi C.

4. When washing your hands before using the toilet. Scrub Nurse FTW! – Makis T.

5.  Use sterile technique to open a stick of butter. – Chrissy B.

6. When you make your bed with hospital corners. – Nadine G.

7. You know you work night shift (rotating) when you drive home and sit at a stop sign waiting for it to turn green. – Kay J.

8. Being a male nurse and getting every patient questioning your orientation or calling you doc. – Carl S.

What do you think? Share your own "you know you're a nurse when..." in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

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Denise Murphy
2 years ago

You know you are a nurse when you get excited when you see people with awesome veins and you tell them, “I could put an #18 or #20 in those veins with my eyes closed.”

3 years ago

When you can NEVER look at a full moon with anything but dread and if you are lucky to be off, you are glad, but wish the best for your co-workers.

Also, your vocabulary doesn’t have the word “quiet” in it. And if you hear anyone using that word you give them a scowl that would frighten even the strongest of people, just because you know only bad things can follow the use of that word. (It’s known as the “Q” word around my house. Much worse than any other cuss word.)

2 years ago

When you wash your hands using the proper hand washing technique, using the paper towel to turn off the faucet…at home and at every other location that you use the restroom.

3 years ago

-When you wake up in the middle of your night and remember you never got that pt a glass of water/ice. (you did resuscitate the code, handle the MI, got the right blood on the right pt) but never got that water or blanket.
-You visually assess people in public- that one is in renal failure on dialysis… I wonder that that persons H & H is??…. WOW look at those veins!!!… I wonder what would happen to those nipple rings if he needs to be defibrillated….. that one is Chronic liver failure…..

Tobe Snow
1 year ago

When you are out with friends and no matter where you are, if someone falls, gets injured or doesn’t feel well, everyone looks at you and calls out,” she’s a nurse, she can help!” PS. This happens even though I am actually now retired but once a nurse, always a nurse.

3 years ago

When your kids start crying and you ask, “Are you bleeding, dying or cant breath?” Then, it’s OK. Or, “if it’s broke, we can fix it!”

Deneen RN BSN
3 years ago

You know your a nurse when you realize it’s been almost 12 hours and you feeling a little pressure and thinking to yourself…”I’ve been so busy that I haven’t peed all day”. We have iron bladders.

Stephanie H, RN
2 years ago

When you’re at home changing your infant’s diaper and find yourself rolling him from side-to-side to get the diaper under him instead of just picking up his feet and sticking the diaper under him.

Mary R
3 years ago

When I worked in the nursery, I saw a fellow OB nurse, on her day off, at the super market. I didn’t initially recognize her. She covered her mouth and forehead with her hands and then I knew who she was because I was now seeing only her eyes. You can imagine the grocery store patrons’ expressions when I said, “Oh, hello, I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on.” I still laugh when I hear other nurses say the same thing has happened to them.

Teresa Jackson
2 years ago

After a really busy ICU shift with several codes you get home and fall into bed. Only to shoot out of the bed and are halfway down the hall before you are awake because a cardiac monitor went off on a TV show your husband was watching.

Jill L
3 years ago

When you’re holding Bae’s hand and simultaneously taking his pulse…..

Katie Santillanes
1 year ago

You critique how other people wash their hands in restrooms…. Before the Covid outbreak!!

Lisa Mazzitelli
1 year ago

When your are giving family or friends medications and put them in the bottle cap ( no med cups) and check to see if they swallowed

VAlerie Spotts
1 year ago

You know you’re a nurse when you are talking about a stretch break from the computer and you call it DVT prophylaxis.

Deborah E Smoak
2 years ago

You know you’re a nurse when you date and sign your children’s bandaids.

3 years ago

When you dream about how relaxing it would be if you were in jail.

Pearl Joy (BSN RN CRNI)
3 years ago

When you did background screening and the machine had difficulty detecting your fingerprints and the officer asked your occupation and you said RN, the officer replied “that’s why!”… blame it all on those frequent hand washings….RN for 20 years now… plus 4 years as a student nurse..

LaReda R
3 years ago

When you can identify the disease/condition by the smell of the BM….C-Diff, GI Bleed, etc etc
When the full moon is a thing of absolute dread instead of a thing of beauty.
When you dream of Xanax in a pez dispenser as the perfect Christmas present.

Peggy C
1 year ago

you know you’re a nurse when you count the amount of hours you will sleep even when you’re off.

Barbara Swann, RN, BSN
3 years ago

You know you’re a ER nurse when you start describing your bloody trauma at the dinner table. Used to gross out my son, but not my husband.

4 years ago

You know you’re a nurse when you can talk about bodily functions during dinner.

Susan Cariaga
10 months ago

When you put your finger on the garbage disposal switch & yell, “CLEAR!”

Last edited 10 months ago by Susan Cariaga
Elizabeth Schneider
1 year ago

Having the “It’s 7am, I’m giving shift report after working nights, and realizing I haven’t given meds all night” dream….but I’ve been away from bedside nursing for 20 years, and that never happened in real life !

Carol Ann Nelsen
2 years ago

An RN for the past 59 years and still laugh at some of my encounters…like when camping in the High Sierra’s on a cold night and I see a women at the picnic table cleaning her child up and after washing him she proceeds to clean out his ears, next day I told her I guessed she was also a nurse…she was. The best thing was in a small town when an elderly patient of mine spied me in the large hardware store full of farmers and yelled “Hey, Nursey !!! Nursey !!!! are you coming to see me today?… Read more »

frank lomprez RN
2 years ago

When you go into the med room and forget what the heck you went in there for. Or as one my fellow nurse did. She was so tired she tired to get in the med room with her car keys. We both had a good laugh and drank another cup of coffee.

keniki Mcneil
3 years ago

When my son was younger he had fallen off his bike. I found blood in the bathroom and questioned him. Yes he washed it. Applied antibacterial ointment wnd a bandaid. Whe wuestioned as to why he didn’t tell me , he stated “you only care if its spurting”.

J. Minns-Tucker
1 year ago

When you carry 2 bags to work and when your work shoes stay in the car.

3 years ago

You know you are a nurse when changing a dressing and you discover that the wound is covered with maggots. The first words out of my mouth are “Oh this is great, they’re gonna clean that baby right up”, then proceed to redress the wound.

3 years ago

When standing in the check out line and see a patient (oops!) person in front of you that doesn’t look so healthy, you start assessing him/her. When you get to the produce section and you have to put a head of lettuce in a plastic bag, you grab the plastic bag in your hand and pull it over the head of lettuce. When you get to the deli section and asked the person, “will you change your gloves,” before handling your machine sliced turkey.

1 year ago

You know you’re an OR Nurse when you tell your kids to go put it in in the “autoclave” (microwave).
They were 7, 9 and 11 at the time and initially puzzled when I first said it, till I explained it to them. They eventually got used to my reference whenever I said it, which occurred fairly frequently.
I had just started working in the Operating Room. We had autoclaves in each OR and sterilized a set of instruments in the room while setting up and opening our case.
Nurse 31 yrs, OR for 28 yrs

2 years ago

You know you’re a nurse when you holler at your kids to go clean their rooms STAT!

Ivorine Garrick
2 years ago


When everyone in your house is tired of you reminding them to wash their hands.

Sandy Jr., LPN
2 years ago

As an LPN student, during Clinicals, my sister called one morning to make sure I was awake an getting ready for class. I had 2 separate alarm clocks and my stereo alarm set and all were going off. She asked “Are you up?” I said ” Yeah”, still in my bed. She asked what all that noise was an I told her ” That’s the alarm on my patients IV pump going off, down the hall and I’m going to check it out.” To which she said… “That ain’t an alarm on an IV pump, it’s your alarm clocks going… Read more »

Cindy Hall
3 years ago

I get the grocery store confessions and usually complete medical history from the person in front of me..I look at their gate and ask about the limb they are limping on…And then about 15 minutes later…I am giving out non medical advice. …like to elevate their legs 4 times a day, etc. What really got me one day I was with my daughter in line at the grocery store and a lady in front of me was going on about her surgery… When we left, my daughter asked me, “Mommy did you know that lady in the grocery store?” I… Read more »

Linda RN
3 years ago

You know your a NURSE when- you have an empty stomach, full bladder & someones chewed half her/his butt off!!

Twila H.
3 years ago

You know you are a Nurse when….
Your 5 year old explains to her Pediatrician that she knows she drinks enough water because of the color of her urine.
. . . Announces to Grandma that she needs her “Miralax” and correctly explains why.

Peggy C
1 year ago

you know you’re a nurse when you can stop in the middle of dinner, go and get sterile home kit, lance a boil on a family member, clean up and resume you dinner afterwards.

1 year ago

You know you are a nurse when
1) You meet your potential spouse, shake his hand, and grip his forearm, and think, “OMG, He’s the guy. he’s got great….veins”.
2) You look in your adult daughter’s car, and pride fills your heart when you spot the emergency miralax, first aide kit, sunscreen, and jumper cables.
3) you answer inquires about health with ‘Did you poop, or how much sleep did you get, or how many glasses of water did you drink today”

Angie Skidmore
3 years ago

When you knock the door before entering your own bedroom

1 year ago

You know you are a nurse when you are in conversation with anyone and say : You seem upset ( or distressed, angry) … can you tell me more about it?”

3 years ago

When your kids come to you with any kind of ailment and they always end the description with, “And yes, mom, I pooped today.” …because it’s always my first question. Hahaha!

9 months ago

You know you are a School Nurse when you eyeball everyone’s hair at your kids parties, looking for nits. You can see those little eggs miles away. Lol.

Mildred Harper
1 year ago

When you can inhale your lunch in 15 minutes all while standing up.

Danette Tafoya
3 years ago

I have had the nightmares of not checking on certain patients for a whole shift. So happy when I wake up and its not real. I still do this and I haven’t worked inpatient for many years.

1 year ago

When you feel like a complete and utter hypocrite for even thinking things like “I could care less” or “I don’t care!”

Robin D.
1 year ago

When you only call a healthcare professional in a dire emergency. (Get over it, it’s not broken….)

1 year ago

You know you are a nurse when you enter a train in NYC, and find someone in the ground soaked in urine, calling for help to get up. You open your bag, pull out a mask, two pair of gloves, a shoe cover, don them and run toward her to help her up, while every one else run out of the train to enter the next car because they don’t want a disease. Then you pull out your spray bottle filled with 99% alcohol to disinfect your clothes.

Bernice Sullivan
2 years ago

When you tell someone to have their doctor check their thyroid because their eyes are bulging out. Or you know that’s not an Adam’s apple.

3 years ago

When you use IV tape on everything from “I can’t get the adult diaper tabs to cooperate” to minor equipment/office repairs.

Carole Van Nahl
4 years ago

Yup even a year into retirement I want to sign RN