As a nursing student, you know all about the excitement and opportunities you’ll find after graduating nursing school. You know about the important moments you’ll witness, the bonds you’ll build, and the rewarding feeling of helping others.

You also know it’s going to be hard work.

That’s where we can all use a little pick-me-up and a little motivation.

Whether you’re on your first hour of studying or your sixth, we’ve curated this list of motivational quotes for nursing students to keep you focused on the path ahead to becoming a registered nurse. If you’re studying to become a trained nurse or doctor, you may be looking for some extra inspiration from real-life medical professionals. So, grab a cup of coffee and take a quick study break with these 9 inspirational nursing quotes for students.

1. “Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work.”

Who better to talk about how much devotion the nursing profession takes than Florence Nightingale, one of history’s most famous nurses. While this Florence Nightingale quote touches on the hard work, what she’s really expressing is the beauty in the art of nursing.

There’s beauty in bedside support for those who are alone. There’s beauty in the cohesive nature of healthcare teams’ work. You can remember that beauty of hard work when the going gets tough.

2. “You’re off to great places, today is your day, your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”

What better way to motivate than with a Dr. Seuss quote you’ve probably heard since you were a child? The author had his fair share of inspiring adages, but this one is particularly motivational for anyone who’s considering becoming a travel nurse.

Your day isn’t next week or next year. It’s today! So go climb that mountain, no matter

how far away.

3. “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Human rights activist Malcolm X couldn’t be more right. Keep this in mind as you go through exam after exam. You’re in med school because it’s bringing you closer to a successful future. Education in any form can have its ups and downs, but it’s always worth it-it’s your ticket to a brighter tomorrow.

4. “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”

American author Zig Ziglar is talking about procrastination here; you’re never going to be great until you get started. If you’re staring down an essay or a project you’ve been putting off, this nurse quote is for you. Even the most successful people had to start somewhere!

5. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

This quote is thought to originate from the theorizer of natural selection—Charles Darwin. Whether or not the quote was by him or not, the quote stands as a testament. You don’t have to be the star student or have the best grades to be a good nurse. You just need to learn to adapt in an ever-changing field.

This goes double for those who are excited to pursue travel nursing after graduation. The travel nursing profession is an exciting field with limitless possibilities—it’s also a field that necessitates great change, both literally (moving) and personally (growing). So with that said, flexibility in nursing is important.

6. “They may forget your name but they will never forget how you made them feel.”

This quote is attributed to American poet Maya Angelou, and while there’s debate around whether or not she said it,1 it’s still a brilliant quote for nurses. Over the years, you’ll come across thousands of patients. They and their families will be incredibly grateful for your great work—even if they don’t remember your name—and that’s what’s most important.

7. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

Famed inventor Thomas Edison said this, and he was certainly no stranger to failure. His wisdom around never giving up is undeniable. While there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed every single time you try something, there is a guarantee that you won’t succeed if you don’t try. If you are in the middle of med school, don’t forget to reflect on this inspirational quote in order to get that extra push to finish and become a registered nurse.

Keep moving forward!

8. “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”

This motivational quote from American author E.E. Hale shows us the power of a single person’s actions. Sometimes you may feel like you don’t have the ability to make a difference, but you do! As a registered nurse, you will always be able to share a kind word or provide some extra motivation to your patient. That is the true beauty of working in the nursing profession. All nurses have that power to make a difference. You won’t always be able to do everything that’s needed, but doing something is so much better than doing nothing. It’s also a great quote to remember when you’re trying to improve your nurse-patient relationships.

9. “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

These wise words come courtesy of motivational speaker Brian Tracy and may resonate with many nursing students. Trying new things, grasping new ideas, and asking questions are the best ways to learn, even though they can be uncomfortable.

As a travel healthcare company, we know all about the benefits of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Host Healthcare matches travel nurses with recruiters and helps prepare nurses for the exciting world of travelers. We have resources and advice for moving to a new city.

If that’s something that interests you, keep up the great work in your studies. After graduation, be sure to apply to keep the adventure going!



  1. BBC. Let’s save Maya Angelou from fake quotes.