50 Reasons for Nurses to be Thankful

Thanksgiving is a time for reflection, and nurses can look beyond their own families for things to be grateful for. No matter how you feel about your job or what your career has been like, you can always find something redeeming about nursing. Here are fifty reasons for you to give thanks this holiday season.


  • Specializes in telemetry, med-surg, post op, ICU. Has 4 years experience.

Sometimes it is difficult to be thankful in a profession so challenging and all-consuming, but as you can see, you have many reasons to be thankful for your job, despite those challenges. You care for people from birth to death in so many often traumatic circumstances. Yet, you do it with grace. You are very fortunate to be part of a career field with so many options. Many jobs do not have the flexibility or choices that you have and that is probably one of the best perks of your job.

Feel free to add your own to the list. I only went as far as fifty, but I could have come up with fifty more. I'm interested in what other nurses are grateful for! Let's see how many more we can come up with!

  1. You get to make a difference in other people's lives.
  2. You get to wear scrubs, or what amounts to pajamas, to work.
  3. You know how to talk to doctors and make them listen.
  4. You cherish the time you get to spend with your family because you know life is precious.
  5. Your holidays off are the best times of the year, even if you know you have to work the next one.
  6. Your co-workers have your back during some of the worst times.
  7. Bodily fluids wash off with soap and water.
  8. You only have to work three days per week if you work 12s.
  9. Patients often tell funny stories.
  10. You're part of a community of nurses when you pass boards.
  11. You have many options open to you in your nursing career.
  12. You can always go back to school to become a more specialized nurse.
  13. Certifications in specialties make you a more valuable nurse, usually resulting in higher pay.
  14. You can share horror stories with nurse colleagues and laugh about them.
  15. You can call that cranky doctor in the middle of the night and ruin his sleep.
  16. You can save lives with quick action and critical thinking.
  17. Assertiveness training in nursing leads to assertiveness in other parts of your life.
  18. No matter how sick your kids get, you can deal with it.
  19. You can assess certain patients from the door with experience.
  20. If you are unhappy with your workplace, you can always find another job.
  21. Nurses who work holidays have potluck parties so everyone can have fun.
  22. You get the chance to decorate the unit for the holidays.
  23. With your cheerfulness, you can brighten the day of someone in the hospital for the holidays.
  24. When the census is low, you can get called off.
  25. As your seniority grows, you can become more in charge of the unit and its direction.
  26. You never have a dull day.
  27. Taking off your shoes at the end of a shift feels like heaven.
  28. If a patient passes away, you can clean them so the family sees them in peace.
  29. You can really develop a connection with patients and their families.
  30. DVRs and Netflix exist so that you don't miss great TV and movies because you're working.
  31. Gloves and protective gear are plentiful to protect from disease.
  32. You wash your hands so much that you are less likely to get sick.
  33. Hand sanitizer makes your shift flow so much easier.
  34. You can type as fast as lightning after so much charting.
  35. Despite your lack of muscles, you can lift surprisingly heavyweights.
  36. There is no need to wear makeup and do your nails for your shift.
  37. You know a hundred ways to save a life.
  38. One look at a list of lab results can tell you what's wrong with a patient.
  39. You can wear Crocs without any fashion backlash.
  40. If you get your clothes dirty, there are always more scrubs in the OR to change into.
  41. You get paid more than minimum wage -- though admittedly not nearly enough.
  42. You get to choose the needle gauge based on your patient's behavior.
  43. Stabbing people with needles is easy, convenient, and fun.
  44. IV pumps mean you don't have to count drips anymore.
  45. Plastic bedpans mean you can just throw away messes instead of trying to clean them.
  46. Disposable plastic syringes mean that you can throw away used needles.
  47. CPR, ACLS, and 911 exist to save lives that would otherwise be lost.
  48. You have your beloved brain sheets and refer to them constantly throughout the shift.
  49. You don't have to chart by hand anymore.
  50. Computers have reduced errors and saved many lives in the process.

Freelance Medical Writer

22 Articles   101 Posts

Share this post

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

164 Articles; 21,189 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Great article! So very important that we express our thankfulness for so many things that we can take for granted.

51. You are tasked with caring for the sickest of sick and sometimes even a simple thank you means the world.

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

44 Articles; 260 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health. Has 6 years experience.

52. There is unlikely any other profession that has the bladder of a camel! (or is it a racehorse...?)

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.
52. There is unlikely any other profession that has the bladder of a camel! (or is it a racehorse...?)

Racehorse....have you ever see one pee? It's timed in minutes...LOL


18 Articles; 13,677 Posts

Specializes in Education, FP, LNC, Forensics, ED, OB.

53. As a Nursing Instructor, when I see that spark of understanding in the eyes of the students.

Julie Reyes, DNP, RN

44 Articles; 260 Posts

Specializes in pediatrics, occupational health. Has 6 years experience.
53. As a Nursing Instructor, when I see that spark of understanding in the eyes of the students.

That is definitely a highlight!


21 Posts

that is very true and some points are funny, Nurses are also privileged to assist nature take place, we help bring life to the world

This is very funny but indeed TRUE! Haha I have nothing to add all have been said!! :) High Five for nurses!


15 Posts

I wish I could relate! Four years ago I decided to change careers and follow my passion (and help people along the way!) Now, I can't find a job, I never got into a new grad program! Seriously, today I am Suicidal! It is Christmas! All my savings are gone! I have a child! I have no career! Soon I will be homeless! I can't even volunteer because I have a nursing license! I HAVE NO HOPE! NO HOPE! NO HOPE!