25 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Nursing

fun facts

So, you’ve finally survived nursing school. You managed to get out alive from all those nights with no decent sleep, those days when the hours didn’t seem enough for you to finish your homework, those toxic clinical exposures. You successfully passed the mind-boggling nursing board exam. And finally, after years of yearning, you can now call yourself a Nurse.

With all those you’ve experienced, you might think you know everything there is to learn about nursing, but you might be wrong. Below are some of the facts you probably didn’t know about the nursing profession:

  • The nurse cap is patterned after a nun’s habit to keep the hair neatly in place. Although this clothing item has long been phased out as it is known to carry pathogens, some countries still use this as part of the female nurses’ outfit.
  • The most visits to emergency rooms occur during the warmer months of the year.
  • According to the latest data available to the World Health Organization, Finland, Norway, Monaco, Ireland and Belarus have, in that order, the highest ratios of nurses per capita of all nations, ranging from 2162 to 1182 nurses per 100,000 people.
  • Linda Richards was the first nurse to earn a Nursing diploma in the United States. She earned it in 1873 and the proof of her graduation is now displayed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
  • James Derham, a black slave, was “owned” by several doctors working as a nurse. He bought his freedom using his nursing salary and he later became the first African- American physician.
  • The top occupational health concern of nurses is back injury. A survey done in 2011 shows that 59% of nurses are afraid they might have this.
  • The first Nursing school was established in India in 250 BC.
  • Japan’s exam for foreign nurses is so difficult that, according to the latest report, it has been passed only by 96 out of 741 test takers in the past five years.
  • The famous poet and essayist Walt Whitman served as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War in Fredericksburg, Virginia. His poem entitled “The Wound Dresser” got its theme from his nursing experience in the battlefield.
  • In order to give recognition to school nurses, January 27 is now celebrated as the National School Nurse Day.
  • May 8 is celebrated as the National Student Nurses Day.
  • According to the World Health Organization, Nepal is one of the countries with the lowest nurse per capita. It only has 5 nurses per 100,000 people.
  • Lucretia Lester was a well-known nurse and midwife who attended to 1,300 deliveries, with only 2 ending up unsuccessful.
  • The first hospital training ground for nurses was established in the Institute of Protestant Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany in 1846.
  • The UKCC or the United Kingdom Central Council has established the Nurses Registration Act of 1919 that ensures nurses get the proper and high standard of training.
  • The term nosocomial which means “hospital acquired” originated from a Latin term “nosocomium” which refers to men who tended the sick in ancient Rome.
  • The knights who were ordered by Pope Urban II to fight during the crusades became nurses to the ill and wounded. They decided to take this role for good thus they were called the Knight Hospitallers.
  • The American Nurses Association, first known as the Nurses Associated Alumnae, was started in 1898.
  • In a 2001 survey done by the ANA/NursingWorld.com, 59% of nurses expressed fear of getting a severe back injury as one of their top three occupational health concerns.
  • In 1947, Florence Blanchfield, a nurse, became the first female regular commissioned officer in the United States Army, assigned as the superintendent of the Army Nurse Corp.
  • 17th century shipwreck survivor Juan de Mena is considered the first nurse in the New World.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln, the wife of Abraham Lincoln, was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War
  • Mary Seacole, a self-taught nurse, was famous for establishing a hotel for invalids close to the front during the Crimean War.
  • Florence Nightingale, the most famous nurse in modern history, was only a nurse for three years of her life
  • Saint Camillus de Lellis established a Catholic order called the Fathers of a Good Death in 1584 to tend to the terminally ill, and is also reputed to have designed the red cross on a white background symbol and to have developed the first ambulance





Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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