30 Fun Facts About Modern Nursing

Which of these pieces of trivia are most surprising?

It’s always a good idea to brush up on the trivia about your profession. It can come in handy during a quiet lunch break with a colleague, at a cocktail party, or even during a conversation with your supervisor!

Here are some fun facts about modern nursing and hospital environments that impact nurses. Keep a few in your back pocket, and maybe try them out on your friends!

General nursing trivia

  • There are more nurses than any other workers in the health profession.
  • Between 2006 and 2010, the number of U.S. nursing professionals increased to 5,150,780—that’s more than 7% growth.
  • A 1996 survey found that only 10% of working nurses represent minorities.
  • One of every four registered nurses works part-time, and one of every five licensed practical nurses works part-time.
  • In a 2001 survey, 51% of nurses said they worked an average of 41 to 60 hours per week.
  • In the same 2001 survey, nurses said they were able to devote 62% of their time to direct patient care.
  • About three of every five registered nurses work in a hospital.
  • Nurses’ top occupational health concern (shared by 59%) is back injury.
  • In a 2001 survey, 71% of nurses said one of their top three occupational health concerns was “acute/chronic effects of stress and overwork.”

Nursing related recognition days

  • The first week of May is National Hospital Week and Health Care Administrators’ Week.
  • May 8 is National Student Nurses Day.
  • The second week of May is National Nursing Home Week.
  • The fourth week of May is National Nurses Week.
  • January 27 is National School Nurse Day. (In 2000, there were 57,954 school nurses caring for 52 million students.)

Gender and nursing

  • A 1996 survey found that 95% of all working nurses are female.
  • Male nurses make up more than 13% of the total U.S. nursing school population.
  • Male nurses make up one-third of the nurses serving in the U.S. military.
  • Of male nurses, estimated 41% of them work as certified nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), one of the profession’s highest-paid specialties.

Worldwide stats

  • In 2001 nurses and midwives made up between 50% to 90% of health practitioners in many countries.
  • Japan’s exam for foreign nurses is so difficult that between 2009 and 2015, only 96 out of 741 nurses who took the test passed—that’s not even 13%!
  • Nepal is one of the countries with the lowest number of nurses per capita: only 5 nurses per 100,000 people.
  • The U.S. has 972 nurses per 100,000 people—about the same ratio as Germany and Uzbekistan.
  • Finland, Norway, Monaco, Ireland and Belarus have (in that order) the highest ratios of nurses per capita of all nations—from 2,162 to 1,182 nurses per 100,000 people.

Emergency Room facts

  • The most visits to emergency rooms occur during the warmer months of the year.
  • About 567,000 bicycle-related injuries each year require emergency room attention.
  • Around nine million children visit emergency rooms in the U.S. each year due to injuries.
  • During the summer months when school is out, emergency room visits from children under 14 years old rise by 18 percent.
  • Open wounds are the leading diagnosis for injury-related visits to emergency rooms
  • Hospitals treat around 11 million traumatic wounds each year.
  • Men and women ages 25–44 make up 33 percent of U.S. emergency room visits for injury-related wounds.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this nursing trivia. You can read more about the history of nursing, including medieval nursing remedies. We also invite you to learn more about our various nursing career training programs!


This post is part of the weekly blog of the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health, located in Manchester, NH. Visit us online to learn more, or reach out to schedule a campus tour!

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