Hi. I’m the nurse. We’ve never met.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

Today, when stereotypes are rampant and when confusion is the common prescription in health care, I find it necessary to share my views of a Nurse, being a Nurse, what the field of Nursing encompasses, and simply what a Nurse does.

And yes, this is as much for my fellow nurses as it is for the patients who may someday read it.

Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Hi. I’m the Nurse. We’ve Never Met:

• Did you know I had formal schooling, including college course education?
• Did you know I took a National Certification Exam?
• Did you know I am a licensed professional?
• Did you know some of us are men?
• Did you know some of us are younger? Some of us are older?
• Did you know the only place you’ll find a ‘naughty nurse’ is either in your dreams or on the internet?
• Did you know we don’t just work in the hospital or physician’s office?
• Did you know the all white outfit is not the standard uniform anymore?
• Did you know we don’t wear the nursing caps anymore?
• Did you know I am not just the physician’s hand maiden or subordinate?
• Did you know I am an independent healthcare professional that is the physician’s colleague?
• Did you know I have to possess a working knowledge of Pharmacology and how it impacts your care?
• Did you know it’s my job and responsibility to critically evaluate every aspect of your care?
• Did you know I am required to have a sound understanding of Human Anatomy and Physiology?
• Did you know I have to be well versed in Microbiology and how it affects the human body?
• Did you know I have to be cognizant and well studied on a plethora of human disease processes?
• Did you know it’s my job to assess, monitor and treat not just your illness, but you as a person?
• Did you know I can and do possess specialty certifications that require thousands of worked hours just to qualify for consideration?
• Did you know I command and perform critical thinking skills that require me to make life-saving decisions in a blink of an eye?
• Did you know I am a highly trained professional with skills that demand sharp attention, a keen sense of prediction and a caring attitude?
• Did you know I am in charge of equipment that monitor your health from inside your beating heart?
• Did you know I am in charge of equipment that assist in your recovery treatment from inside your brain?
• Did you know I am responsible for titrating and administering medication you receive that can induce and resist almost all your normal physiological actions and reactions? And that these medications are life-saving and life-sustaining?
• Did you know I am also a professional stress-juggler, and all the care you are receiving I am also providing to all my other patients?
• Did you know it’s my responsibility to coordinate your care between all the services contributing to your treatment process?
• Did you know I am educated on the grieving process and that I am here to help you?
• Did you know I am an educational resource for any and all information related to your better health?
• Did you know I care?
• Did you know?

What do you think? Care to add any to the list?

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


  1. I really, really appreciate some putting into words those things that have echoed in brain for so many years. My addition to this list is…Did you know that I not only supported and encouraged you, your family and friends during those stressful times but also those other care givers involved in your care.

  2. Did you know that sometimes I have no time to pee and still figure it out how to care for you even when you treat me like a maid or your noisy family member is annoying?

  3. Did you know I was willing to make sacrifices to take care of you missing family events, holidays and working nights?

  4. This is absolutely true and every nurse and patient should read this. Many people have no idea, that all this is true. Only a nurse really knows this and appreciates our value.

    • excellent idea, perhaps some patients would not be so demanding when they ask us for fresh ice in their bedside pitcher if they realize we are more than just a “handmaid” for fresh ice.

  5. Did you know that I held your loved one’s hand when they died so that they wouldn’t die alone? Did you know that I cried?

  6. Did you know that I am your advocate? Not just with other heath care providers (doctors, therapists, technicians, case workers and many others), but also I advocate for you with your family. I am looking out for your best interest and your needs. I will not abandon you in your time of pain and suffering and will celebrate with you during your triumphs.


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