“You Know You Are A Nurse When…”

The nurse sense of humor is unlike any other and our readers never fail to deliver LOL comments. Here's a few of our favorites on "you know you are a nurse when..." Check them out (to see if yours made the list) and don't forget to add your own to the comments section below.

"What about the recurring nightmare that you have slept through your whole shift and wake up in time for shift report and you have not gone in any patient rooms or given any meds!!!.I have had this for years!!! I am always so glad to wake up and find its just a nightmare??" -Madonna L.

"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." -Barbara S.

"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!” -Gyalia

"You know your a nurse when you’ve diagnosed a complete stranger with heart disease diabetes and copd just by looking at them." -Eileen O.

"When the elderly church friend gentleman feels the need to call you often to discuss his bowel and bladder problems." -Sharon

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

"When you jump up and answer the phone at the beauty shop and say your speech and who you are to who is calling." - Bonnie

"When you are in the grocery store assessing people swollen legs and feet, then looking into their grocery cart to see the cause of the swollen lower extremities." -Sheila

"You know your a nurse when you are in line at the grocery store and you find yourself scoping out the veins on the person in front of you!" - Tracy

"When you set up your nightstand or desk at home so neat as a sterilize table procedure." - Licia

"You know you are a nurse when your teenage daughter has bio class and starts talking about her latest dissection during Christmas dinner which upsets her Aunt but you are calmly sitting there eating and nodding your head to her descriptions." - Shawna M.

"When you ask your kids if they emptied their “bladder” before you leave the house." - Jeanne D.

"You know you are a nurse when you overhear someone giving incorrect medical advice to a friend in a store and you want to march right up there and correct them, even if it is a minor error. Improper treatment is not in your vocabulary! Also when you do a mini-psych eval on people at the supermarket!" - Liz C.

"That after being out of direct patient care for over 20 years you still have dreams (or nightmares) about having ALL the patients on the unit while hanging leaking IV bags, cleaning up bodily fluids, providing medications, putting out fires, having a full bladder AND being way behind schedule." - Dan B.

"You know you are a nurse, when 20 years later you have nightmares of the biggest fear of most nurses that you dreamed you went home with the narcotic keys." - LAY

"You know you are a nurse when you can take a 5 minute power nap while sitting on the toilet and feel completely refreshed afterwards." -Sonja H.

"When you actually stock Nitrile gloves in your kitchen for “clean technique” chicken recipes :o/" -Mary

"When you are 7 yrs retired and still say I’m a nurse. When family/friends and acquaintances still always ask you first when they have a medical question. And when you still take continuing education courses to keep up with the latest so your answers are right?‍" -Reba

"You know you’re a nurse when you wash your hands in a public toilet grab a napkin leaving the water running while the lady next to you looking at you wasting water because you turn off the faucet with same napkin." -Bambi R.

"When you see a co-worker not in scrubs you say, “that’s what you look like with regular clothes on LOL.” -Douglas M.

"You know you’re a nurse when you catch yourself checking stranger’s lower extremities for edema and cellulitis everywhere you go." -Rena F.

"When a dating question is, ” what medications are you on?” What can I say, just need to know what to expect…" -Renee

Did you get a good laugh from these reader comments? Share your own thoughts on "you know you are a nurse when" in the comments section below.



  1. I’ve been retired for years but the above comments made me chuckle 😜
    If your a nurse with kids..you’ve probably done this one: “I don’t think your wrist is fractured…we’ll elevate it and put ice on it overnight”….they casted it for a slight fracture the next day…my daughter STILL says she was traumatized for life 🙄❣️

  2. You know that you are a nurse when you sign your name on a check and add your title to the end.

  3. You know you’re a nurse when your child walks on a broken foot for three days because you told her she couldn’t walk on it if it were broken.

  4. You know you are Nurse when you perform a quick head to toe assessment on everyone walk into a room.

  5. You know you are a nurse when neighbors, friends and family share their symptoms or health issues. Then after you refer them to their doctor (if symptoms are concerning); they return to ask you to evaluate the correctness of their doctor’s diagnosis/treatment/and/or care.

  6. You know your a Nurse. When out in public and still dressed in your white nursing outfit. Someone comes up and asks you : What kind of Dr. are you ? I answer : The underpaid one.


  7. You know your a nurse when viewing “the David” in Florence Italy and tell your husband you could tap his vein and start an IV

  8. You know you are a nurse when you clean poop off of an incontinent patient, and then run to eat some of the chocolate fudge delivered to the nurses station as a gift.

  9. You know you are a nurse when you have the recurring nightmare that you have finished a very stressful shift and when you go out to get in your car to go home and you cant find your car and run around for miles looking for it.

  10. You know you’re a nurse when you notice swelling and, or discolouration, or any other abnormality on a complete stranger or friend and you start thinking of possible diagnoses for your findings.

    Also, when the fast food commercials are aired and all you can think about is how unhealthy the food is.

  11. When you are giving report and tell nurse coming on duty,”you are going to have a nice day your patients’ are all walkie talkies”

  12. You know you are Nurse . When you live in a small town of about a 700 people and you end up being the on call Dr. in the middle of the night for your neighbors.

    • Happened a lot to my son when he was I M resident, He’s learning- (Go incognito)
      Church is a classic place to get questioned. “see Your Dr. – that sounds/looks horrible! “

  13. Drove my kids & hubby crazy when I wrote out the grocery list using nursing/ Latin Notation (with ”c”(w/ the bar at the top), chemical notation( NaHco3 for bicarbonate for the cookies I wanted to make) 0.9 NaCl for my son’s med neb acorn, etc. They didn’t know what I meant.
    Also, signed my checks w/ my name “*****RN” without meaning to. Also made my kids yell “MOOOOOM, THATS GROSS, WE ARE TRYING TO EAT!” (When I told my husband that his steak was so bloody it needed chest tubes.)

  14. You know your a nurse when your adult children are germaphobes and ask you if you have washed your hands, even though they see you wash your hands ALL the time. And when you hear your adult son say “we didn’t go to ER unless there was gushing blood or our bones were obviously broken”. My nightmares consisted of being so busy it got to the end of my shift and I hadn’t checked on a single patient, especially when I worked Peds.

    • I have the recurring nightmare that I am still working in the Neonatal ICU and forgot to feed a baby because I was so busy with my other baby the entire shift. It’s the end of the shift and I realize I didn’t even lay eyes on the other unfed baby. UGH!!!

  15. You know you are a nurse when: You help clean up a patient after a large, messy, runny BM, them go to lunch and eat; the doctor says “what do you think it is?”; you have a patient roll out of bed, pin you on the floor underneath him, and die in the process. Yes this did really happen!

  16. You know you’re a nurse when you’re standing next to your mother’s hospital bed and your sister says, “Ssssh! I want to hear what the real nurse says!”

  17. You know that you are a nurse when your children complain about you and the way that you critic TV shows that involve anything medical. For example; Sounds of a respirator but the patient is not intubated, pt brought to the ER after traumatic car accident but no IV’s or oxygen, EKG monitor sounds, but no leads attached to pt, etc.

  18. I usually tell new nurses that they are official when they contemplate calling off work in the parking lot. Or laugh at really inappropriate humor.

  19. You know you are a nurse and married to a nurse when you are teaching your 8 year old son to gut a fish and he is trying to name the body parts. We opened the stomach and a small fish pops out which my son identified as “lunch” (for the fish) and kept on with the rest of what becomes a fish autopsy. Nurses kids aren’t grossed out by anything.

    • Speaking of nurses kids, my 7 year old son was playing outside when his friend fell and bumped her head. He lead her in to the house and asked “Mom can you do a neuoro check on My friend?

  20. You know you’re a nurse, when you can go without a bathroom for so long and still joke, “I’m a nurse. We have 10 gallon bladders,” to the chagrin of anyone within earshot.

  21. You know you’re a nurse when your son in law kicks you out of the delivery room because you couldn’t keep your observations to yourself!

  22. “You know you are a nurse when…you completely disinfect your arm before laboratory studies

  23. You know you’re a nurse when you see someone in the grocery store with swollen, cellulitis-weepy legs huffing heavily on an oxygen tank and riding an electric scooter and you turn around and walk as quickly as you can the other way… just in case. That bomb’s a-ticking and it’s my day off!

  24. You know you’re a nurse when you go to a party and all you can think is how many improperly washed hands been in the snack bowl.

  25. You know your a nurse when everyone calls you for their diagnosis instead of going to the doctors. ” Can you look at my leg? there is this sore that has been there for a week. Does this look infected?”

  26. 50 years a nurse and retired 10 years, I still have a rare nightmare that I forgot to pass the 5 AM meds. Or we have no more ICU beds, but now are admitting patients bunkbed style to our clean utility room.

  27. I have enjoyed all of the comments..they have brought back many memories of what use to be. I have been a nurse for 50+yrs. I have one to add…ever heard of “Twilight Sleep”? Early in my career I worked in and taught Maternity nursing. I worked in a progressive university hospital. Many deliveries were done by this method…after labor had progressed women were given Scopolamine IV throughout the remainder of their labor. They were gorked, said many things they would have regretted if they knew, and most babies when delivered were extremely letharic. And of course everyone received a big SS enema upon arrival.

  28. You know you are a nurse when you take a family member to the ED and the caregivers have no idea what so ever about sterile technique. Or when someone removes sutures incorrectly, exposing the patient to a potential infection.

  29. You know you are a nurse when you caution your children about anything and everything and they tell you, you have a horror story for EVERYTHING!!!
    Example: do not ride a motorcycle; you will have an accident. It most likely is not your fault; someone in a car or truck hits you. You get taken to the ED and your leg falls off when they cut your clothes off.

  30. You know when you are overly worried to have given too much pain medications to an elderly patient and waking up telling you she had a dream of her funeral and I was there with my smiling face…

  31. You know you are a nurse when you wake up from a dead sleep punching the buttons next to door to silence the IV pump

  32. You know you are a nurse when you watch TV and notice facial or bodily
    asymmetry or other abnormality and you diagnose the condition, or notice the announcer has mispronounced a simple medical term.

  33. You know you’re a nurse when someone says “ I didn’t know you used to be a nurse” and you reply “I still am a nurse just retired now”.

  34. You know you’re a nurse when you hear a person labored breathing and you begin with your eyes a head to toe assessment to determine if this person is suffering from COPD , CHF, Fluid Overload, Ascites, upper respiratory infection, Hypernatremia…..

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