Nurse Jokes: 5 Types of Nurse Humor

NursingJuly 27, 2014

Some of the best nurse jokes are only understood by those who are in the profession or a nursing student. Here's a basic overview of a few of the many forms of nurse humor. At the risk of explaining the joke and making it not funny, here are some nurse jokes translated so that everyone can understand them.

1. Classic Knock-Knock Joke

"Knock knock."

"Who's There?"


"HIPAA who?"

"I can't tell you that."

This joke refers to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that governs all health care institutions. Patients' privacy must be thoroughly protected, and that includes discussing the patient with anyone who isn't directly involved in the patient's care. HIPAA violations are taken very seriously and can even result in termination, which isn't funny, but this silly knock-knock joke about it is.

2. Dark Humor

A dead body is found out in the desert, and the medical examiner is called out to identify the body. After a few minutes of examination, the medical examiner says, "Well, I can positively identify that this person was a nurse."

"But how?" says his bewildered assistant.

"Because the butt was chewed and the bladder was full."

Nurse jokes tend to run on the morbid side, so if that appeals to your sense of humor, you'll fit right in. Nurses are ideally positioned to get chewed out by frustrated patients, impatient doctors and by the administration when policy isn't followed. Also, a "full bladder" is a classic nurse saying — that you are too busy to even use the bathroom.

3. All Kinds of Substance Jokes

Alcohol, Versed, Klonopin, Ativan — all these substances and more are ripe for nurse humor due to their ability to depress the nervous system and calm down an agitated patient. These are some good examples:

"What would you do for a Klonopin?" ("What would you do for a Klondike® bar?" reference)

"Hey, I just met you, and you seem crazy, So here's some restraints and some Versed maybe." ("Call Me, Maybe" reference)

Nurse's prescription: 8 oz ETOH q4h PRN (While this seems like a bizarre code to some, to a nurse this reads: 8 ounces of alcohol, every four hours as needed.)

Also, don't forget references to lactulose or Golytely, which are used to clear a patient's bowel before procedures. Let's just say it can have some interesting results.

4. Nurse Puns: It's All in Good Pun

  • OB Nurse, at your cervix.
  • Don't Be Tachy! (Tachycardia is heart rate higher than a normal 60-100 beats per minute.)
  • I want tibia your friend. (Silly leg bone pun)
  • I found this humerus. (Silly arm bone pun)
  • Urinal my thoughts. (A special container to help a patient pee while in bed, not just the men's bathroom fixture.)
  • Transplant nurses hate rejection. (Rejection is when a transplanted organ is not accepted into the patient's body.)

5. Sarcastic One-Liners

  • All bleeding stops... eventually.
  • Asystole is a stable rhythm. (Asystole is when the heart has no electrical activity — essentially dead.)
  • Satisfaction guaranteed or your disease back!

Being a nurse naturally lends itself to humorous situations, so nurse jokes are an effective way to alleviate stress and also to unify nurses by making light of a common experience.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons