Nurses are undeniably one of the most important people on earth. Nursing is the largest healthcare profession in the United States, with over 5 million registered nurses. As such, the care and medical support they offer patients can’t be overlooked; they are vital to every community. Today, we look at some interesting nursing facts to help us understand the profession more.

1. Nurses are Sometimes Called “Sisters”

When you visit various medical institutions, it’s normal to run into some nurses being referred to as sisters. The name “sisters” originated from Early Modern Europe, where Catholic elites such as nuns would offer nursing services. To date, some nuns continue to double as nurses.

2. The First Batch of Flight Attendants Were All Registered Nurses

In 1930, a nurse became the first female flight attendant to be hired by United Airlines. Other airline companies copied this move, and for a while, for one to qualify as a female flight attendant, she had to be a nurse. This trend faded away with time because most nurses had signed up to offer help during World War II, leaving the rest of the world short.

3. 5 Denver Nurses Were Fired for Admiring a Dead Man’s Genitals

In 2017, a group of five nurses were fired for admiring the genitals of a dead man lying in a body bag. Interestingly, the action was taken a month after the incident happened. Another nurse overheard one of the nurses who gawked at the dead man’s genitals make an inappropriate comment and report. Denver police responded to the incident but let the institution handle the matter internally.

4. Nurses Wear Green/Blue Scrubs to Reduce Eyestrain from Looking at a Patient’s Red Insides

woman in blue and white polo shirt standing on yellow flower field during daytime

The colors green and blue reduce eyestrain for nurses in the operating room because they contrast the red color of a patient’s inside. Additionally, the strains can easily hide blood stains, making them the most preferred shades worldwide.

5. A Nurse Watching the Show “Flip or Flop” Noticed the Host Had Cancer

A registered nurse watching the show “Flip or Flop” on HGTV noticed a lump on the host’s neck. She then notified the producers, and upon follow-up, it was discovered that the host had thyroid cancer.

6. A Nurse Called Violet Jessop Survived the Sinking of Both the Titanic and Britannic

Popularly known as “Miss Unsinkable,” Violet Jessop escaped not one but three horrific incidents. In 1911, she survived the Collision of the Olympics. The following year, she made it out of the Titanic, and later on, in 1916, Jessop survived the sinking of the Britannic, which occurred during World War I.

7. Surgical Gloves Were Popularized By a Nurse Called Caroline Hampton

person in blue gloves and blue denim jeans

During the late 1800s, a nurse named Caroline Hampton introduced gloves to the surgical room. Before that, nurses and doctors would operate on patients with their bare hands. Before the breakthrough, Caroline Hampton was on the verge of quitting her job because her hands were severely affected by eczema caused by the numerous applications of disinfectants. Her boss then recommended she wear rubber gloves, and from then on, other nurses and doctors began using them during operations.

8. A British Nurse Was Executed for Helping Soldiers from Different Nationalities

Edith Cavell was a British nurse who was executed by a firing squad for helping soldiers from different nationalities during World War I. Apart from medical care, she would also help the soldiers escape from the Germans. Because of her heroic acts, Edith has a mountain and a school named after her in Canada.

9. There are More Nurses than Doctors

If you’re observant, you may have noticed that in all medical facilities, the number of nurses is usually more than that of doctors. That is a correct observation because the American Association of Colleges of Nursing documents that the ratio of nurses to doctors is 3:1.

10. Florence Nightingale is the Founder of Nursing

Florence Nightingale is one of the most famous nurses in history. Apart from pioneering this practice, she moved from one bed to another, tending to wounded soldiers during the Cimmerian War. The oil lamp she always carried around eventually became the symbol of nursing.

11. Nurses Stopped Wearing Caps

Nurses no longer wear caps, as was initially the case, because they are considered unsanitary. They harbor bacteria and viruses that ultimately defeat the practice’s purpose. Additionally, nurses wanted to identify with other medical practitioners, such as doctors.

12. Nurses are Among the Most Trustworthy Professions

Compared to doctors, police officers, firefighters, and teachers, nurses are considered one of the most trustworthy professions. Nurses have been voted the most reliable professionals for 18 years in a row.

13. Nurses Work in Places Other Than Hospitals

While nurses are predominant in hospitals, they can also be found in other settings. For instance, you can find registered them in elderly homes, government agencies, educational services, and other facilities. Only 60% of registered nurses work in hospitals.

14. Several Nursing Homes in Germany Have Fake Bus Stops for Dementia Patients Who Try Leaving

To soothe the urge for dementia patients who feel like running from nursing homes, some of the facilities in Germany have erected fake bus stops. Most patients sit on these bus stops waiting for a ride, which never comes.

15. Self-Care is Highly Prioritized in the Code of Ethics for Nurses

Nurses are well known for being selfless and devoted to ensuring their patients receive the best treatment. But did you know that in the Nursing Code of Ethics, self-care is highly prioritized? Under Provision 5 of the code of ethics, nurses deserve the same level of self-care as other patients. They must also prioritize personal and professional growth on and off duty.

16. Nurses Walk for About 4 to 5 Miles per Shift

A study done by MEDSBURG Nursing in 2006 on nurses wearing pedometers revealed that the average nurse can walk for up to 5 miles within a 12-hour shift. And this is just within the hospital premises. The typical adult walks for 2.5 miles a day. So, nurses cover twice as much.

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Last Update: February 2, 2024