Top 10 Nurse Myths That Need To Go Away!

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.

I recently was doing a little research for school when I realized there are some common and popular nurse/nursing myths out there. It seems there are two trains of thought: There is the public’s view of the nursing profession, and then there are those who actually know about the nursing profession. I’m not sure if it’s our own fault or if Hollywood has a stranglehold on the general population’s opinion. This particular top 10 list is intended for all those who are considering pursuing the profession of nursing–I’d like to call it the “Here’s what we are not and don’t do” list:

  1. We don’t wear all-white uniforms.
  2. No, we stopped wearing caps a long time ago.
  3. We do more than pass medications.
  4. We do more than just clean up “poo.”
  5. This is not Grey’s Anatomy – we’re not secretly sleeping with all the doctors. Nor is this House – we do the blood draws.
  6. No, not every “nurse” is the same. There is a profound difference between a Nurse Practitioner and a Nursing Assistant (about 6-8 years of education).
  7. We actively collaborate in the decision-making process and don’t just take orders.
  8. No, we are not all women.
  9. No, we work in other places besides hospitals and physicians’ offices.
  10. No, we didn’t fail at becoming doctors. We chose this profession.

I know, I know, we’ve beat this horse senseless, haven’t we? I have to admit, I am just scratching the surface here. I think we all could generate an endless list of nursing urban legends. What would you add? Share in the comments section below.

This article was republished with permission from SCRUBS Magazine.


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Cheryl Baum

I just wonder what made Katherine-or any one else gor that matter- go through all the education that is involved in becoming a nurse, all of the “people” time you have to deal with as a student, at clinical, in class, while precepting – yet not wanting ANY type of patient contact at all? I understand that there are nursing jobs out there where the only patient contact you have is by what you read in a chart. Yet, to have gone through your career with NO personal contact with the REAL PERSON on the other side of that chart?… Read more »

Irene lyles

No we do not all keep a secret stash of meds to give out I don’t have any antibiodics or whatever’s and no I cannot diagnose and cure over the phone no one gave me a magic wand when I became a nurse


Cleveland Clinic nurses are still required to wear all white.

Joe Giangrande, RN, BSN.

I get this less frequently now as compared to 20 yes ago. People ask me if I am a male Nurse. I look them straight in the eye and with a very calm voice answer: “YES, I am a male Nurse. The last time I checked was this morning. Don’t let them bother you. If they get testy I reply, I studied for 6+ yrs. to be your Nurse, BSN. I will even save your life if need be, your welcome! JLG 🙂

Old fashioned nurse

Unfortunately some go into this profession because of the myths they believe. I have been a nurse long enough to remember the white uniforms (dresses especially) and I recieved a cap when I graduated, however it was only worn once a year when the hospital would do a “wear your cap to work” day. I was proud to be a nurse and I felt professional. I also miss looking like a nurse and not like everyone else. Currently everyone looks the same from housekeeping to surgeons. The poor patients have no idea who to ask for medications from. I just… Read more »

Katherine R

Nursing for me was not a calling. I went into it for a paycheck. I am not a nurse 24 hours a day. I play a role Monday thru Friday from 9 to 5 and not a minute before or after. In an emergency, I will do what any lay person with a knowledge of first aid will do. I am not interested in listening to a monologue of your health issues in a social situation. No one is special to me. I treat everyone the same. I cannot tolerate adult patient care. I found my perfect role using my… Read more »

Jean C

I have heard it all my life.”nurses know”. Men, especially in my younger college days and early hospital days thought because we studied anatomy that we were good for “pleasing” men. How insulting.

Bill Carter

Not all nurses are gay. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay but it’s an odd presumption. I had a few amusing and uncomfortable conversations with patients and their families.


Myth: It’s okay to assault us. We are used to it.

Fact: We are trained to care for you and will attempt to help you. We will NOT tolerate abuse of any kind and will react as necessary to protect those in our care which includes the patients & myself.


Nurses are NOT your sexual grab toy.
I’ve had my butt pinched, breasts grabbed; privates grabbed at when giving care to males patients (with unofficial diagnosis of “DOMS” – Dirty Old Man Syndrome – it doesn’t matter if they are young or old). They’ve done it in front of their wives and families; and, then they think it’s funny and/or ‘cute’.

Jill Eady

OB nurses don’t just sit and rock babies.