Wednesday, February 22, 2017



With the AORN Congress starting on April Fool’s Day, and Healthcare Purchasing News celebrating its 40th anniversary, it seemed only fitting to share some bumper snickers and T-shirt “pundamentals” to recognize and revere the noble and paramount profession of nursing.

Some of these 40 may be public knowledge; others are modified or simply contrived, but satirized for your protection. Enjoy the laugh and be proud of what you do and how you contribute to high-quality healthcare delivery.

  1. OR Nurse: Because “Miracle Worker” isn’t an official job title.
  2. RNs always give 100% … unless they’re donating blood.
  3. Floor nurses know that supply hoarding is a cache business.
  4. Nurses never have enough time to be so busy.
  5. Nurses always call the shots.
  6. Nursing is all fun and games … until the doctor tries to assist.
  7. Nurse Management: Keep calm … and use a sticky note.
  8. The nurse is the first person you see after saying, “Watch this!”
  9. No matter how serious, orthopedic nurses never ignore the humerus.
  10. I.V. nurses know how to pump you up.
  11. Nursing IT secret: When the surgeon loses his mind, know that his backup must be somewhere.
  12. RN power: Cute enough to stop your heart; skilled enough to restart it.
  13. Nurses wear scrubs. They don’t need capes.
  14. Anyone who thinks “the customer is always right” never worked in critical care nursing.
  15. Some surgical suite problems are caused by a loose nut gripping the surgical robot controls.
  16. Nurses know that surgeons screaming at them just need to be rebooted.
  17. Nurse engineering: If something’s not broken, mark the other side so the doctor gets it right.
  18. Be nice to nurses. They keep doctors from killing you.
  19. You can talk to the doctor in charge, or the nurse who knows what’s really going on.
  20. Nurses have the best jobs. They get to stab people with sharp, shiny objects!
  21. Nurse Managers aren’t control freaks, but they can show you the right way to do something.
  22. Nurse power: Walk softly but carry a large-bore 18-gauge needle.
  23. Some doctors swear by their supply chains. Some nurses swear at their supply chains.
  24. Infection preventionists know that bacteria may be the only culture some people have.
  25. Nursing veterans love the smell of anesthesia in the morning.
  26. According to nursing chemistry for sterility, alcohol is a solution.
  27. Nursing journal editors know the semicolon is not a medical condition.
  28. Nurses know that some days, it’s not even worth chewing through the red tape.
  29. Nurses know that even the best healthcare system in the world needs to be good enough for patients.
  30. Good nurses realize some doctors specialize in counter-intelligence as they can recognize stupidity.
  31. Smart nurses see UDI in an EHR world.
  32. Product Evaluation Committee Meetings: The ultimate whine and geez party.
  33. Nursing is the new black.
  34. Nursing signature of success: Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
  35. Be the kind of circulating nurse that when you enter the sterile field, Dr. Satan says, “Oh crap, she’s here!”
  36. As a nurse I may not be perfect, but I’m so close it scares me!
  37. G.I. nurses know, when you neglect to irrigate, the patient moves to litigate.
  38. Nurses don’t give up. They know Moses was once a basket case.
  39. N.U.R.S.E.: Never Underestimate Registered Surgical Excellence.
  40. Nurses: Fixin’ cuts; stickin’ butts.

Rick Dana Barlow

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