Fun Trivia About the Nursing Field
In some ways, nursing is a simple concept: You’re there for people, and you help people.
But peeling back the layers reveals the depths of what it means to be a nurse. You’re a shoulder to lean on and a medical resource for patients, a support system for them and their families. You’re a valued member on medical teams, playing a crucial role in supporting other nurses and physicians in their work. You’re a community leader and a safe and trusted professional.
And even though that’s enough, there’s plenty more to being a nurse! From fun facts to important things to know if you plan on entering the field, take a look at some fun nursing trivia that will have you looking at nursing in a new light.
- The first woman to ever earn a nursing degree in America was Linda Richards, who was one of five students at the first nursing school in the country. Her credentials from the New England Hospital for Women and Children now live in the Smithsonian.
- The first ever known nursing school was established in 250 B.C.E. in India.
- A slave named James Derham worked as a nurse in Philadelphia. The doctor he worked for encouraged Derham’s medical education. He eventually bought his freedom and became the first African-American to formally practice medicine in America, even without having ever earned an MD.
- The iconic nurse’s cap used to be a part of most uniforms in order to keep nurses’ hair in place and out of the way, and was originally modeled after a nun’s habit. Though some regions of the world still utilize this accessory, many others have removed it from the uniform for health and safety reasons.
- Mary Todd Lincoln, former First Lady, worked as a volunteer nurse during the Civil War, assisting in Union hospitals.
- National Student Nurses Day is celebrated in the U.S. on May 8. School nurses get a day of celebration too, on January 27. Nurses are celebrated on May 6.
Learn more fun trivia about the history of nursing and other fun facts here.