Why are nurses important?

Nurses have many jobs in a hospital, like giving people their medicine, taking blood samples, answering questions and checking to make sure that people in the hospital are okay. For people staying in the hospital, one nurse (or a team of nurses) will take care of them during the day, and a different nurse or team will take care of them during the night.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Years ago, a general misconception existed that the profession of nursing revolved around sponge baths and bedpans. Generally, today’s public is more educated about the important role nurses play in the medical community. Yet, the truth of the matter is, unless you or a loved one has spent time in a hospital, you may not fully understand the breadth of expertise and knowledge that nurses bring to the table.

Nurses are on the frontlines of administering and evaluating your treatment. If you’re a patient, nurses are your greatest advocate. Because they spend more time with you, nurses can comprehensively moderate your progress. They know what symptoms might be a red flag and can assess the effectiveness of treatment. They then communicate all of this to your doctor. Keeping this open dialogue is just one of the countless things nurses do to ensure the quality of your care.

Nurses also provide invaluable emotional support. They understand the complexities and implications of an illness. They can counsel you and your family through everything from understanding a chronic condition to coping with death and dying. Their knowledge of illness combined with exceptional people skills provides comfort and stability. For many patients, this relationship is an anchor in the tumultuous waters of the hospital system.

Nursing is a true calling. It’s a physically demanding position; many nurses cycle through 12-hour shifts on their feet. They give up holidays with their families and work through nights and weekends. This selflessness is also reflected in their commitment to their patients.

This content originally appeared on

Sharon M. Weinstein, MS, RN
Nursing Specialist

Nurses are the most trusted healthcare professionals. They are with patients throughout the continuum of life. Nurses are teacher, advocates, caregivers, critical thinkers and innovators. They do so much more than care for individuals; their presence 24/7 has transformed lives. Nursing is an honorable profession, and nurses are the heart and soul of the healthcare system.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.