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.



  1. 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 have old fashioned preferences, no offense to those who prefer the modern preference.

  2. 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 degree. I read charts, research and write. No patient contact. Adults, especially adult men like Ken Huber think they are fascinating and interesting. An assessment I do not share. Ken, I am thrilled you would not have me as your nurse (another N word). I have never entertained the idea and never would.

      • I do not feel Katherine’s comment was narcissistic. I think Katherine realized she is not a people person so found an area where she can work without subjecting people to sub par care. Kudos to her!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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’.

    • Ain’t that the truth! During my obstetrics clinical I saw a mother with a torn placenta bleeding out because the _____ pulled instead of waiting for its delivery. The OB nurses swooped in with drugs, etc. and saved that mother. Very impressive.


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