Are You A New Nurse Or An Experienced Nurse?

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Whether you’ve just hit the nursing floor with your first pair of clogs or you’re rounding the corner to your ten year anniversary as a nurse—you might see a little of yourself in this list (or who you used to be!). Take a moment to peruse and have a chuckle.

Are you a new nurse or an experienced nurse?

-A new nurse throws up when the patient does.
-An experienced nurse calls housekeeping when a patient throws up.

A new nurse wears so many pins on her name badge that you can’t read it.
An experienced nurse doesn’t wear a name badge for liability reasons.

A new nurse charts too much.
An experienced nurse doesn’t chart enough.

A new nurse loves to run to codes.
An experienced nurse makes new nurses run to codes.

A new nurse wants everyone to know she’s a nurse.
An experienced nurse doesn’t want anyone to know she’s a nurse.

A new nurse keeps detailed notes on a pad.
An experienced nurse writes on the back of her hand, paper scraps, napkins, etc.

A new nurse will spend all day trying to reorient a patient.
An experienced nurse will chart the patient who is disoriented and restrain him.

A new nurse can hear a beeping I-med at 50 yards.
An experienced nurse can’t hear any alarms at any distance.

A new nurse loves to hear abnormal heart and breath sounds.
An experienced nurse doesn’t want to know about them unless the patient is symptomatic.

A new nurse spends two hours giving a patient a bath.
An experienced nurse lets the CNA give the patient a bath.

A new nurse thinks people respect nurses.
An experienced nurse knows everybody blames everything on the nurse.

A new nurse looks for blood on a bandage hoping they will get to change it.
An experienced nurse knows a little blood never hurt anybody.

A new nurse looks for a chance “to work with the family.”
An experienced nurse avoids the family.

A new nurse expects meds and supplies to be delivered on time.
An experienced nurse expects them to never be delivered at all.

A new nurse will spend days bladder training an incontinent patient.
An experienced nurse will insert a Foley catheter.

A new nurse always answers her phone.
An experienced nurse checks the caller ID before answering the phone.

A new nurse thinks psych patients are interesting.
An experienced nurse thinks psych patients are crazy.

A new nurse carries reference books in her bag.
An experienced nurse carries magazines, lunch and some “cough syrup” in her bag.

A new nurse doesn’t find this list funny.
An experienced nurse does.

What do you think? Share your own additions to the list in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I’ve been a nurse for 27 years and I found it to be hilarious. You need a sense of humor people and expertise to survive in nursing.

  2. Omg, lighten up people it’s was supposed to be funny. But the fact is there will always be that 1 nurse that will do that exact same inhumane act for their convenience. That one action is not a reflection of all the great things that the thousands of other nurses do on a regular bases. No reason to offend or be insulted, Just keep being the same professional compassionate and exemplary nurses you have always been, and learn to laugh 😆 a little!

  3. As an experienced nurse, did not like this at all. Are you trying to say that older nurses get lazy, do not care for their patient’s safety, and become unprofessional as the years go by? Very demeaning; these “experienced” nurses don’t work in my hospital!

  4. Any length of service as a nurse should still require compassion. If you as a nurse nurse has lost this, then why are you a nurse?? Dealing with tough situations is what we do. I hope to goodness that I do not become the nurse that patients tell to others that “she’s an awful nurse!” Humor is great, but this just makes an experienced nurse look lazy and uncaring.

    • I agree with you. I’ve been working for greater than 36 years as a nurse; and if I ever lose my sense of humor, or desire to treat my patients with less than 100 percent of compassion or professionalism, I know it will be time to retire.

    • I’m with you, RoseAnn. After 25 years, this is lighthearted and hilarious! Experienced nurses know how to balance the drama and thrills with what is really important – the patient.

  5. Very sad commentary on what are supposed to be the actions of professionals. And you wonder why nurses are not respected or treated as educated members of the healthcare team?

  6. I’m an experienced nurse and am required to wear a name badge, document adequately, run codes, and care for my patients to the best level of my training. Seriously, if you’re a nurse and you’ve lost that much fire, maybe find a different area of nursing other than direct patient care? You can’t just foley cath and restrain annoying patients while dodging the family.

  7. I find some funny, the others are a court case waiting to happen!!!! Two were down right offensive. You cannot put a patient in restraints with plenty of documentation, and most are restrained for convenience of the staff. Putting a Foley in, is again for convenience of the staff. There are rules and regulations for these!!! I have in nursing over 30+ years. Started out as a CNA, became a LPN, then an RN.


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