10 Things to Know When Dating a Nurse

Image of professional woman smiling at camera
Written by Ann Real, BSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
Two nurses walk and discuss what it's like dating a nurse.

Dating a nurse is like dating a secret agent. By day, they’re just like anyone else leading a normal life under the radar, but during shifts, they’re off saving lives and making a real difference. And you’re the lucky one who gets to share their meaningful, purposeful, and unpredictable life journey.

If you want to find out what dating a nurse is like, this article is for you. From the highs of their compassion to the challenges of their demanding schedules, we’ll cover the many pros and cons of dating a nurse.

Dating a Nurse: Sneak Peek

  • They can save your life in emergencies.
  • They may disappear suddenly from a date to cover extra shifts.
  • They can be very empathetic and kind.
  • They may leave for a few months to work in another state.
  • They may have dark circles under their eyes.
  • They will have plenty of thrilling stories to tell.

Dating a Nurse: Expectation vs. Reality

1. They’re Likely to Have a Unique Schedule

Dating a nurse means embracing their erratic schedule — think night shifts, extra hours, and unexpected per diem assignments. Understanding and accommodating their unpredictable work life is essential. If you are a fan of spontaneous trips and unexpected romantic gestures, be ready to trade that in for well-planned date nights.

2. They Might Have a Weird Sense of Humor

Nurses are trained to stay calm, and humor is a valuable tool in tense scenarios. That’s because laughing triggers physiological responses, such as increased dopamine production, that reduces stress. Nurses sometimes skillfully use the healing power of humor in emergencies. So, when going out with a nurse, don’t be surprised if they find something funny even in the toughest moments.

And if they say, “I have idiopathic cranio-facial erythema every time I see you,” don’t worry — it simply means, “I blush every time I see you.”

3. They’re Great at Supporting Others

You might have supportive friends, but nurses take it to another level. Expect loads of compassion, empathy, and active listening — they’re taught these skills in nursing school.

4. They’re Masters in Handling Unpredictable Situations

Nursing demands readiness for anything. Nurses excel in critical thinking, adaptability, flexibility, and creativity to tackle complex situations. So, when life throws you a curveball, you can count on your nurse for valuable, out-of-the-box suggestions.

5. Many Nurses Love Caffeine

Lots of nurses depend on caffeine to power through their shifts. In the high-pressure environment of nursing, maintaining concentration for extended periods is vital to providing effective care. It’s no surprise that many nurses are fans of oversized coffee cups and energy drinks.

6. They Probably Spend a Lot on Nursing Supplies

Nurses are big fans of medical supplies and gadgets that simplify their work. With the chaos and stress of nursing, they’re constantly seeking ways to add a little cheer to their day. Whether it’s quality uniforms, comfortable shoes, or the perfect nursing bag, nurses appreciate anything that streamlines their work. And yes, nurses definitely love receiving thoughtful, practical gifts, so if you’re thinking of giving one, go for it.

7. They May Take Travel Assignments

Wondering what dating a travel nurse is like? It can feel like having a partner serving in the military. Like soldiers, nurses can pack up and move for work, heading to hospitals in different states to provide assistance during staffing shortages. Travel nursing offers nurses the chance to travel and earn a higher income. Some might consider this one of the disadvantages of dating a nurse, but if you enjoy adventure, you might find yourself packing your bags and joining them on their journeys.

8. They Might Have Terrible Handwriting

Nurses are pros at lightning-fast writing. Work can get unmanageable, with doctors issuing new orders, coworkers sharing reports, and patients reporting new symptoms. So, most nurses learn to write quickly. Sadly, their handwriting might not win any beauty contests. If you receive a handwritten love letter from a nurse, be prepared for a bit of a decoding challenge.

9. They Can Take Care of You If You Get Sick

Of all the benefits of dating a nurse, this is often top of mind. If you’re feeling unwell, your nurse partner can step up and provide top-notch care. They’ll whip up nourishing soup, make sure you get your vitamins, and bring you comforting tea with lemon. Just be sure to return the favor when they get sick.

10. They Might Not Be the Healthiest Eaters

You might assume nurses are examples of health and wellness, right? Not necessarily true! Many nurses, stressed from their demanding jobs, develop unhealthy eating habits. Here’s an idea: Bring a healthy meal to the nurse you’re dating whenever you can — you’ll not only satisfy their appetite, but there’s a chance you’ll win their heart in the process.

Dating a Nurse: FAQs

Can a nurse lose her license for dating a patient?

Yes, a nurse can risk losing their license for dating a patient. In many jurisdictions, healthcare professionals are prohibited from entering into romantic or sexual relationships with patients due to ethical considerations and potential conflicts of interest.

Can nurses date their coworkers?

It depends on your workplace. Some facilities allow relationships between staff, but it’s important to maintain professionalism and discretion to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Many workplaces have policies in place regarding professional boundaries and workplace relationships to ensure they don’t interfere with patient care. Check your facility’s policies, as some institutions prohibit romantic relationships between their staff members.

Do nurses bring work home with them?

Nurses may need to decompress after challenging shifts or discuss work-related matters at home. It’s best to listen and provide support without feeling the need to fix anything or provide unwarranted advice.

How can I support the nurse I’m dating after a hard shift?

You can support your partner by being understanding and attentive to their needs. Offer them your ear if they want to talk about their day, provide a comforting environment at home, and proactively help with any household chores or errands. Additionally, consider small gestures like preparing a meal or running a bath to help them relax and unwind.

Want to Fall in Love With Your Job?

Whether you’re dating a nurse or you are a nurse, you deserve to love your workplace. IntelyCare helps match you with the best-fitting nursing jobs on the market. Discover specialized nursing opportunities that meet your needs.